Donated Violins

As a collector and hobbyist restorer of antique and vintage violins, I sometimes acquire modern student violins in need of restoration or repair. Unless they are rare, or otherwise unusual “freaks” of unexpected exceptional sound for a modern student violin, I give these violins away to less well off parents and to professional music teachers to do the same with them, as they see fit.

The violins sometimes required me to undertake a major repair. Otherwise they simply required a properly fitted bridge, sound post, tailpiece, strings etc. I set them all up to maximise their sound and playability as a student violin.

I insert an additional label of my own devising into each of these violins. With the year added to the label e.g 2021.

Blank Sartorial labels

This page of Super Student violins contains a record of all such donated violins.

The Sartorial Violin No 1.

This violin was donated (29 April 2021) to a Nottingham Music teacher, to give away, to a student as she sees fit.

The Sartorial violin. No 1

The above violin was given a major (had to be glued and cleated) repair to a crack on the table – close to the bass bar. New sound post, vintage bridge fitted, vintage tailpiece and fine tuners and vintage chinrest. This is now a fully repaired and restored, upscaled with vintage parts, Gear 4 Music 3/4 size violin all ready to be loved and played by a novice student.

Music Teacher Ursula Donnelly kindly offers these donated violins to potential students – for free!

The Sartorial Violin No. 2.

Donated (29 April 2021) to a professional music teacher to give to a student

The Sartorial No. 2

The above violin sounds nice for a budget violin. It has rather high arching under the bridge. Fitted out with antique tailpiece and vintage fine tuners. New sound post and original bridge adjusted and tuned to the violin. All ready for a new owner to appreciate it as their first violin.

The Sartorial Violin No. 3

This violin was donated to the parents of a six year old on 28 April 2021.

The Sartorial Violin No 3

The above violin was given away on 28th April 2021 to a Hungarian family I know who have made Nottingham in the UK their home. Their son is continually expressing a keen interest in becoming a violinist – he is currently at the age of 6.

I gave them this 1/2 size Romanian violin today, after I fitted it with a recycled tailpiece with re-cycled fine tuners, a new sound post, new A-string fitted and a recycled chinrest.

The violin was made in Romania in Reghin (Viora). It is a 1/2 size. Stamped on the inside label 1993. Serial no: C.1. 741 6. with the description “STANDARD 1/2”. The violin has a medium grain spruce top with maple back and maple ribs. The purfling is either printed on or is a transfer under the sprayed on varnish. The varnish is very tough. No matter what I tried with the bridge tuning to make the violin more mellow, and sound post positioning, and swapping in and out changes in sound post thickness, little did all that do to significantly tone down the harshness of the A-Sting, when played as an open string. The open A-string being incredibly loud under the player’s ear and harsh/shrill. The best result was obtained by way of compromise that required inserting a narrower sound post and moving the bridge forward from the classical position some 2.5 to 3mm.

I marked on the table of the violin, indicators for where the usual position should be, in case someone in the future might want to set it up with good quality synthetic core strings that will most likely solve the open A-string issue. However, were they to do so, the cost of a buying a set of student synthetic core strings (some £23-£35) would be equal or even more than the current re-sale value of this budget violin. Crazy, isn’t it!



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