Here is a second del Gesu copy by Thomas Earle Hesketh – also in immaculate condition, also an excellent player’s instrument.

It’s a real treat to have two of these instruments in the shop at the same time, and to be able to study them side by side. They are so similar that we might as well repeat the same description…!

Manchester isn’t renowned as a centre of violin-making, but it’s had a major symphony orchestra since 1858, and GA Chanot moved there at the end of the 1870s. Thomas Earle Hesketh was apprentice to Chanot, and went on to make a lot of instrument for members of the Hallé orchestra in Manchester.

This violin is a very fine example of his work, elegantly made and unusually well preserved. The model is del Gesu, with long gracefully swept f-holes, long c-bouts and very flat arching. The materials are first class – the table is of very even medium grain across its width and the one-piece back has a wild and broad flame.

The varnish is particularly good, and Hesketh draws attention to this in his original sales receipt.

The condition is near mint with no cracks or repairs and very little wear – the only defect of note is a very small loss to the lower treble edge of the table.

This is another great sounding violin with a brilliant, woody and slightly wild sound. It’s very responsive, full of personality, and a lot of fun to play – slightly lighter in build than our 1931 example, and noticeably less stiff.

This is an ideal instrument for any kind of violin repertoire that requires extremes of expression. It has a strong character even in whispered dynamics and a lovely growl when pushed.

I can imagine Roby Lakotos going to town on this violin, but it also has the sort of hair trigger that you need for Mozart, Corelli and the early composers…

An exciting fiddle for an exciting player.

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