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James Preston, English violin, late 18th century - top
James Preston, English violin, late 18th century - top
James Preston, English violin, late 18th century - top
English violin, probably James Preston approx. 1760 - back
English violin, probably James Preston approx. 1760 - back
side
side
scroll
scroll
Provenance: England
Maker: probably James Preston
Length of back: 35.7 cm
Year: late 18th centruy
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18th century English violin, approx. 1760. Probably by James Preston

British luthier James Preston was one of the lesser known figures in British violin making of his day, but his good name survived long past his death in the late 18th century. Stringed instruments that were somewhat simpler but had an outstanding sound were made in his style, and this delicate English violin with drawn purfling is an excellent example. It is clear, however, that this instrument cannot in any way be associated with cheap mass-produced goods, as is clearly evident in the striking aesthetic of the two piece top crafted from excellent tone wood. "Trade quality" English violins at this time also included excellent instruments that simply were not created by masters. The luminously golden-brown varnish has developed a charming patina which plays up its historic character. This elegant Amati modeled instrument has medium tonal strength, is especially well suited for demanding home musicians; they will find broad potential in terms of the musical expression the violin's mature sound provides. Its slightly strict note gives the warm, bright voice an unmistakable and unique profile. This violin has undergone some few acceptable repairs that are typical for old stringed instruments of advanced years: the scroll, which was carefully and tastefully carved, has been grafted on, and some repairs on the ribs and a table repair were professionally repaired and do not affect the sound in any way. The top and back have remained in outstanding condition. After having been thoroughly set up by the specialists in our atelier, this petite English violin is now ready to play, and we warmly recommend this rare English instrument with its pleasingly warm and sweet sound of chamber music strength.

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