Violins For Sale

This is a list of all the violins currently for sale on the website, including our new handmade instruments, contemporary/ 20th century and antique violins.

MSV 70 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2012

£1000 (Student Model)

Martin Swan Violins MSV 70 Violin, Stradivarius Pattern 2012 This is a Stradivarius pattern violin with a vivid orange/yellow oil varnish, made entirely with hand tools by one of our Hungarian makers in Reghin and varnished at our workshop in Budapest. The sound is bright and sugary with bags of sustain – it’s a responsive and expressive violin, great for an advancing student with a bit of technique. More details


7/8 JTL, Mirecourt Violin circa 1930

Recently Sold

7/8 JTL, Mirecourt circa 1930 This is a very fine-sounding 7/8 violin, ideal for a player with a smaller build. It’s a JTL Stradivarius pattern instrument, slightly short in body length but with standard 4/4 width and rib height. It’s a lovely looking violin with a super-fine spruce table and a beautifully flamed one-piece back. The condition is generally excellent apart from a small repaired crack at the bottom of the table. The sound is exceptional for a smaller bodied violin, smooth, rich and very expressive throughout the range. A stand-out violin!  More details


JTL Violin, Buthod, Mirecourt circa 1900

SOLD

JTL ”Buthod”, Mirecourt circa 1900 JTL made various Buthod labeled violins – this particular example is “Buthod, élève de Vuillaume”, and can be found here in the 1901 catalogue, item 476. It’s very nicely made with a stunning one-piece back, and is in excellent condition apart from a bit of wear to the table edges. The tone is dark and fruity with great response and sustain, ideal for Irish music or for romantic classical repertoire. More details


Stanislaw Kurkowski Violin, Krakow 1979

£1,400

Stanislaw Kurkowski Violin, Krakow 1979This is a nice early violin by Stanislaw Kurkowski, a Polish violin maker who is still working in Krakow. It’s a well made instrument with exact details and excellent timber – the f-holes are nicely fluted and the scroll and edges are particularly well executed. This is a very friendly violin to play – smooth, rich in overtones, even in response, generally clear and bright in character. It would be a very good choice for an advancing classical student at least up to grade 8. More details


An Early 19th Century German Violin

Recently Sold

An Early 19th Century German Violin This is a perhaps my favourite type of violin, old and knackered but with a gorgeous sound. It has next to no investment value, unless what you’re intending to invest in is MUSIC! Most likely made in Wölfelsdorf around 1840, it has clearly had heavy playing ever since. There are numerous repaired cracks to the table, a button repair, and a couple of minor cracks to the ribs. The pegbox is grafted, and the peg-holes have just been re-bushed. More details


A Mittenwald Violin circa 1820

£1500

A Mittenwald Violin circa 1820This is a lovely Mittenwald violin from the early 1800s. Extensively restored, it has a replacement lower rib, there’s a fillet under the fingerboard and a repaired crack to the right of the fingerboard, as well as other minor issues and rather heavy over-polishing! However, it plays beautifully with great volume and a reedy, luminous and highly responsive tone. The former owner’s other violin was the Vuillaume “Alard”! More details


MSV 78, Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2013

£1,700 Recently Sold

Martin Swan Violins MSV 78, Stradivarius Pattern 2013 This is a good Stradivarius pattern violin made entirely with hand tools by one of our Hungarian makers in Reghin, and varnished in our shop in Budapest. This violin is the first we’ve produced with an antique varnish. The sound is muscular, mature and slightly dark, with excellent balance throughout the range. More details


MSV 77 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2012

£1,700

Martin Swan Violins MSV 77This is a fine-sounding Stradivarius pattern violin made entirely with hand tools by one of our Hungarian violin makers in Reghin, and varnished in our shop in Budapest. It has a one piece back of broad diagonal curled maple and a rich orange/amber Italian oil varnish. The sound of this instrument is sweet, creamy, articulate and dynamic. More details


MSV 73 Stradivarius Molitor Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2012

£1,700

Martin Swan Violins MSV 73This is a copy of one of Stradivari’s more idiosyncratic designs, the Molitor of 1697. It’s a small and narrow instrument of beautiful proportions – this example has superbly figured maple and a rich amber-brown varnish . It’s a very loud violin, bright, zingy and expressive with outstanding projection. More details


MSV 81 Modified Stradivarius Ornati Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins

Recently Sold

Martin Swan Violins MSV 81, Modified Stradivarius Pattern This is a good Stradivarius Ornati pattern violin. It has a two-piece back of lightly flamed maple and a rich orange/amber Italian oil varnish.
More details


Ludovicus Meurot Violin, Cousenon Workshop 1931

£1,850

Ludovicus Meurot Violin, Cousenon Workshop 1931 A fine Mirecourt violin produced by Cousenon-Bernardel – see page 11 of the Cousenon catalogue. This is model no. 73, with a shaded yellow-brown oil varnish, and retaining its original gold-decorated pegs. There’s a repaired crack in the table running up 9cm from below the chinrest. No other cracks or damages, and the original varnish generally well preserved – minimal wear to the edges and corners. More details


Czech violin by AJ Kreutzer, Brno 1927

£1,900

Violin by AJ Kreutzer, Brno 1927 This is a nice early 20th century Czech violin by and labeled AJ Kreutzer Brnensis. It’s built on a Stradivarius pattern, stylistically very close to good Markneukirchen work, very nicely finished and varnished. The condition is generally excellent – there’s some light marking to the varnish in parts of the table, but very little wear overall. It’s a splendid sounding instrument, big, muscular and zingy – there’s a strong core to the sound, and it responds well to an assertive technique. More details


H Blaise Violin, Cousenon Workshops, Mirecourt c1930

Recently Sold

 “H.Blaise” Violin, Cousenon Workshops, Mirecourt A very good Mirecourt violin produced by Cousenon-Bernardel around 1920-1930 – see page 11 of the Cousenon catalogue. Typical of the better French trade violins, the wood is excellent, particularly the fine spruce top, the lateral arching rather pronounced, and all edges and corners worked with great precision. The sound is refined and focused with very nice high harmonic content and plenty of breadth in the lower register. More details


A Hungarian Violin circa 1875

£2,000

A Hungarian Violin circa 1875 This is an excellent sounding Bohemian late 19th century violin with a Prague 1875 label, but more likely made in Budapest. It’s a well-made instrument with good arching, well cut f-holes and considerable attention to detail. The condition is very good, with no cracks or repairs – the varnish has been heavily retouched, but the end result is very successful. This violin has a big warm sound with great response and colour throughout the register. More details


Gustave Villaume Violin, Nancy 1934

£2,000

Gustave Villaume Violin, Nancy 1934This is a very nice Gustave Villaume, dated 1934 and numbered 322. Villaume was a great maker in his own right, but like so many French maker/dealers, he wasn’t averse to buying instruments in the white from Mirecourt, thicknessing them, varnishing them, and putting his own label in them. It’s very hard to know the truth of it – all one can say for certain is that this is a lovely French violin, compatible with the best Mirecourt trade instruments. The wood is great – the back in particular – and the work is crisp and clean. More details


A Schönbach Violin circa 1870

Recently Sold

A Schönbach Violin circa 1870 This is a beautiful sounding late 19th century violin labeled Georg Adam Gütter but most likely a later Schönbach violin. It was used professionally by Hungarian gypsy violinist Sandor Burai (2 CDs of his included with the violin), and it’s obvious to me why he liked it. It has no great antique value but the tone is outstanding, very responsive, loud, sweet and melancholic, ideal for virtuoso pyrotechnics or massively depressing minor key melodies. More details


An English Violin circa 1900

£2,500

201309english-front_sm This is a very attractive unlabelled English violin from around the turn of the century. It’s in excellent condition with no cracks or repairs – there are a few dings and scratches but all the wood’s there and the original varnish is generally well preserved. Typically with this type of English violin the varnish is quite soft, and you can see the tell-tale wear to the top right of the body of an orchestral player sitting through a lot of “tacit” passages! More details


Laberte Workshops Jacobus Stainer Violin, Mirecourt c1930

£2,500

Laberte Workshops “Jacobus Stainer” Mirecourt c1930 This is a very nice Laberte Jacobus Stainer copy from around 1930 – typical of Laberte’s “a l’ancienne” series, this is a relatively faithful copy of an original Stainer owned by Marc Laberte. The condition is remarkable, with only some minor wear to the varnish. The sound is excellent, pure, focused and woody with great response. More details


MSV 101 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2014

£2,700 (Artist Violin)

Stradivarius pattern violin with Italian oil varnish Of the last 5 violins we made, 4 have made the grade as Artist violins, and after a hundred instruments I feel we’re beginning to benefit from all the development work we’ve done in the past few years. This 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 beautiful one-piece back of narrowly flamed maple and a red/brown Italian oil varnish with some subtle antiqueing. More details


MSV 100 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2014

£2,700 (Artist Violin) On Trial

MSV 100 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2014 This is our hundredth instrument, and I’m pleased to say it’s one of our best. It’s 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 one-piece back of widely flamed maple and a rich orange/brown Italian oil varnish. The sound of this instrument is big and rich, very easy on the ear but with excellent carrying power. Highly recommended! More details


MSV 99 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2014

£2,700 (Artist Violin)

MSV 99 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Martin Swan Violins 2014 This is a very good 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 one-piece back of dramatic irregularly flamed maple and a rich orange/red Italian oil varnish. The sound of this instrument is very powerful throughout the range, broad and full, bright and clear without sacrificing warmth. More details


MSV 98 Stradivarius Pattern Violin with antique finish, Martin Swan Violins 2014

(Artist Violin) Recently Sold

MSV 98 Stradivarius Pattern Violin with antique finish, Martin Swan Violins 2014 A Stradivarius pattern violin made entirely with hand tools by one of our Hungarian makers in Reghin. The varnish is an antique finish we’re developed recently in collaboration with a specialist in Budapest, and we’re delighted with the results. More details


Laberte Fournier Violin, Mirecourt 1900

£3,000

Laberte Fournier Violin, Mirecourt 1900 This is a very early Laberte violin, labeled modèle d’après Fournier no.3, 1900. This violin appears in the Laberte 1912 catalogue, page 19, at a price of Ff125. While most Laberte instruments are typically crisp and modern-looking, this violin harks back to an earlier French tradition (most notably Lupot) with its rounded edges, dark antiqued varnish and subtle flat arching. It has a very attractive slab-cut one-piece back, the f-holes are delicately fluted, and the scroll is in a different league from most Mirecourt trade efforts. More details


Laberte Montagnana, Mirecourt Violin circa 1930 (undersized)

£3,000

Laberte “Montagnana”, Mirecourt circa 1930 The Laberte Workshops made a huge range of instruments – this “Montagnana” model was the most expensive of their “A la Ville de Cremone” series, costing a whopping 680 Francs in 1931 – look here at page 9, no.678. This instrument is in near perfect condition – thick orange oil varnish and stunning wood throughout. The sound is sweet, bright and smooth with a very easy response. Please note this is what used to be described as a ladies violin, slightly under standard 4/4 measurements. More details


François Barzoni Violin, Chateau Thierry 1884

£3,200

French François Barzoni Violin for Beare & Son “François Barzoni” is a trade name invented by Beare & Son (nothing to do with J&A Beare), and used on French violins made for them from the early 1880s till around 1910. These violins are without exception very nicely made, though the earlier ones are in a different class from examples made post-1900.

This particular instrument is one of the nicest I’ve seen, with great materials, delicately fluted f-holes and a very precise scroll. More details


Willibald Raab Violin, Mittenwald 1950

SOLD

Willibald Raab Violin, Mittenwald 1950Willibald Raab trained in Schönbach, but spent most of his working life in Mittenwald – this violin shows elements of both traditions, but fundamentally it’s just a great modern German violin. The work is very clean with soft rounded edges, the profile is broad and the arching quite flat. The wood is exceptional, in particular the rather smoky one-piece back. More details


William Robinson Violin, London 1941

Recently Sold

William Robinson, London 1941 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 typical example, with a rather broad-grained table worked thin and a light varnish. The condition is fair, with two professionally repaired cracks on the top but no other damages. The sound is very good, dark and warm but with great response, easy to get into action, well balanced throughout the register and with a nice” pop” at the start of the note. Ideal for Irish music! More details


A Fine German Violin by Xaver Heini, Kemptem 1826

Recently Sold

A Fine German Violin by Xaver Heini, Kemptem 1826 A rare and very well preserved example of this South German maker’s work – something of a collector’s piece but also a wonderful sounding fiddle. This is a prettily made instrument and a very responsive player, with a big sugary sweet tone and a gutsy lower register. This violin would give many fine Italians a run for their money … top recommendation! More details


An Italian Violin circa 1930

£3,500

An Italian Violin circa 1930 This is a Italian violin of the Marco Tassini type – these instruments were distributed in the UK by Jim Tait, a dealer based in the Scottish Borders (initially Jedburgh then Melrose). Tait was sole agent for Dante Guastalla, and also sold Sartory and Nurnberger bows as well as Italian and Slovakian tonewood. Andreas Renisto, Luigi Salsedo and Marco Tassini were without doubt trade names invented by Tait, – he bought these violins in the white from Italy and then varnished and labeled them. More details


Paolo Fiorini, Markneukirchen Violin 1928

£4,250

Paolo Fiorini, Markneukirchen 1928 In the 1920s and 1930s, Beare and Son bought in violins from Mirecourt and Markneukirchen – these violins carried their own trade labels, and were made to a very high standard. The Mirecourt violins were labeled Francois Barzoni (a made-up name indicating Beare & Son), and the Markneukirchen instruments were labeled Paolo Fiorini, with small letters B&S/L (Beare & Son London). More details


Caroline Campbell Violin, Springfield 2012

£4,500

Caroline Campbell Violin, Springfield 2012 Caroline Campbell is a contemporary Scottish violin maker based in the Kingdom of Fife. Over the last year I’ve happened across several of her violins, and have been struck by their beauty of tone and their unpretentious good looks. This violin, completed in December 2012, shows a marked development in quality of work, and the sound is outstanding. It’s a broadly Stradivari model instrument copied from a Nicolas Lupot 1808 – all details are very neatly executed while retaining the strong personality of the maker. More details


Willy Klein Violin, Rostock 1973

Recently Sold

Willy Klein Violin, Rostock 1973 This is an outstanding violin by little-known contemporary German violin maker Willy Klein. The tone is world-class, and although the work is unassuming it’s also faultless. This is a very faithful Guadagnini copy, built for sound with fantastic spruce, with particular attention paid to the arching. The construction method is also faithful to its Cremonese roots, with linings mitred into the blocks and very neat pins in the back partly concealed under the purfling. I think this violin would fare very well against a Guadagnini in a blind testing More details


Andreas Renisto Violin, Fecit Italia 1929

£4,500

Luigi Salsedo, Naples 1939This is super violin of the Luigi Salsedo type, labeled Andreas Renisto. There’s some debate about the origins of these violins but the informed consensus is that they are Italian trade instruments. The condition is excellent, though the typical soft Salsedo varnish has a good deal of wear on the back. Very fine craftsmanship and some really exceptional spruce. More details


A Fine French Violin, circa 1800

Recently Sold

A Fine French Violin, circa 1800 This is a fine violin with an exceptional sound, but it’s had a lot of restoration. In a past life it was a very fine violin, and it’s a testament to its sound that so much care has been lavished on it over the centuries. Dendrochronological analysis reveals wood from the mid-18th century, typical only to French violins of the period. More details


Paul J-B Chipot Violin, Vendôme 1929

£5,500

Paul J-B Chipot Violin, Vendôme 1929 This is a super French violin by Paul J-B Chipot, one of a number of fine makers who escaped the Mirecourt workshops and set up on their own. Chipot was well regarded in his own day, and his instruments have stood the test of time. The work on this violin is superb, un-naturally crisp and flawless, with great wood and a rich orange-red oil varnish. The condition is excellent, with no cracks or damages and very little wear to the varnish. The violin has never been opened, and the gold-capped pegs are original. More details


Johann Schult Violin, Lübeck 1939

£5,500

http://martinswanviolins.com/sales/?p=7704 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


Alois Bittner Violin, Prague 1930

£5,500

Violin by Alois Bittner, 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


Eugène Langonet Violin, Nantes 1930

£5,750 Recently Sold

Eugène Langonet Violin, Nantes 1930 This is a very classy French violin made with superb wood, particularly the dramatically flamed back. The f-holes, edgework and scroll carving are very precise – the varnish an intensely reflective orange over yellow ground. Very light in the hand and stunning in appearance, this is one of the nicest Langonets I’ve seen. The Langonet family are perhaps best known for their collaboration with WE Hill & Son (they made many of the violins carrying the Hill label), and Eugène worked in the Hill shop for a number of years. More details


A Fine German Violin, Saxony circa 1800

Recently Sold

A Fine German Violin, Saxony circa 1800 This is a very good German violin most likely from Klingenthal, with an apocryphal Amati label. Dendrochronological analysis of the table reveals a latest date of 1771, with good correlations to other Saxon (and some Mittenwald) violins. The wood used for this instrument is particularly good, close and straight-grained spruce with fine fleck, and a very clean quarter-sawn back with a subtle upwards flame. The scroll is unusually good, but perhaps not original. More details


A Fine Mittenwald Violin circa 1810

£6,000

A Fine Mittenwald Violin circa 1810 This is a particularly nice-looking Mittenwald violin from the early 19th century. The scroll is lovely, the f-holes are nicely fluted, and the wood is outstanding. I bought this violin for its sound – it has a smooth creamy tone, very even, quite bright, with a decent amount of wood. It seems to work with any kind of repertoire, but it’s particularly good for gypsy jazz. There’s a nice edge to the tone, and it’s open and dynamic. Overall the condition is excellent. More details


A Composite Violin, Late 18th Century

£6,500

A Composite Violin, Late 18th Century This violin is something of an enigma. The back looks to be “vieux Paris”, but dendro analysis reveals a late 18th century front which is definitely not French, in fact the strongest correlations are with late Cremonese instruments. All elements of the violin are in themselves beautifully made, but what goes with what …? The front is made of exceptional spruce, jointed in the centre but not bookmatched. The inner work is very fine, with willow blocks and linings, showing the use of an inside mould. More details


James Meek Violin, Carlisle circa 1910

£6,500

5010meek-violin-back-sm This is a very interesting “Arts & Crafts” English violin by James Meek, a professional maker and restorer listed in “British Violin Makers” by W. Meredith Morris. Meek often worked with beautiful and unusually figured sycamore, and his varnish is unique. The wood chosen for this violin is exceptional, and shown off to great effect by the very refractive varnish. The work is superb and distinctive, with nicely fluted f-holes, a personal but beautifully proportioned scroll, and bold arching to the wonderfully figured back. More details


Pierre Lepileur Violin 1756

Recently Sold

Pierre Lepileur 1756 An exceptional sounding violin by the 18th century French maker Pierre Lepileur. It has inserts to the top edges front and back and a finely executed soundpost patch in the table. One of the best sounding violins I’ve played, big, bright and brash with an immense range of harmonics and phenomenal volume. A soloist’s instrument! More details


Slavko Domitrović Violin, Zagreb, 2013

£7,000

Violin by Slavko Domitrović, Zagreb, 2013Martin Swan Violins is the sole agent for the instruments of contemporary Zagreb violin maker, Slavko Domitrović. Slavko’s violins are very responsive, full of life, powerful yet delicate, very easy to inflect, with a strong and individual core sound. They also look beautiful, always made with excellent spruce, and with a unique varnish of Slavko’s own creation.

Guarnerius Pattern, Oil Varnish, More details


Slavko Domitrović Violin, Zagreb, 2012

£7,000

A Violin by Slavko Domitrović, Zagreb, 2012Martin Swan Violins is the sole agent for the instruments of contemporary violin maker, Slavko Domitrović. Slavko’s violins are very responsive, full of life, powerful yet delicate, very easy to inflect, with a strong and individual core sound. They also look beautiful, always made with excellent spruce, and with a unique varnish of Slavko’s own creation.

Guarnerius Pattern, Propolis Varnish, More details


Circle of Matthew Hardie Violin, Edinburgh circa 1830

£7,250

Circle of Matthew Hardie, Edinburgh circa 1830 This is a very nice Scottish violin showing many characteristics of Matthew Hardie, possibly the work of David Stirrat. It’s unlabelled – it’s dated 1830 in ink, and while such markings should always be taken with a pinch of salt, this date is consistent with the instrument. It also carries a J&A Beare stock number, has a typical Beare’s graft, and has clearly been set up in the Beare shop. More details


A Czech violin by František Kříž, Prague 1932

£7,500

Violin by Frantisek Kriz, Prague 1932 František Karel Kříž was a maverick Czech violin maker obsessed with the pursuit of excellent sound. This violin exemplifies his best work – it uses rather plain wood with great tonal properties, the model is idiosyncratic (long f-holes and flat arching), and the varnish is very lightly applied. It’s a loose copy of a Luigi Fabris – the f-holes in particular seem to reference this maker. More details


An Anglo-French Violin, Probably Langonet for WE Hill & Son c1890

£10,000

An Anglo-French Violin, Probably Langonet for WE Hill & Son circ This is an exceptional violin – the construction and the detail are overwhelmingly French, but the outline and the varnish point more to the Hill Workshops. The outline is a Bergonzi model, broadened and with the arching flattened out – the resulting sound is honey-smooth, very articulate, strong and projecting.

The condition is perfect, and the rich oil varnish has only minor wear (a couple of bruises on the front and a shallow scratch on the back).

This violin would give most Vuillaumes a run for their money – it’s a concert instrument, capable of a wide range of expression, smooth and encouraging, with great high frequency content throughout the register. Above all it has presence and an unusual breadth to the sound – it may have a breaking point but I haven’t been able to find it! More details


Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin (père) Violin, Paris 1898

£10,000

Charles J.B. Collin-Mézin (père) Violin, Paris 1898 An unusually good Collin-Mézin from 1898, this violin belonged to Jim Devlin, a well-loved player on the Scottish/Irish scene until his death in 1989. It’s been sitting in its case in a cupboard for the last 25 years – in spite of this, it sounded wonderful straight away, even with a tired old set of Dominants. So much for instruments needing to be “played in”… Violins by Collin-Mézin Senior are very sought after, partly because they represent the best in Mirecourt workmanship, partly because they can be very successful tonally. More details


A Good English Violin by Joseph Hill, circa 1770

£12,500

201319hill-artshot_sm
This is a very nice Joseph Hill violin from around 1770 – Hill was the first member of the great Hill dynasty which dominated the English violin trade until very recently. It’s a typical example of delicate proportions, made with fine woods and considerable skill – the scroll is particularly attractive.

Joseph Hill instruments enjoy a very good reputation for tone amongst professional players. This one has great clarity without sacrificing musicality – it’s bright and warm, at once responsive and precise, with a lovely legato voice and plenty of oomph when you dig in.

There are a number of old restorations to the table and the ribs, but the original varnish is well preserved, and the overall effect is very pleasing.
More details


An English Violin, Betts School circa 1830

£12,000

A Fine English Violin, Furber family circa 1830


This violin is one of a kind, tonally in the top league, and unusually attractive and comfortable to play. The work owes a great deal to John Betts and his Stradivari copies, but it’s actually rather better than a Betts – the scroll in particular is outstanding, and would stand comparison with Richard Tobin. A dendrochronological analysis of the table reveals a date of 1821 and strong correlations to other English violins of the period.

The sound is exceptional, very loud but always sweet, completely realised in all parts of the register, woody and bright at the same time, deeply expressive, quick and articulate. It’s a very light instrument, as characterful in tone as in looks.

The condition is excellent, and the rich yellow oil varnish is beautifully preserved.
More details


Bartholomäus Karner Violin, Mittenwald circa 1790

Recently Sold

Bartholomäus Karner Violin This is a very fine violin by one of the rarer makers of the Klotz school. It’s a beautifully made instrument with a rich and finely preserved nut-brown varnish. Set-up by Markus Scherschel of Berlin.

The sound is at once warm and silvery – it’s an easy instrument to play, with great response and a smooth even character. Without question a professional level instrument, a lot of sound in a small package, ideal for a player of smaller build.

The condition is generally excellent – there’s some minor restoration to the bottom rib and the button, and there are two small patched holes in the C bouts.
More details


A Good English Violin by Joseph Hill, circa 1780

£14,500

A Good English Joseph Hill violin, circa 1780 This is another great Joseph Hill from the 2nd half of the 18th century – Hill was the first member of the great Hill dynasty which dominated the English violin trade until very recently. This violin looks to be quite a late example, and could be the work of Joseph Hill II. It’s a classic Stainer model with fine wood throughout, one-piece front and back. Joseph Hill instruments enjoy a very good reputation for tone amongst professional players. This one has a very refined sound, clear but rich – everything’s where it should be, great dynamic range, all with an over-riding elegance of tone. More details


Auguste Delivet Violin, Paris 1904

£15,000

Auguste Delivet, Paris 1904

From 1887 to 1892 Delivet worked for H.C. Silvestre, and his violins have a similar opulence of tone to those of his teacher. This is a lovely example (no. 79 from 1904) with a deep orange varnish and some outstanding wood.

Sound-wise this is an outrageously good violin, muscular and full but still sweet and essentially interesting – in my opinion rather better than a lot of Vuillaumes!

The condition is excellent, all corners and edges well preserved, and just a few blemishes in the varnish.
More details


A Violin by Augustin Chappuy for JB Salomon, Paris circa 1765

£22,500

A Violin by Augustin Chappuy for JB Salomon, Paris circa 1765 This violin bears the authentic label and brand of JB Deshayes Salomon (1713-1767) but is in fact the work of Augustin Chappuy. Chappuy produced some of his best work for Salomon’s widow after her husband’s death, which was then sold under the Salomon brand as his own work.

This is a very fine example of the “vieux Paris” school with beautiful proportions and elegant arching. It’s very lightly built but with a typically bold head. The condition is unusually good for a French instrument of the period – there’s one repaired crack to the outer edge of the table and some minor rib cracks. No other cracks or damages, and the original varnish is in excellent condition.

Again and again, 18th century French violins leave you thinking “what the hell is so special about those Italians …?” Apart from being beautifully made, this instrument has a tone which combines clarity and warmth, power and delicacy – the E string is astounding. A violin for a demanding professional which responds best to an assertive touch. More details


A Neapolitan Violin, Ventapane School circa 1850

£25,000

Ventapane school violin This is a lovely mid-19th century Neapolitan violin of the Ventapane school, very characterful in design. Flat arching to front and back, typically short back length, lustrous oil varnish – overall this violin makes a very pleasing impression. The condition is pretty good – there’s a neatly repaired crack to the table (lower right edge), the left upper corner has been replaced, and there’s a minor flame crack in the upper right rib.

This is a very lively instrument with great response and a sugary sweet tone. It’s unusually willing, and responds well to a light touch – very easy to manipulate in higher positions, ideal for a showy player!

Documentation: certificate by Dmitry Gindin, London 2014
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Charles Boullangier Violin, London 1887

£30,000

Charles Boullangier, London 1887



This is a rare late period Boullangier with some quite staggering birds-eye maple to the back and ribs. The condition is excellent, with only minimal wear to the edges and corners. Was Boullangier a French maker or an English maker? Although he spent most of his working life in London, to my eyes this is a quintessentially French violin, referring primarily to Boullangier’s training with Vuillaume and Gand & Bernardel.

This violin has a beautiful and very sweet sound which persists in all parts of the register – it’s warm, super-smooth, lively but slightly dark overall. A very satisfying and musical instrument suitable for a professional chamber musician.
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Giulio Degani Violin, Venice 1896

£45,000

A Violin by Giulio Degani, Venice 1896
This violin has belonged to the same owner since 1970, a prominent orchestral player who has now retired. It’s a fine-sounding instrument, big and dark with excellent projection.

Documentation: original receipt and letter of provenance from J&A Beare, London 1970

Condition: in an excellent state of preservation, repaired wing cracks to both f-holes, otherwise no repairs or damages. More details


Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1844

£50,000

Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre Violin, Lyon 1844 The 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.

I’m a big fan of the Lyon school, and the Silvestres can do no wrong in my book! This particular instrument is of soloist quality – it has a big muscular sound, very focused but also very versatile. In the words of an old Yugoslavian folk song Srce Je Moja Violina “my heart is a violin … don’t touch it if you don’t know how to play it”.

Documentation: certificate by Peter Biddulph, London 2014
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Cornelis Kleynman Violin, Amsterdam circa 1660

POA

Cornelis Kleynman Violin The makers of the early Dutch school produced some phenomenal violins whose sound quality has stood the test of time better than many of the Amati instruments they were copying. This particular violin is without doubt one of the best sounding instruments I’ve ever played, and I was very excited to discover that, as early Dutch violins go, it’s early!

The condition is generally very good for a 350-year old much loved violin – there’s a small patch on the upper right edge of the table, a button graft & patch in the upper back, there are a couple of almost invisible crack repairs to the table (with an internal patch), and there are 3 small cracks in the lower back caused by an overtight chinrest.

It’s not often a violin stops you in your tracks, but this instrument has it all. If it was a Strad, no further proof would be needed of the superiority of the Cremonese masters. It has power, subtlety, an immense tonal palette, but above all it has a refined and beautiful tone which gives added meaning to any piece of music you might choose to play on it. It’s also impossibly rare and completely gorgeous.

Documentation: certificate by Jan Strick, Brussels 2014

Dendro: latest year ring 1657 (Peter Ratcliff)
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