Violin by Walter Plain, Glasgow, 1862

This violin has now sold.

Violin by Walter Plain, Glasgow, 1862

About Walter Plain

Walter Plain was born in Edinburgh in 1808 and is likely to have trained in the city. He then moved to Glasgow to set up shop, perhaps because there was less competition in that city at the time. His workshop was on Brunswick Street in the city centre. Plain is now considered to be one of the most important Glasgow violin makers of the 19th century.

During the course of his career, Plain made a great many violins, as well as a smaller number of cellos; sadly this was not enough to save him from a life of destitution. After the death of his wife, Plain´s health prevented him from working as he had been. He died in the poorhouse on Duke Street in 1880: his trajectory in many ways mirrors that of Edinburgh´s greatest maker, Matthew Hardie.

About the violin

The violin was made in Glasgow in 1862. This is a particularly attractive example of his work: the violin is a delicate Amati model, in contrast to his usual robust Stradivari pattern. This variation in model is typical of Plain´s diverse output: see here for a quite different Strad model violin made nearly two decades earlier.

The violin has a one piece back of lightly-flamed maple and a two piece front of fine-grained spruce which widens towards the flanks. The varnish is golden in colour, laid over a lighter ground. The length of back is 356mm.

How does it sound?

The violin is even across the range with an especially pleasing upper register. It has a round, full tone and would be equally at home in Classical or tradition repertoire.


The violin is in excellent condition and is original in all its parts.

More information

This violin has now sold. You may be interested to see another violin by Walter Plain which we have for sale.

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