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Celebrating violins and all things violinistic

SOLD – ‘Dolphin’ Stradivarius 1714 model violin – Excellent performance and tone – SOLD

Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000
Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000 Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000Dolphin Strad 1715 model violin, Antonio Stradivarius model violin, best violin under £1000


Here we have a very fine new violin, modelled on one of the most famous violins made by Antonio Stradivari, the ‘Dolphin’ Strad of 1714.

This violin has an unusual reverse flame back and already possesses wonderful tone that will continue to improve as opens out over the coming months. It is finished in a classic antiqued oil and spirit varnish and is fitted with a high quality bridge.

All our new violins are individually hand crafted using traditional methods and personally hand selected by myself direct from the maker.


Out of stock

This violin already performs wonderfully well for a new violin. It has a beautiful refined tone and good response. Like all of our violins it is set up not only with tone in mind but also that it has an ease of playing. The maple on the back is chosen more with tone in mind than aesthetic qualities. Heavily flamed maple is always a compromise in that its beauty does not confer the very best tonal properties available.

All our new violins are individually hand crafted using traditional methods and personally hand selected by myself direct from the maker.

This violin is modelled on the famous ‘The Dolphin’ or ‘Delfino’ once owned by the great Jascha Heifetz and was made by Antonio Stradivari in 1714. It has been referred to as one of the top 3 violins made by Stradivari, along with the 1715 Alard and the Messiah of 1716. Our luthiers have crafted this violin using quality tonewood with careful attention to plate graduation and perfect arching.

This is a beautiful violin made with high quality spruce and maple, which has been air dried for over 12 years, and finished in an antiqued varnish. It comes ready fitted with a high quality bridge. The tone is already excellent for a new violin and after a few months playing you will have an amazing sounding instrument, which with careful attention to setup to optimize playability will be an absolute joy to play.

Unlike many companies we make no fanciful claims about our violins being ‘professional’ or ‘soloist’ standard – no soloist or professional musician would ever use a violin of this price bracket – that is the simple reality of it. However, we will say that in the under £1000 price bracket we have not found any violins that are better.

The excellent craftsmanship is followed up with careful set up to ensure that this violin not only has a wonderful tone but also the highest order of playability. Unlike many companies, and especially those imported from China, we ship to you with the bridge in place – this ensures that our high quality set up is maintained, so that you can take it straight out of the box, tune it and immediately start enjoying its wonderful ability to make music.

(Many companies ship with the bridge down, which frequently results in the violin arriving with the soundpost having fallen down. Now the two most important elements in the sound quality of a violin are the bridge and the soundpost, which require fine adjustment by an experienced person to get the optimum sound out of your instrument, meaning a trip to your nearest luthier if you are to get the best out of your newly purchased violin. This is why we have taken the time to develop a safe method of shipping our violins that ensure that the careful set up is maintained for when it arrives with you).

What makes our violins different from others in this price range:

  • Mature, air dried high quality tonewood used.
  • Made by a single craftsman from start to finish, using traditional violinmaking techniques.
  • The high standards of traditional varnishes are emulated.
  • Precisely controlled plate thickness and distribution.
  • Fingerboards are checked for correct thickness, curvature and scope before finishing with smoothing and polishing.
  • Thickness of the neck with fingerboard checked – these are frequently too bulky for comfortable playing, particularly at the heel of the neck.
  • String grooves at the nut and bridge are well lubricated with graphite to protect strings.
  • Bridge is professionally cut, with special attention to the feet fitting perfectly.
  • Correct string clearance checked for.
  • Pegs are shaped to give them the correct taper and peg compound applied to ensure that they work smoothly.
  • Pegs ends are rounded for a nice finish.
  • Correct cutting and placement of the soundpost is an imperative for optimum sound of the violin. Full contact of the ends with the back and belly are required, with no minor gaps.

About Our Tonewoods:

Nearly every new violin advertised for sale these days comes with a claim that the wood is 10 – 20 years old at least. The inside story from those in the know is very different. The truth is that probably fewer than 10% of these instruments have wood that is 5 years old.  Pressures of time and economy on price mean that an ever increasing number of makers are using ‘Green Wood’, less than a year old. Not only do violins made from green wood lack the tonal qualities of those constructed of mature wood but there is a high risk that they will crack, joints will come apart or the neck will warp. Our makers have a stockpile of wood sufficient for 5 years and the instruments that we select from them are made from wood guaranteed to have been air dried for at least 14 years. Forced drying, using heat to speed up the process makes the wood brittle.

Plate Thicknessing:

The tone and projection of a violin is critically dependent on both correct thickness on the plates (belly and back) of the violin. Too thick and they will be stronger but lack the flexibility to vibrate freely. Too thin and the violin will be fragile under the immense pressure of the strings and although it may initially appear to have a good sound, over the course of a couple of years it will lose its tone. Our makers have carefully studied many highest quality instruments, especially the very best 17th century Cremonese (Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesu, Amati), and have developed a careful understanding of the correct plate thickness and distribution to give optimal results over the long term. The plates of these violins are on average around 5% thicker than that commonly seen on many new violins, and their tone will only ever improve with the ripening of time.

Size: 4/4

Back length: 357mm       

Upper Bout: 169mm      Middle Bout: 110mm    Lower Bout: 207mm

String length: 330mm

Fingerboard: Ebony       Fittings: Boxwood

This violin comes with a free upgrade to Pirastro Tonica strings but we believe that wonderful violin deserves the best quality strings, Evah Pirazzi which we will fit at the below cost price of only £55 if you Contact Us to upgrade.

A case is included in the price but no bow. Please Contact Us for bow options at extra special prices.

About The Dolphin Strad and its history:

The original violin upon which this instrument is based was completed Antonio Stradivari in 1714, during the peak years or Golden Age of his instrument making, when his powers were at their highest having garnered the fruits of 50 years of violinmaking but before the decline of old age had set in. Violinmaking was still profitable and Stradivari was able to use the prices he could command to utilize the very best wood available in production. All his most famous violins were produced during this decade, now bearing such as The Messiah, Titian, Alard, Soil, Viotti ex-Bruce, Cremonese, Gibson ex-Huberman, Lipinski and many many more.

Although not the first known owner of this instrument, it gets its name ‘The Dolphin’ or ‘Delfino’ from its late 19th century owner George Hart who thought that the appearance and colour of its back reminded him of a dolphin.

The violin’s most illustrious owner though was the great Jascha Heifetz, probably the greatest violinist who has ever lived, who acquired it in 1951. His preference however remained for the Guarneri del Gesu violin that he had long possessed.

The Dolphin Strad is currently owned by the Nippon Music Foundation of Japan, who have loaned it to Akiko Suwani to use.

Here Akiko Suwani talks about the Dolphin Strad and her relationship with it:

And listen to her play Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy:


Additional Information

Weight 5 kg
Dimensions 80 × 30 × 25 cm


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I believe that every violinist should have access to a great sounding instrument capable of expressing the passion within them at an affordable price. It is my mission to bring instruments capable of doing this to young and mature musicians alike, so that they can develop to the maximum as a musician and bring the joy of their hearts to the world. All violins are personally selected by myself as instruments with great tonal qualities that I would be proud to own as my sole violin. Each is carefully checked for build construction and condition. Any restoration work is done by my professional luthier partner and instruments are fitted with high quality fittings and usually Evah Pirazzi strings (although this may vary according to what we determine best suits the particular instrument). This is backed by a 12 months maintenance free guarantee - that is to say that we will undertake any maintenance  required on your violin within this period free of charge. All that you need to do is bring/ship the violin back to us. All violins come to you fully set up to their optimum and ready to play. We regularly ship worldwide, FREE of charge to you and fully insured. It is my experience that it takes at least 3 days of exclusive playing of an instrument to get accustomed to and appreciate it; with 7 days being preferable and the minimum time that should be allowed for trial of an instrument. Most shops allow 7-14 days for returns on purchases. I wish my customers a great buying experience and to have total confidence in their acquisition and consequently I give a 30 DAY RETURN PERIOD with a full refund of the purchase price provided that it is returned in the same condition. Any quality violin is a substantial financial commitment and one that you want to be confident will not be a depreciating asset. I am confident that any violin that I sell will at least hold its value over many years if well looked after and the majority will actually gain in value - this has been the general trend over a long period of time. I am willing to take any violin that I have sold back should you decide to upgrade and will give you the full purchase price paid for it, provided that it has been well looked after. I am here to help as much for you post-sale as I am before. I love to help and willingly give advice, assistance, and share my expertise and experiences at any time. Stay in contact, be sure to sign-up for my newsletter.