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


MSV135 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2016

£2,700 (Artist Violin)

MSV135 Stradivarius Type Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2016This 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 broadly flamed maple and a rich gold/brown Italian balsamic varnish. The sound of this instrument is sweet and fruity, with lots of volume and great sustain. Very even in tone and with a quick easy response, it’s a delight to play. More details


MSV130 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2016

Recently sold

MSV130 Stradivarius Pattern 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 broadly flamed maple and a rich orange/gold Italian balsamic varnish. The sound of this instrument is big, quite dark, with lots of volume and great sustain. Very even in tone and with a quick easy response. 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


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

Recently sold

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


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


Alex Smillie Violin, Glasgow 1891

£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

£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


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


Gustav Methfessel Violin, Bern circa 1905

£10,000

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

£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

£11,000

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


Sebastian Dallinger Violin, Vienna 1802

£12,000

Sebastian Dallinger Violin, Vienna 1802This is a fine classical violin by Sebastian Dallinger, one of the leading Viennese makers of the late 18th/ early 19th century. Like most of the Viennese makers, Dallinger followed the Stainer model. This flaky dark red varnish is quite typical, but you also see a blackish varnish as with Thir and other Viennese makers. The condition is slightly tatty, hence the keen price More details


Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1885

Recently sold

Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin Violin, Paris 1885Collin-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


François Hippolyte Caussin, Neufchateau circa 1870

£16,500

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


John Furber Violin, London circa 1830

£16,000

John Furber Violin, London circa 1830John Furber is widely regarded as the best craftsman of the Furber family – he was largely responsible for the majority of instruments emanating from the Betts shop, and is particularly admired for his copies of the Betts Stradivari. This classically proportioned violin is also made to a Stradivari pattern, the wood used is first rate, and the condition is very tidy. 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


Paul Bailly Violin, Paris circa 1890

£20,000

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


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


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


Bisiach Workshop Violin, Milan circa 1930

Recently sold

Bisiach Workshop ViolinThis is a fine Italian violin from the Bisiach workshop. Although it comes with a certificate from Giacomo & Leandro Bisiach as a Giuseppe Ceruti and appears to bear an original Ceruti label, in fact it’s a typical example of the dodgier “back room “ activities of this workshop. We are gradually becoming aware of the extent to which the Bisiachs produced fake “antiques” for their gullible clientele, and it was very common for a new instrument to be made with parts of an earlier violin. 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


Bisiach Workshop Violin, Milan circa 1925

Recently sold

Made in the Bisiach violin workshopThis is an exceptional Italian violin from the early 20th century. The Bisiach shop was a gathering point for some great and talented makers – the Antoniazzi family, Gaetano Sgarobotto and many others. Along with the ‘new build’ instruments which received a Bisaich label (even if no Bisiach had a hand in the making), the shop produced fine antiqued instruments, many of which were sold or passed off as originals. This is a perfect example, broadly an attempt at a Guadagnini, and in some ways very credible. 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

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


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


Giuseppe Baldantoni Violin, Ancona circa 1840

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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Violins For Sale under £5,000

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Professional Antique Violins £5,000-£20,000

Contemporary and antique violins for advanced students and professionals

Fine Antique Violins over £20,000

Fine violins selected for tone, provenance and condition


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