William Robinson was a very prolific maker, and while some of the work is hurried, his style is very distinctive and he generally achieved an excellent tone. This is a nice example, with a lovely deep voice and a great response.
This is a very typical later violin by William Robinson, built loosely on a Guarneri model. Robinson was an auto-didact maker, originally trained as a sadler, who achieved some significant success in his own lifetime. His violins are quite varied, but his later work is very lightly built, with a light varnish to optimise sound.
This instrument has a rather broad-grained table and a dramatic one-piece back. The condition is fair – there are no issues in the back, ribs and scroll, but the table has two or three well restored cracks.
We originally sold this violin around 5 years ago – the owner got huge pleasure from it, rediscovering her playing skills until she was ready for an upgrade. It was the ideal violin for the job, friendly and forgiving, always musical. It has a very distinctive sound – dark and warm with an easy response, very full in the lower register, zingy and projecting in the upper register, and with a great pop to the start of the note. The speed of response and the rather unctuous character make it ideal for Irish music, but it’s also a fine violin for big romantic repertoire or jazz. If you’re looking for a precise and skeletal sound for baroque music, I would move on … but if you’re looking to be inspired and enveloped by the sound, or to build your confidence as a player, this could be the one.
Dimensions: length of back 35.8cm, stop 130/196mm
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