Violins

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

£1,900

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


MSV 137 Stradivarius Pattern Violin Martin Swan Violins 2016

£2,700 (Artist Violin)

hand made Stradivarius violinThis is a Stradivarius pattern violin made entirely with hand tools by one of our Hungarian makers in Reghin, and varnished in our shop in Budapest. It has a two-piece back of closely flamed maple and a rich gold/brown Italian balsamic varnish. The sound of this instrument is sweet and clean, articulate yet friendly. As with all our Artist violins, it has great balance and quick response, and is a delight to play. More details


Andrea Pontedoro Violin, Edinburgh 2007

£6,000

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

Recently sold

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


A Fine German Violin circa 1900

£7,000

Fine German ViolinThis is a very nice example of a “Großstadtgeige”, literally “big city violin” of the sort produced in Berlin towards the end of the 19th century. The workmanship is excellent and the sound is first class. More details


Andrew Smillie Violin, Glasgow 1947

£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


A Good Mittenwald Violin circa 1780

£7,500

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


Nils Nillson Violin, Malmö 1924

£8,000

Swedish violinNillson has been the most significant surname in Swedish violin making for well over a century – in fact Nillson still have a shop in Linnégatan which I’ve often walked past on the way to a recording studio I frequent. Nils Nillson was the first and finest maker in the family, and this is a lovely example of his later work. More details


Domingos F Capela Violin, Espinho (Portugal) 1967

£8,000

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


Charles JB Collin-Mézin 7/8 Violin, 1901

On trial, £8,500

7/8 ViolinHere’s a very fine 7/8 Collin-Mézin with a 4/4 sound! It’s in spectacular condition for its age, and it plays beautifully. More details


Alfred Acoulon Violin, Mirecourt circa 1910

£9,000

Alfred Acoulon Violin,Alfred Acoulon was the foremost luthier employed by the Jerome Thibouville Lamy workshops, and he produced their flagship instruments under the soubriquet “Lutherie Parisienne”. Violins sold under his label were made entirely by him – in 1912 an Alfred Acoulon cost 20 times the price of a Geronimo Barnabetti. More details


Nicolas Mathieu Violin, Mirecourt circa 1800

£9,000

Nicolas Mathieu ViolinA fine early Mirecourt violin in mint condition and with an excellent sound More details


Alfred Vincent Violin, London 1924

Recently sold

Alfred Vincent ViolinAlfred Vincent is an English maker for whom I have a lot of admiration – his style is very refined and his violins always sound great. This is a beautiful example in outstanding condition. More details


Jerome Thibouville-Lamy Violin, Mirecourt 1905

£9,000

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

£10,000

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


A Fine Hungarian Violin by Jozsef Mirth, Budapest 1933

£10,000

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


Carl Zach Violin, Vienna 1896

£12,000

Violin from ViennaThe firm of Carl Zach & Co. was set up by the son of Thomas Zach in 1887. During their brief period of activity they produced some very beautiful instruments on a Stradivari model such as this excellent violin. More details


Thomas Perry Violin, Dublin circa 1780

£12,500

Thomas Perry ViolinThomas Perry is the best known name in Irish violin-making. He lived a long life and ran various busy workshops, employing amongst others John Delaney, Richard Tobin, Vincenzo Panormo (briefly), and of course William Wilkinson of Perry & Wilkinson. Here we have a beautifully preserved example with an outstanding sound from around 1870. More details


An Italian Violin, Rome circa 1910

£12,500

An Italian Violin from RomeIf you’re looking for an Italian violin with a great sound at a great price, look no further. Unfortunately this violin developed a very small incipient post crack in the back, which has now been patched. The repair is invisible, but the price is half what it was. More details


Alessandro Di Matteo Violin, Cremona 2009

£12,500

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


Charles JB Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1896

£13,500

Charles JB Collin Mezin ViolinCollin-Mézin is one of the best known names in the violin trade. 19th century instruments made by or under the supervision of CH JB Collin-Mézin offer great tone and great workmanship at an affordable price. More details


Michael Dötsch Violin, Berlin 1928

Recently sold

Michael Dötsch ViolinMichael Dötsch is the most revered German luthier of the 20th century. He is renowned (or rather infamous) for his frighteningly accurate fakes of the old masters, but the violins he made under his own label are equally exemplary in tone and workmanship. More details


Betts Workshop Violin, London circa 1820

£17,500

Betts Workshop ViolinIt’s questionable how many violins Betts himself made, but he employed an illustrious group of makers such as Tobin, Vincenzo and Joseph Panormo, both Bernard Simon Fendts and John Furber, along with other less well known names. Betts instruments tend to exhibit very high standards of craftsmanship and tone. More details


A Prague Violin circa 1830

Recently sold, £18,000

Prague School ViolinThis is a fine violin from the circle of Caspar Strnad, made in Prague between 1825 and 1835. It has a world-class sound and it will make someone very happy! More details


A Viennese Violin, Circle of Geissenhof circa 1820

Recently sold, £18,000

Viennese ViolinWhen it comes to getting “more sound for your pound”, the makers of the closely related Prague and Vienna schools have to be at the top of anyone’s list. This violin is a perfect illustration, a beautiful early 19th century Strad copy with excellent tone and great playability which would run rings around many an Italian violin of the period. More details


Bela Szepessy Violin, London 1914

£18,500

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

£18,500

Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1890We have four Paul Bailly violins right now – perhaps that’s some indication of how I rate him as a maker. This is the least expensive due to the back length, but it has a fantastic sound. More details


Georges Cunault Violin, Paris 1912

£23,500

Georges Cunault ViolinGeorges Cunault was one of the finest French makers of the early 20th century, but his violins are rarely seen outside France. This is a beautiful del Gesu model from 1912 in excellent condition. More details


Paul Bailly Violin, London 1890

£25,000

Paul Bailly Violin, London 1890Paul Bailly is definitely the most interesting maker to have come out of the Vuillaume shop, and this is the second of three violins of his which we will be offering. Bailly was a tireless experimenter – he also moved house a lot, working in Paris, Brussels, London, New York, Reims, Leeds, and finally Paris again! More details


Mario Gadda Violin, Mantua 1979

£26,500

Mario Gadda Violin, MantuaMario Gadda is one of the best-known names in modern Italian violin-making, and this violin is a great sounding example of his own model in excellent condition. More details


Paul Blanchard Violin, Lyon 1894

£30,000

Paul Blanchard ViolinPaul Blanchard was an outstanding maker who worked for HC Silvestre before setting up his own workshop in Lyon. The violins he made pre-1900 are vey highly regarded, and the del Gesu models particularly so. This violin is a spectacular example in mint condition, with an outstanding concert sound. More details


Caspar Strnad Violin, Prague circa 1800

On trial, £30,000

Prague violinEveryone who deals in violins and bows has their little obsession, and mine is the Prague school, in particular the instruments made by Strnad and his apprentices and followers. And this particular violin is about as good as they get … More details


Charles Adolphe Maucotel Violin, Paris circa 1850

£32,000

Charles Adolphe Maucotel Violin“A Vuillaume by any other name would smell as sweet …”! Here we have a superb sounding violin by Vuillaume’s right hand man, Charles Adolphe Maucotel. It is in almost all respects indistinguishable from a Vuillame, and it has a superb concert sound. More details


Natale Carletti Violin, Pieve di Cento 1937

£35,000

Modern Italian violinA fine modern Italian violin by Natale Carletti, dark and fruity in sound and in great condition. More details


Alberto Blanchi Violin, Nice 1904

£35,000

Alberto Blanchi ViolinBlanchi was perhaps the most refined maker of the Nice school. His ancestry as a violin-maker traces its way back through his father and Pierre Pacherel to Pressenda, and his work represents an excellent synthesis of French precision and Italian flair. More details


Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre Violin, Paris 1892

£37,500

Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre ViolinThe Silvestre family are at the heart of French violin-making in the 19th century. Pierre Silvestre worked with Lupot and Gand, and subsequently trained most of the great Lyon makers. Hippolyte worked for Vuillaume before joining his brother in Lyon. Their nephew Hippolyte Chrétien brought all this vast experience together and produced beautiful instruments which are unrivalled both for sound and for quality of workmanship. More details


Joseph Hel Violin, Lille 1889

£38,500

Joseph Hel ViolinThis is a very fine del Gesu copy by one of the most interesting of late 19th century French makers, Joseph Hel. It’s in unusually fine condition with no cracks or damages. More details


Giuseppe Tarasconi Violin, Milan 1892

£42,500

Giuseppe Tarasconi ViolinYou can spot a Tarasconi from about a mile away – his violins are very characterful, with long outward-sweeping f-holes and big scroll eyes. This is a lovely example with a great sound. More details


Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1844

£50,000

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


Pierre Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1852

£55,000

Pierre Silvestre ViolinPierre Silvestre is one of the greatest of French violin makers – he was direct successor to Lupot, and founder of the all-important Lyon school. I have a real soft spot for the Silvestres, but Pierre was the real talent! This violin is a rare Guarneri pattern, it’s in great condition if rather well-loved, and the sound is exceptional. More details


Giovanni &  Giuseppe Dollenz Violin, Trieste circa 1855

£55,000

Giovanni &  Giuseppe Dollenz ViolinFor a long time Giovanni Dollenz’s rare ability as a maker has been attributed to some connection with Storioni – such stories sell violins! Whatever his influences, he was a maker with a dashing and individual style. The violins in the 1850s were made in collaboration with his son Giuseppe, who is regarded as in every way the equal of his father. More details


Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1862

£57,500

Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1862Pierre and Hippolyte Silvestre were exceptional makers, and their success owes much to their training with Nicolas Lupot and JB Vuillaume respectively. The two brothers worked together from 1829 until 1848, and then worked independently – Hippolyte survived his brother by 20 years and produced the greater number of instruments, but both makers are accorded equal status within the trade. This Guarneri model violin is a superb example of Hippolyte’s later work, and it’s in great condition. More details


Rodolfo Fredi Violin, Rome 1907

£65,000

Rodolfo Fredi ViolinThis is an unusually fine violin by Rodolfo Fredi, in near mint condition and with an excellent concert sound. More details


Giuseppe Cavaleri Violin, Genoa circa 1750

£80,000

Genoese violinThis is a rare and interesting Genoese violin from the mid 1700s in a wonderful state of preservation and with an outstanding tone. More details


Antonio Pedrinelli Violin, Crespano 1853

£100,000

Antonio Pedrinelli ViolinAntonio Pedrinelli is a central figure in the Marche school who has an enviable reputation amongst players for his quality of tone. This is a beautiful example of his work, Stradivari inspired but highly individual. It has a remarkable golden varnish and a sound to rival any of the great Italian masters. More details


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