James Hardie

James Hardie violin, Edinburgh, Scotland

James Hardie was a prolific maker and seller of violins, based in Edinburgh. He had a particular liking for Maggini model violins; this violin is an example of this model. Although some violins were made in his workshop, he also imported violins in the white from Germany that he then varnished. 

This instrument is one of the Edinburgh-made violins, as opposed to those imported from Germany. It has a rich and deep red varnish which has a crackled patina, with only a few blemishes. The violin is almost identical to the example in David Rattray's seminal book Violin Making in Scotland, and comes with its original receipt (see below).

Maggini model violins have swung out of vogue since the 19th century, when most soloists had one to go with their Strad or Del Gesu. I'd love to see them come back into fashion as another alternative to the ubiquitous Strad model! You will never need to be worried about being heard when playing this violin...