Antique violins through the centuries have varied both in style and quality of workmanship. Below you can read a little about the makers who influenced the design and functionality of the violins we see today and why we are such a passionate violin dealer.
Italian violins are generally regarded as the oldest instruments with the violin shape originating from Italy. The early Italian violins show lots of individual character and quality. Various makers such as Testore and Guarnerius show lots of character and quality of workmanship which make these old violins easy to recognise. Italian violins generally were beautifully varnished from this period.
French violins like German violins and English violins often copied the early Italian ones especially makers such as Stradivari, Amati and Guarnerius. Many of the French violins which were made in Mirecourt during the 19th century based there outlines on Stradivari. During the 19th century German violins and French violins were produced and exported in large numbers all around the world. These antique violins were in demand and throughout France and Germany more violin workshops were set up especially in Mittenwald, Germany and Mirecourt in France. French violins made in Mirecourt were generally very refined in quality having neat workmanship and when these antique violins for sale appear they are very sought after.
Early English violins dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries often used the Amati outlines to make their instruments. Antique violins from England which were made from this period often styled the instrument using medium to high arching, these violins usually producing a fine mellow tone rather than lots of volume. Makers such as Banks, Betts and Furber made fine violins from this period. English violins have plenty of character and are usually made to a high standard.
German violins made in Mittenwald were fine quality instruments, easy to recognize and mostly had a fine deep red varnish. These German violins were amongst some of the finest German workshops instruments. These antique violins are very popular and usually a good investment to the player.