Violin labelled Luigi Salsedo, Scotland, 1927

 Violin labelled Luigi Salsedo, Scotland, 1927

About Luigi Salsedo

We see violins labelled Luigi Salsedo relatively frequently and they always sound fantastic. The story behind the instruments is fascinating and still not entirely clear: current research suggests that it’s most likely that these instruments were imported to Scotland by a dealer in the Borders called Jim Tait. The instruments were clearly made in a number of different European workshops and then shipped to the Scottish Borders in the white. Tait then varnished and sold them, focussing his marketing on the fact that the instruments were made from ‘Italian wood’.

About this violin

The instruments labelled Salsedo are immeasurably more sophisticated than the majority of what was being made in the workshops of Germany, Bohemia and France. When focussing on details like the scroll, edgework/purfling, and fluting on the f holes, the instrument feels like a quick version of a brilliant maker’s work rather than the best grade of instrument produced by a trade German workshop or similar.

The violin was made in an Italian workshop and then varnished in Scotland. The model shows the influence of several Italian makers including Guadagnini.

The violin has a two piece back of finely-flamed maple which descends from the centre joint. The ribs and scroll are of similar wood. The front is two pieces of fine-grained spruce which widens towards the flanks. The varnish is a warm amber colour, laid over a lighter golden ground. The violin has a length of back of 360mm.

How does it sound?

This is the kind of violin we love! A truly great playing instrument which punches well above its weight. It’s as though this violin has all of its dials turned up to full power: it’s hugely powerful yet very responsive, extremely projecting yet also very warm. A brilliant instrument which would tackle the challenges of the concerto repertoire with gusto.


The violin is in very good condition.

Further information

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