Violins for sale

This is a list of all the full-size violins currently for sale on our website, including our new handmade instruments, contemporary/ 20th century and antique violins. Look here for part size instruments.

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

MSV 102 Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2014

£1,700 (Standard Violin)

Cremonese pattern violinThis is one of a number of prototypes we made from Cremonese patterns when looking for a successful model with a short back length. This particular violin is 35.2cm but with a conventional stop length, and is designed with the smaller player in mind. Like all of our MSV violins, it’s made entirely with hand tools in Reghin, Transylvania, and is finished with an Italian Balsamic varnish. More details

MSV 108 Stradivarius Pattern Violin with Antique Finish, Martin Swan Violins 2014


MSV 108 Stradivarius Pattern Violin with Antique Finish This is a good Stradivarius pattern violin made entirely with hand tools by one of our Hungarian makers in Reghin. The varnish is an “antiqued” finish which we have developed in collaboration with a specialist restorer in Budapest – we continue to refine this process and welcome any feedback. The sound is charming and refined, not the loudest violin we’ve produced but smooth and silky in character, unusually responsive, even with a light technique. More details

A Mirecourt Violin, JTL Workshops c1890


A Mirecourt Violin, JTL Workshops circa 1890This is a very nice early JTL (Jérome Thibouville-Lamy) violin from around 1890 – it has a Stradvarius 1721 label and a JTL brand visible through the treble f-hole. It’s a well-made instrument, very light in the hand, and the spruce used for the table is unusually good. More details

Paul J-B Chipot Violin, Vendôme 1929


Paul J-B Chipot Violin, Vendôme 1929This is a super French violin by Paul J-B Chipot, one of a number of fine makers who escaped the Mirecourt workshops and set up on their own. Chipot was well regarded in his own day, and his instruments have stood the test of time. The work on this violin is superb, crisp and flawless, with great wood and a rich orange-red oil varnish. The condition is excellent, with no cracks or damages and very little wear to the varnish. The violin has never been opened, and the gold-capped pegs are original. More details

Violin by Amédée Dieudonné, Mirecourt 1948

On trial, £3,500

Violin by Amédée Dieudonné, Mirecourt 1948This is a very nice Amédée Dieudonné violin dating from 1948, numbered 388B, branded to the inner back. Dieudonné ran a small and very successful workshop in Mirecourt, producing various models of violin for the French market and more notably for Rudolf Wurlitzer in the USA. More details

Alois Bittner violin, Prague 1930


Alois Bittner violin, Prague 1930Alois Bittner is another superb but undervalued 20th century Czech maker – he spent most of his working life in Kladne, just outside Prague. Like Dvorak, Spidlen, Drozen and Herclik, his violins were heavily faked during his own lifetime by Markneukirchen makers, so Bittner resorted to extensive branding. This violin is branded twice on the outside and has multiple brands on the inside, but the work is patently first-class, with a superb lightly craquelled red oil varnish over a golden ground, perfect details and fine arching. More details

A Violin by John Delany, Dublin circa 1800 (undersized)


An Irish Violin by John Delany John Delany is one of a number of makers who worked for Perry in Dublin (and possibly James Perry in Kilkenny), but he also made and sold violins under his own brand. This is an unusually fine example, fully purfled, with long elegant corners, and with an astounding birds eye sycamore back. Otherwise the work is in every way typical – slightly small Amati model with rather high arching, quite plain wood to the ribs and the scroll, and a plain yellow varnish. More details

Violin by Amédée Dieudonné, Mirecourt 1948


Violin by Amédée Dieudonné, Mirecourt 1948 This is a beautiful Amédée Dieudonné violin in mint condition dating from 1948, numbered 409B, signed by the maker on the back plate and the inside of the table. Dieudonné ran a small and very successful workshop in Mirecourt, producing various models of violin for the French market and more notably for Rudolf Wurlitzer in the USA. There’s a great biography of Dieudonné on Roland Terrier’s site. More details

A Bohemian Violin labelled Fernandino Politi, circa 1930


A Bohemian Violin labelled Fernandino Politi, circa 1930This is a very nicely made and fine-sounding “anonymous” violin. It doesn’t fit exactly into any school of making, but it seems most likely to be a handmade instrument from north of the Alps. The model is elegant and personal with pronounced upper rib corners, the scroll is very neat, and the purfling is handmade. More details

A Fine Mirecourt Violin circa 1890


A Fine Mirecourt Violin circa 1890This is a very pretty unlabelled Mirecourt violin which would bear comparison with a better Collin-Mézin, both in sound and in workmanship. The outline is a Bergonzi model, broadened and with the arching flattened out – the resulting sound is honey-smooth, very articulate, strong and projecting. 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

A Violin, circa 1930

On trial, £6,500

Beautiful Bohemian violinOK I admit it, I have no idea what this violin is! Since everything which resists identification tends to be German or Czech, let’s call it “Bohemian” … if anyone happens to recognize the maker I’d be delighted to know more. The only violin remotely like it that I’ve handled was an FA Bruckner.

The violin is from 1920-1930, finely made and very beautiful. The wood is first class and the model is refined More details

Alex Smillie Violin, Glasgow 1891

On trial, 7,000

Alex Smillie Violin, Glasgow 1891Alex Smillie is for me the most successful Scottish maker after Matthew Hardie. As far as we know Smillie was self-taught, but his violins are beautifully and artistically executed, quite faithful to the Italian instruments which inspired him, and they always sound good. This particular violin is an early example with a deep brown oil varnish, very pronounced corners, and an unusually fine one-piece back. 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

An English Violin of the Withers School, circa 1900


An English Violin of the Withers School, circa 1900This 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. There’s a bit of erosion to the outer edge of the right f-hole, but this is a very minor quibble. 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

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

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. The violin is in near-perfect condition, with no cracks or repairs, and very little wear to the varnish. More details

James Brown Violin, London circa 1800


James Brown Violin, London circa 1800This is a charming English violin by James Brown – not James Brown the Godfather of Soul, but James Brown, London 1759-1834. According to John Dilworth, Brown apprenticed under Thomas Kennedy before setting up under his own name in Spitalfields. Like so many of the London makers, his output varied hugely in quality depending on who the customer was. This particular violin is beautiful, most likely a Gagliano copy, Italianate in proportions and in execution. More details

Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1892

On trial, £12,000

Collin-Mézin ViolinCollin-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

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

Georg Kloz Violin, Mittenwald 1772


Georg Kloz Violin This is a fine violin by Georg Kloz, one of the most productive and artistic members of the sprawling Kloz family who dominated Mittenwald violin-making throughout the 18th century. This is a typical example of his work, built to his own Amati-esque model, very refined and of delicate proportions, ideal for a smaller player. More details

Karel Boromejsky Dvorak Violin, Prague circa 1890


Karel Boromejsky Dvorak Violin, Prague circa 1890Karel B. Dvorak worked for HC Silvestre and for Gand & Bernardel in Paris before returning to Prague, and many of his instruments show a strong French influence. However, this violin seems more Italian in conception, and would bear comparison with a Pressenda. It’s an outstanding piece of work, lightly built but strong with very flat arching, featuring some excellent wood, crisply carved and exuding class. The varnish is rich and intense with a hint of craquelure. More details

Thomas Kennedy Violin, London 1831


Thomas Kennedy ViolinAlthough Thomas Kennedy is regarded as one of the best English makers of the early 19th century, his work is quite variable, and better examples are often marred by excessive craquelure to the sludgy brown varnish that he often used. However, here we have an exceptional violin in all respects. The work is very refined with long elegant corners and pronounced rib corners, the scroll is very neat, f-holes perfectly cut, and the golden varnish gives a clarity to his work that’s often lacking. More details

An Italian Violin of the Politi School, Rome circa 1910


Italian Politi ViolinThis is a great modern Italian violin, full of personality and with a great sound. Probably made in the Politi shop, it also owes something to the Scarampella style – knowingly rustic, and harking back to a much earlier tradition. It’s a very distinctive instrument with big broad edges, a wide-grained front, 2-piece but not bookmatched, and a deep brown oil varnish. More details

Hungarian Violin by Bela Szepessy, London 1898


A Fine Hungarian Violin by Bela Szepessy, London 1898Although 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, but this one is a gem – in near perfect condition, it’s a Strad model made with the finest wood, numbered 123. More details

Silvio Vezio Paoletti Violin, Florence circa 1930


Silvio Vezio Paoletti Violin, Florence circa 1930 This is a fine early 20th century Italian violin by Silvio Paoletti, one of a number of good makers who trained under Valentino de Zorzi. The instrument bears multiple brands – on the button and the bottom rib externally, and on the inner back, the bassbar and the top block internally. It’s a very artistically made violin – the raised edgework is beautiful, the scroll and f-holes are finely cut, and the deep red varnish is rich and nicely craquelled. More details

Gabriel Lemböck Violin, Vienna 1862


Gabriel Lemböck Violin, Vienna 1862For me, Gabriel Lemböck is the stand-out maker of the Viennese school. Although his later instruments were rather commercial, his best work is outstanding, both in tone and in execution. For much of his working life he copied the Paganini “Cannone” which he had studied while working for Anton Fischer, and this violin is a beautifully stylised interpretation (though clearly Lemböck wasn’t prepared to embrace the brutality of del Gesu’s original scroll)! More details

Giuseppe Tarasconi Violin, Milan circa 1900


Giuseppe Tarasconi Violin, Milan circa 1900Giuseppe Tarasconi came to Milan in the late 1880s, studied with Gaetano Rossi, and turned himself from an amateur into a professional maker. Although he became a central figure in the Milan scene, his violins remained individualistic and very personal. This example is more conventional than most, broadly Stradivaris in outline and f-hole design, but with his typically huge central scroll eye. More details

Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1844


Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1844The Silvestres were exceptional makers, and their success owes much to their training with Nicolas Lupot and JB Vuillaume. The two brothers worked together from 1829 until 1848, and this violin is a very fine example of their collaborative work. It’s in an exceptional state of preservation, free from repairs or damages, and with very little wear to the original varnish. More details

Constantino Celani Violin, Ascoli Piceno 1900


Constantino Celani Violin, Ascoli Piceno 1900Constantino and Emidio or Emilio Celani (Il Turco) were brothers making a wide range of musical instruments in the Marche region of West Central Italy. Although their work is not particularly refined, they used excellent and successful models, and the materials are always good. This violin has a beautifully flamed back and scroll made from local maple, and a rich oil varnish over a golden ground. The purfling is hand made, the blacks being dyed hardwood rather than ebony. More details

François Louis Pique Violin, Paris 1804

On trial, Guide price £120,000

François Louis Pique Violin, Paris 1804This is an unusually fine Pique in top condition – it’s also a superb sounding concert instrument. François Pique is held in high esteem as one of the greatest French makers, and it’s one of the great mysteries of the violin business that a tradey old Vuillaume seems to fetch a higher price. Pique made exquisite Strad copies, working alongside his employee Nicholas Lupot. It’s true that Lupot brought French violin-making to its moment of perfection, but Pique was the source. More details

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