John Betts school / circle: fine antique English violin circa 1820

By the time this fine antique violin was crafted in approximately 1820, John Betts was already able to look back on an impressive oeuvre. With its expressive personality, the instrument presented here was likely made by one of his students and reflects the influence of “Old John Betts” on English violin making.

The oevure of John Betts began with his training under Richard...

By the time this fine antique violin was crafted in approximately 1820, John Betts was already able to look back on an impressive oeuvre. With its expressive personality, the instrument presented here was likely made by one of his students and reflects the influence of “Old John Betts” on English violin making.

The oevure of John Betts began with his training under Richard Duke, one of the most highly esteemed English luthiers of the 18th century who passed his craft along to only three students: his son Richard Duke Jr., John Betts, and Betts’ nephew Edward Betts, who later worked at his uncle’s workshop; together they carried on Duke’s great artisanal legacy within their own family tradition. This outstanding reputation may be why John Betts was always able to engage excellent violin makers such as Richard Tobin, Henry Lockey Hill and members of the famous Panormo family as his employees. It was in this environment of exquisite craftsmanship that this violin was created a few years before John Betts’ death. The instrument is the work of one of his students or another luthier who upheld the Betts tradition, making it a worthy representative of early 19th century English violin making, and its interesting, stylish aesthetic is just as compelling as its exceptionally beautiful sound. The luminous golden-brown varnish is so transparent that even the most nuanced details of the tightly flamed maple used for the back can be seen, and the blackened edges of the small and charmingly shaped scroll round out this violin; it has been kept in very good condition and has undergone only minor repairs that are fitting for an instrument of its advanced age. After having been painstakingly set up and made ready to play by the expert luthiers at our workshop, our professional violinist played it and was delighted by the rich timbre, radiance and maturity of its powerful warm voice – and in recording the audio samples for this violin, he was able to bring the distinctive character of its voice to life.

€ 12,490.00
approx. $ 14,738.20
Inventory no.
5802
Maker
John Betts circle
Provenance
England
Year
circa 1820
Tone
warm, mature, radiant, strong, colorful
Length of back
35.3 cm
John Betts school: Fine English violin circa 1820
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