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English violin attributed to Samuel Gilkes
English violin attributed to Samuel Gilkes
Petite English violin, labeled Samuel Gilkes, approx. 1820 - back
Petite English violin, labeled Samuel Gilkes, approx. 1820 - back
- side
- side
- scroll
- scroll
Provenance: England
Maker: Unbekannt
Length of back: 35.4 cm
Year: approx. 1820
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Petite English violin, labeled Samuel Gilkes, approx. 1820

A label dating back to the year 1814 attributes this outstanding English violin to London luthier Samuel Gilkes, a highly gifted master artisan who attained an excellent reputation within the relatively short period of his career. A receipt from 1974 provides further evidence that this violin does indeed hail from Samuel Gilkes' atelier, although we cannot authenticate this claim. This petite model has however decidedly English character. Delicate craftsmanship full of character is evident in the widely flared corners and the one-piece back; the English violin's historic aesthetic is defined by the broad grain of the spruce used for the top, which is flattered by the luminous orange-brown varnish upon a light background. Given its advanced age, this fine instrument has been kept in magnificent condition and has only a few very minor repairs at the scroll, peg box and ribs; all of these restorations have had no effect whatsoever on the sound. Our luthiers set up this interesting violin with the greatest of care and made it ready to play. The lovely and timbre-rich sound of the violin does honour to the heritage ascribed to it — a mature, warm, dark voice with the special note that is exclusive to historic stringed instruments.

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