John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson is an enigmatic maker, both in how he lived his life and the instruments that he has left behind for us. The first interesting thing about him is that he lost an arm in the First World War and so had to make a series of splints to help brace his work against as he made. He made a fair number violins for the prestigious J&A Beares, who labelled them. Apart from this, he didn't label his work with his own name, often putting fictitious labels in, or like this violin, no label at all. 

This violin was known as a Fendt for many years, but we now know that it was made a hundred years later by John Wilkinson. It has quite a unique sound - not for everyone, but terribly beautiful in its own way. I find that it takes some coaxing to get the very best sound out, but its really worth it as when you find it, its sublime! The normal trial period for violins is two weeks - this normally gives the customer enough time to really get to know the instrument, but I'd be happy to let this instrument out on a slightly longer trial period as its worth spending more time with it to get to know it.