A very good full size 19th century (1899) copy of a Stainer model violin.

Video 1

This violin is a real screamer in the best possible sense! If you want to play dramatic romantic music, this is your instrument! It will cut through above other instruments simply because of its volume. If you want to play showy Gypsy pieces, it certainly can do the job as well.


The pieces I played were Brahms Scherzo in C Minor, Thais Meditation and a Polish Gypsy folk song. All of these pieces require an instrument that can pack a punch in the low end yet retain both this volume with added sweetness on the top end. 


The only possible drawback is that it is highly resonant meaning it is extra sensitive so you get all these lovely sympathetic additional notes in the very high frequency range. Violin is by nature a resonant instrument so this is not a bad thing, but it just means that it’s on the brighter end of the tone range. If you are looking for a very bright sound, this is a good thing. I personally don’t mind this as I like to be heard as I perform as a soloist and often play very showy pieces.

It would be suited as a high quality student violin, meaning it would take the student up to the advanced grades. This is not an instrument for a wallflower but ideal for a student who is confident – perhaps leading their section in the orchestra or performing as a soloist.


It could also do really well as a folk instrument as it has a VOICE that cuts above the rest and wouldn’t need amplification to be heard over the other folk instruments in a noisy environment.


If you want an instrument that’s beautiful, bright, loud and can pack a punch, this is yours!

Ursula Donnelley (Violin teacher and professional violinist)

AVAILABLE TO BUY

If you wish to own this violin please visit Disology.com Here, where you can see further details about this and other violins

History, repair and refurbishment notes

When this antique German copy of a Stainer model violin came into my little workshop, there was a crack under the tailpiece and it was covered in so much dust and old grime that I expect it had not been played for several decades, probably due to the crack. I expect it had been stored in an attic for some time.

What interested me was that the varnish on the face of the violin had been worn down to the wood on its shoulder, where its previous owner had held it in their left hand in the manner of a concert player waiting to play. Clearly the violin had been played a lot at performance level before incurring the crack.

I carefully removed the top (face, table) of the instrument, revealing it was as well made on the inside as it is on the outside. The date 1899 is written inside in pencil. This corresponds with my research on these German Stainer model replicas. I traditionally hide glued the crack and then reinforced the repair, very conservatively, in the traditional manner, with hide glued fine spruce cleats (studs, sutures).

Once the face of the violin was hide glued back in place a new sound-post was then made and carefully fitted. The violin was very carefully cleaned before one very light coat of German spirit varnish was applied to the bare wood area to seal it. The varnish was then very gently burnished with my own mixture of Luthier Tripoli powder and fine almond oil in order to enhance and blend-in the finish.

The violin comes in the vintage Beare case it arrived in and originally had a very expensive and prestigious J and A Beare bridge fitted. When fitted with Piastro Tonica strings I was not entirely happy with the way the violin played. It played well, but I felt it could be made to play better. I made a new bridge from a good quality German Teller blank and tuned it to the violin. The result is much better, in my opinion. The original Beare bridge remains safely in the case.

This instrument is refurbished with a Wittner composite tailpiece with integrated fine tuners. The pegs and chinrest are made of rosewood.

As the videos and review, by professional violinist Ursula Donnelly, demonstrate this is a very attractive violin with a good voice. Its previous owner once thought a great deal of this violin, judging by the wear to the varnish they played it a great deal and spent money on it at one of the world’s most prestigious violin dealers. This antique instrument is now ready to play right out of the case and is just waiting for a new owner.

Advertisement

%d bloggers like this: