Mystery Modern Antiqued Violin (full size)

Professional violinist and music teacher Ursula Donnelley plays and reviews an unlabeled full size modern violin that was originally created with an antique finish.

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Full size antiqued modern (1980s) probably Chinese violin

This violin has a pleasant, sweet, clear but muted tone. It appears to be an antique instrument but is actually made c 1989s/90s, and although it’s maker is unknown the restorer has narrowed it down to being of Chinese origin.

Dr Sutton has fitted this violin with a comfortable chin rest, a solid tailpiece and a decent set of strings. The bridge is set at a height which makes the strings easy to press down, making it easier to play in the higher positions. Therefore, a student would find this instrument very easy to play as it is comfortable to play, easy to tune and optimised to produce the best sound possible.

Perhaps a pseudo vintage violin that may originate from China doesn’t sound like the most appealing instrument to purchase, however I would be happy to recommend this instrument to an intermediate level student who wants something pleasant sounding, looks good and is easy to play.

Repair and restoration (notes by Mike Sutton)

This violin came into my possession because it had a slightly open lower seam on the violin table (face/top) under the tailpiece. The open seam was repaired by removing the top of the violin and using traditional hide glue and luthier clamps to return it to its orignal state.

Once put back together, a new light alloy tailpiece with integral fine tuners was fitted. A new bridge was cut and fitted. A new sound-post was made and fitted and the instrument was given a new set of high quality synthetic core Alphayue Violin Strings.

This is a very robust violin that has a uniquely solid and balanced snug feel, which have never quite encountered before. Ursula Donnelly is certainly right that it is easy to play. I would recommend it to anyone who thinks the instrument might possibly be unfortunately subject to unwarranted rough treatment for whatever reason. Of course, all violins are delicate instruments and should never be treated roughly, but I suspect this one will prove to be tougher than most.


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