Lord Harris: from luthier to lord and back again

The violin making world is full of fascinating characters: often researching a maker turns into an enormously detailed dive into social history! Charles Harris of Oxford stands out as one of the great examples of a maker whose life story wouldn’t be out of place in a historical novel.

The Klotz Family of Mittenwald

The Klotz family of Mittenwald produced stunning instruments equal to many of the Italian violins being made at the same time. Find out more about these often under-rated instruments.

F Hole Models

String instruments are usually made according to a set of characteristics known as a model. A luthier might choose to use one of four primary models (Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù, Amati or Stainer), to use a slightly more unusual model, or to strike out on their own using a personal model.

Daniel Parker and his influence

For many aficionados of violins, the instruments of the early London maker Daniel Parker are like the holy grail: rare, precious and mysterious. To understand why, one must delve into who Parker was, where he lived, and those with whom he worked.

Guest blog: Nicolo Paganini, by Alastair Macfarlane

I know Alastair from his visits to my shop, which are always extremely enjoyable. As well as being a competent and sensitive violinist and violist, he is a true academic - both infinitely interested and extremely knowledgeable about a broad range of musical and non musical subjects. Here is his monograph on Nicolo Paganini, which is entertaining and filled with nuggets that I didn’t know. Well worth taking the time to read!

A Question of Origin

How does one determine the nationality of an instrument? Should it be the origin of the maker, the style/construction method, or where the instrument was actually made? Of course the question all too often is ‘can we call this Italian?’. In the case of this 1849 Charles Boullangier violin, however, the answer is somewhat complex...