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Antique English violin, Emanuel Whitmarsh, London, 1893 - top
Antique English violin, Emanuel Whitmarsh, London, 1893 - top
Antique English violin, Emanuel Whitmarsh, London, 1893 - back
Antique English violin, Emanuel Whitmarsh, London, 1893 - back
Violon ancien anglais de Emanuel Whitmarsh, 1893 - eclisses
Violon ancien anglais de Emanuel Whitmarsh, 1893 - eclisses
Violon ancien anglais de Emanuel Whitmarsh, 1893 - volute
Violon ancien anglais de Emanuel Whitmarsh, 1893 - volute
Provenance: London
Maker: Emanuel Whitmarsh
Length of back: 35.7 cm
Year: 1893
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Antique English violin, Emanuel Whitmarsh, London, 1893

An example of the fine craft of English violin making, this exceptional instrument by Emanuel Whitmarsh bears his handwritten signature on the inside of the body and the original label dated 1893. The luthier from London ranks amongst the unconventional representatives of an art which both placed great emphasis on the cohesion of its tradition whilst also gaining extremely interesting inspiration from autodidacts and professionals from other fields like Emanuel Whitmarsh. Something noteworthy about his career is the fact that he did not find his way into violin making through another form of woodcraft: instead, he began as a stone sculptor. This might seem unusual in light of the very different nature of the two materials, but after a closer look, there is a certain logic in this approach. Stephan von Baehr a leading luthier of our time, pursued a similar path, having started out as a wood sculptor. Having developed a sense of sculptural modelling is indubitably helpful in understanding and designing the complex structure of a violin. And this instrument bears witness to the quality of his skills down to the finest detail, from the flat table of the top all the way to the graceful craftsmanship of the small scroll. Eight years prior to the time this violin was crafted, Emanuel Whitmarsh won a silver medal in London for his violins and violas, and with this mature instrument, he demonstrates his excellent awareness of the aesthetic of valuable tone woods. In varnishing the elegant powerfully-flamed maple of the two-piece back and magnificent moderately-grained spruce of the top, he used a luminous orange-brown coat with a transparency and radiance that are a typical characteristic of the English violin-making tradition. Given its flawless condition, this rare violin is a compelling choice, not least because of its highly distinctive flute-like and sweet, bright sound.

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