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Celebrating violins and all things violinistic

SOLD – Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin – Strong, Deep, Dark Tone – SOLD

Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000
Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000 Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 model violin, best violin under £1000

£425.00 £325.00

A glorious new violin, with a strong voice and deep, dark tone.

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

Carefully modelled on the famous Ole Bull violin of 1744 Guarneri del Gesu violin which resides in the Chi Mei Foundation collection in Taiwan.

Out of stock

A spellbinding new violin, with a strong, deep, clear tone and precise diction. It is already very responsive and the sound is only going to improve as it matures and opens up. It is finished in a lightly antiqued oil/spirit varnish, as used by the great violinmakers of Cremona.

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

Carefully modelled on the famous Ole Bull Guarneri del Gesu 1744 violin, featuring the distinctive strong f-hole and scroll style which was a distinguishing feature of del Gesu’s instruments.

This is a beautiful violin made with high quality spruce and maple, which has been air dried for over 12 years, and finished in a nicely antiqued varnish. The tone is already excellent for a new violin and after a few months playing you will have an wonderful sounding instrument that is totally classy and distinctive.

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 is not 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: 356mm       

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

String length: 329mm

Fingerboard: Ebony       Fittings: Boxwood

This violin comes with a free upgrade to Pirastro Tonica strings. For an extra sizzling performance Contact Us to upgrade to Pirastro Evah Pirazzi strings for £65.00.

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

SOLD – Introductory Offer Price Only: £325.00         Normally: £425.00 – SOLD


Ole Bull and his 1744 Guarneri del Gesu violin

The instrument upon which this violin is modelled is the Guarneri del Gesu of 1744 that was once owned by the famous Norwegian violinist Ole Bull (1810 – 1880), who was a great rival of Nicolo Paganini. When Ole Bull heard that Paganini could play his violin on 3 strings at the same time he became determined to be able to achieve the impossible feat of playing all 4 strings at once, which he accomplished with the aid of an especially flat bridge profile.

Ole Bull was also a proponent of Norwegian music and was a leading figure in the nationalist movement, becoming regarded as a founding father of the country and a national hero.

His most beloved instrument was the 1744 Guarneri del Gesu upon which our violin is modelled. The original violin had a particularly deep and booming voice and Ole Bull was renowned for going out into the mountains on walks with his violin which could be heard ringing through the countryside. Beside its typically full Guarneri sound also had the traditional sonorous tone of Cremonese instruments. It has smooth arching and well flamed two piece back with yellow-orange varnish.

Subsequent to Ole Bull it was owned by James Goding, C.H. Plowden, Frederick Lehmann and Uto Ughi before being acquired by Taiwan’s Chi Mei Foundation to add to their extensive collection of historic instruments. The importance of this one is not to be underestimated not only because it was the great Ole Bull’s principle violin but because it was the last known instrument made by Guarneri del Gesu, being completed just 3 years after the Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu violin that is played by Anne Akiko Meyers and holds the world record for the most expensive violin sold (although the actual figure and the name of the buyer have never been disclosed).

Additional Information

Weight 5 kg
Dimensions 80 × 30 × 25 cm
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.