Fine Professional Violins £5,000 to £20,000

Our current selection of fine professional violins, including contemporary, 20th century and antique violins.

Here are links to violins under £5,000 and violins over £20,000

An English Violin of the Withers School, circa 1900


Withers School violinThis is a fine English violin from the turn of the century – although it’s not up to the standard of an Edward Withers, it shows many similar points of style, and was probably made in the Withers shop. The wood is of excellent quality and the work is very precise. The condition is unusually good – there are no cracks or repairs of any kind. More details

Andrea Pontedoro Violin, Edinburgh 2007


Andrea Pontedoro ViolinThis is a very attractive modern Italian violin by Andrea Pontedoro, made during his period of residence in Edinburgh. Andrea is a fine maker who draws influence from the De Bonis family of his native Calabria. You can read more about him here. The model is individual, the wood is superb, the varnish rich and subtly shaded. More details

A Fine Mirecourt Violin circa 1890


Fine Mirecourt ViolinThis is a lovely Mirecourt violin of some quality, broadly equivalent to a late 19th century Collin-Mézin. It has well conceived arching, finely worked edges and corners, and delicately fluted f-holes. It’s in excellent condition – just two repaired wing cracks to report, otherwise no cracks or repairs. The varnish is oil, very well preserved, with an attractive hint of craquelure. More details

Testore Labelled Violin, early 19th century


Testore Labelled Violin,  early 19th centuryThis lovely little violin has flummoxed everyone who has seen it. It has resisted dendrochronology, and it has no clear geographical identifying features. All that can be said for certain is that it has strong Italian features, though the scroll is reminiscent of the English fakers such as John Wilkinson. My own guess is that it’s a Central Italian violin from the early 19th century with a later scroll More details

Johann Schult Violin, Lübeck 1939


Johann Schult Violin, Lübeck 1939 for sale This is an excellent violin by Johann Schult, one of the best early 20th century German makers – he was appointed court violin maker to the Duke of Mecklenburg in 1907. The wood is superb, the varnish is rich and lustrous, and the work is artistic and highly skilled. The sound is top class, bright, sugary and strong with great sustain. It has a clear and unique cantabile voice – an unusually smooth and responsive violin suitable for a professional player. More details

Andrew Smillie Violin, Glasgow 1947

On trial, £7,000

Andrew Smillie ViolinThis is a fine Scottish violin by Andrew Smillie, one of the most respected of Scottish makers. According to David Rattray, “with his passing in 1948, shortly followed by that of Harry Briggs, Professional violin making in Scotland more or less came to an end”. The Smillies (father Alex and son Andrew) are surely the best known makers of the Glasgow school, and their violins are consistently good tonally, even when the work is not as artistic as that of Briggs. More details

Abele Naldi Violin, Milan 1968


Abele Naldi Violin, Milan 1968This is a lovely violin by 20th century Milanese maker Abele Naldi. It’s unmistakably Italian in conception, just on the artistic side of brash, very individual in model and execution. The spruce used for the front is exceptional – very regular closely spaced grain, probably the same wood that Naldi used for guitars – and the back and ribs are made from wood with a spectacular quilted figure, possibly pearwood. More details

A Good Mittenwald Violin circa 1780


good mittenwald violinThis is a very tidy late 18th century violin, probably Mittenwald by a follower of Bartholomaus Karner, showing all the typical features of South German construction. It has very rounded “Dutch Barn” shoulders, a one-piece bottom rib with inset saddle, inside mould construction with classic Mittenwald inner blocks, and a lovely soft red varnish. More details

Domingos F Capela Violin, Espinho (Portugal) 1967


Domingos F Capela violinDomingos F Capela was the first member of the Capela dynasty which dominated Portuguese making in the 20th century. He worked very much in the Italian style, with crisp execution and without antiquing, and his violins and those of his sons have always been very popular. This particular violin is quite late, and is modeled on the Paganini “Cannone” by del Gesu. It bears its original certificate from the maker. More details

Jerome Thibouville-Lamy Violin, Mirecourt 1905


Jerome Thibouville-Lamy Violin, Mirecourt 1905Jerome Thibouville-Lamy, or JTL, is one of the best-known names in the violin trade. The JTL mega-workshops in the Vosges produced hundreds of thousands of violins from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. Mostly these were student violins which have remained popular on account of their excellent sound. But they also produced beautiful handmade “violons de maitre”, most likely the work of Alfred Acoulon More details

Alexander Hume Violin, London 1925


Alex Hume violinAlex Hume was born in Dumfries, Scotland, and started out as a professional violinist before turning to making. He had a successful business in the 1920s and 1930s selling a range of instruments under his own label. Some of these were bought in and modified, like the Luigi Salsedo violins marketed north of the border by Jim Tait, others were made by Hume himself. More details

Gustav Methfessel Violin, Bern circa 1905

Recently sold

Gustav Methfessel Violin, Bern circa 1905I can’t pretend that I’m at all familiar with Methfessel as a maker, or with Swiss violin-makers in general, but if this violin is in any way typical, then that’s something I’m going to have to put right! This is an exceptional sounding violin – also very neatly made, with great attention to detail inside and out, using the best materials. The spruce is outstanding – very even and straight grain with a lovely “haselfichte” figure. More details

A Fine Hungarian Violin by Jozsef Mirth, Budapest 1933


A Fine Hungarian Violin by Jozsef Mirth, BudapestJozsef Mirth worked for Miska Frirsz and Janos Spiegel before stepping out on his own – he was a prolific maker, but remains pretty much unknown outside Hungary. This violin is a superb example of the Budapest style that reached perfection in the work of Paulus Pilat. The varnish is gorgeous, the wood is superb, and the execution of the scroll, f-holes and edges is precise and artistic. More details

Mathias Heinicke, Wildstein bei Eger 1931


Mathias Heinicke violinThis is a tremendous violin by the Hungarian-born maker Mathias Heinicke. Heinicke always claimed to have trained under Eugenio Degani, though this hasn’t been verified as far as I know. But whatever the truth of it, his violins show an unusual refinement and individuality, and are generally very successful tonally. It’s important to point out that there are a lot of fake Heinickes out there … fortunately authentic examples are easy to spot More details

Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1898


Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1898Collin-Mézin is probably one of the best known names in the violin trade. Although the firm went rather downhill in the 20th century, pre-1900 violins by Collin-Mézin Senior are very sought after, partly because they represent the best in Mirecourt workmanship, partly because they are always successful tonally. More details

Alessandro Di Matteo Violin, Cremona 2009


Contemporary Italian violinAlessandro Di Matteo started out life as a professional violinist, but soon switched his attention to making. Perhaps that explains the unusual tonal refinement of this violin. I’m no big fan of contemporary making, particularly the New Cremonese school, but this violin really stands apart from that trend. It’s lightly built, individual in model, modest in appearance, and very mature and sophisticated in tone. The materials used are first class and the work is superb. More details

François Hippolyte Caussin, Neufchateau circa 1870

Recently sold

François Hippolyte Caussin, Neufchateau circa 1870The Caussin family workshop in Neufchateau produced some of the more interesting violins of the later 19th century. Although only 20km from Mirecourt, Caussin models are very distinctive, and the various Caussin varnish styles are equally unmistakeable. Towards the end of the century, there was a big demand for student violins, and the Caussin shop style was heavily copied by JTL and other big firms. However, the violins made by François Caussin and his two sons are a world apart in refinement and tonal quality. More details

Thomas Hardie Violin, Edinburgh 1848


Thomas Hardie Violin, Edinburgh 1848When it comes to Scottish violins, there’s the Hardies (Matthew and his son Thomas), and then there’s everyone else ….! Thomas Hardie suffers in the literature from being the son of his father, but his work is more refined, and this del Gesu pattern perhaps represents the pinnacle of Scottish violin-making. There are some lovely details, for example the delicate fluting on the f-holes and the all-too-realistic del Gesu compass marks on the scroll. More details

Bela Szepessy Violin, London 1914


Bela Szepessy ViolinAlthough Szepessy spent most of his working life in London, his violin-making remained entirely in the Hungarian tradition. Szepessy apprenticed with Samuel Nemessanyi and Thomas Zach – in this particular violin you could say that the sublime workmanship derives from Nemessanyi, the spectacular varnish from Zach. Szepessy made great violins, and this one is absolutely typical – it’s a Strad model, quite late for Szepessy, with a deep red varnish, beautifully preserved. More details

Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1890


Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1890I’ve gone a bit mad on Paul Bailly recently. He seems to me to be one of the most exciting and un-French of French makers, restless, loose in his style, unpredictable in everything except tone. In this respect he is also rather un-French, favouring a darker palette, and putting quality of tone above aesthetics. More details

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