Explore the elusive art of antiquing violins, a skillful blend of old-world charm & modern craftsmanship, showcased in contemporary masterpieces.
In the world of violin making, antiquing - the process of applying a patina of age to a new instrument - enhances this beauty, marrying the charm of yesteryears with the ingenuity of contemporary craftsmanship. Steeped in tradition and demanding the most skillful and nuanced of hands, the art of antiquing has long been part of the world of luthiery, dating back hundreds of years. Yet, despite its extensive history, it remains a captivating and elusive art, a fascinating dance between aging and preservation, time and timelessness.
Here are some recent examples from our collection that we believe are stunning examples of the art of antiquing by some of the finest violin makers of our generation:
We first met Sing Him when he came to one of our events in London. He showed us this violin and we were immediately taken aback with how impressive it was. Both the craftsmanship and the sound were superb, especially for such a young maker. Sing Him is now our in-house restorer and luthier. The violin sounds powerful, yet sweet and balanced. The player will seamlessly change strings and registers with ease and the response is fantastic! A stunning sound reminiscent of the old Cremonese masters. Very hard to beat at this price range.
Sing Him Wong, born in 1993 in Belgium, is a skilled violin maker at MyLuthier in London. He started as a violin and cello player but his pursuit of the perfect sound led him to violin-making. A graduate with merit from ILSA Antwerpen, where he studied under Anton Sommer and Erick Buys, Sing Him combines his musicianship with expert craftsmanship to create instruments that truly resonate. At MyLuthier, he continues his dedication to excellence in both sound design & restoration.
This violin by reputed Icelandic maker Hans Johannsson is a remarkable instrument that combines visual elegance with exceptional acoustic qualities. The carefully selected tonewoods contribute to its open, round, and warm sound, which captivates listeners with its depth and clarity. This violin shines in a concert hall setting, projecting its beautiful tones effortlessly, making it an ideal choice for discerning performers who value both aesthetics and sonic excellence.
Hans Johannsson is a skilled craftsman who creates violins, violas, cellos, double basses, and various other stringed instruments. His love for the violin began in his grandfather Gudjon Halldorsson's cabinet-making workshop in Reykjavík, Iceland. After completing his studies with distinction at the Newark School of Violin Making in Great Britain under Maurice Bouette and Glen Collins in 1980, and later receiving a master's diploma from the Icelandic Arts and Crafts Council in 1982, Hans has been crafting instruments for professional musicians worldwide.
Hans develops his instruments based on his own unique model, continually evolving the design of outlines and proportions. He rarely creates copies, believing that the renowned masters of the past all established their own distinct styles within a classical theme. To Hans, imitation is only useful for educational purposes, as he prefers to contribute his own creative touch to his instruments.
We have no doubt that Gonzalo Bayolo will be widely recognised as one of the stand out makers of his generation. We have worked with him for years and he seems to raise the bar with every new creation. The sound has incredible depth and resonance and the whole instrument becomes alive the moment you start playing on it. Truly one to try in person!
Based in Santiago de Compostela, Gonzalo Bayolo brings together respect for tradition and an innovative spirit into the instrument making process. Led by a deep knowledge of the science and history of his trade, he imbues his creations with dynamism and an original interpretation, granting them a unique character. He also works widely as a restorer, holding a "Hans Weishaar" certificate.
We have been following Anna's work for a few years now, and the quality of her craft seem to improve with each new instrument, both in terms of sound and craftsmanship. The sound of this beautiful violin, modelled after the "Heifetz" Guarneri, certainly does justice to its craftsmanship. It produces a rich and powerful tone while striking a good balance between dark and bright. It is characterised by a full and vibrant resonance on every note and every double stop.
Ayoung An, known as Anna Arietti, was born in 1991 in Seoul, South Korea. She has been fascinated by music and violin making since her childhood. To experience the world, in 2008, she began journeying across the United States. In 2011, she attended the world-renowned Antonio Stradivari School of Violin Making in Cremona and studied under the guidance of Pier Luigi Aromatico Fantoni. Upon graduating in 2015, she participated in a number of competitions and has garnered many achievements and awards:
The “Award Personality” medal at the 2015 International Violin Making Competition in Pisogne
Silver medal at the 2016 International Violin Making Competition in Rome
Bronze medal at the 2016 International Violin Making Competition in Rome.
In 2017, she started work with Edgar Russ to improve her skills, an experience which has influenced her career and style.
In 2020, she opened her own workshop in Cremona, Italy. Ayoung An makes violins, violas, and cellos that each have their own beauty and sound. Through these one-of-a-kind instruments, Ayoung An expresses herself through her works of art.
A particularly fine example from 2020, this violin by renowned maker Roger Hansell is an extremely beautiful instrument. It has a beautifully sculpted body and a wonderfully antiqued varnish. This violin, like the original, is very powerful with a rich tone in all registers, especially the low and high-end. The middle end sings wonderfully and responds well to the player’s input. A brilliant instrument for a chamber musician or orchestral leader. The violin comes certified from the Luthier.
Hansell Violins, under the leadership of Roger Hansell, have been making prestigious instruments since 1987. This small company expanded in 1993 to its current premises in Leyburn in the beautiful North Yorkshire Dales where violins, violas and ‘cellos are made and we are also uniquely equipped to make superb instrument fittings, all beautifully hand finished.
MyLuthier was started by two friends while they were studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The idea was to provide musicians with exceptional instruments at a price they can afford. We travelled Europe in search for the best contemporary makers and we’re proud of our selection and the partnerships we’ve developed.