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

A Markneukirchen Violin circa 1890

£1,500

Markneukirchen Violin circa 1890This is a rather attractive unlabelled Markneukirchen/Schönbach violin from the late 1800s. It’s well proportioned and nicely finished, showing some attention to detail. It’s in excellent condition overall with no significant damage, and only a few chips to the varnish. More details


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


Violin by Amédée Dieudonné, Mirecourt 1948

£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

£3,750

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


Mirecourt Violin, Charles Brugère Workshop, 1907

£5,000

Charles Brugère Workshop violinAn excellent Mirecourt violin with a fine tone, rather better than your average Collin-Mézin! Lovely size and in near perfect condition. More details


An English Violin of the Withers School, circa 1900

£5,000

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

£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

£6,000

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

£6,000

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

£6,500

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

£7,000

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

£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


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


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


Mathias Heinicke, Wildstein bei Eger 1931

Recently sold

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

£12,000

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


Michael Dötsch Violin, Berlin 1928

£15,000

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


Alessandro Di Matteo Violin, Cremona 2009

£16,000

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


Thomas Hardie Violin, Edinburgh 1848

£16,500

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

£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


Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1875

£22,000

Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1875Paul Bailly is definitely the most interesting maker to have come out of the Vuillaume shop, and this is the first of 3 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! Very few makers worked to so many different models, and yet his style is always distinctive, with a softness around the edges quite uncharacteristic of French making in this period, More details


Georges Chanot (II) Violin, London 1861

On trial, £25,000

Georges Chanot ViolinIs this a French violin or an English violin? Hard to say! It was made in London, but Chanot himself was French, and had come to London ten years earlier to work alongside fellow Frenchman Charles Maucotel. There was a huge influx of French makers on the London scene at this time, and the Chanot family in particular became a vital part of English violin making. 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


Gabriel Lemböck Violin, Vienna 1862

£35,000

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


Charles Adolphe Maucotel Violin, Paris circa 1850

£40,000

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


Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre Violin, Paris 1892

£42,000

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


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


Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1862

Price on application

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


Joseph Calot Violin, Paris circa 1815

Recently sold

Joseph Calot ViolinA fine violin made by Joseph Calot in the workshop of Nicolas Lupot, in near perfect condition. More details


Constantino Celani Violin, Ascoli Piceno 1900

Price on application

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


Martin Fendt Violin, London circa 1840

Recently sold

Martin Fendt ViolinThis is a superb Strad copy by Martin Fendt, and one of the finest English violins I have seen. Tonally it’s also a complete knockout. It was the favourite instrument of Howard Davis, much loved British violinist and leader of the Alberni Quartet. The violin can be heard on many of Davis’ recordings. More details


Giuseppe Baldantoni Violin, Ancona circa 1840

Price on application

Giuseppe Baldantoni Violin, Ancona  circa 1840This is an outstanding example of Baldantoni’s work in near perfect condition. It also has a powerful and sophisticated sound suitable for a demanding soloist. A leading maker of the Central Italian school, Baldantoni followed a broadly Stradivari model with slightly flattened arches. His instruments tend to be very successful tonally with great projection. More details


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