Viola by George Wulme Hudson, London, 1937
This viola has now sold.
About George Wulme HudsonThe English maker George Wulme Hudson was born in St Pancras, London, in 1862 and made more than 800 instruments over the course of his career. Born plain George Hudson, he added the Wulme to differentiate himself from a less talented maker from Skegness of the same name! Being based in the capital, he was able to attend the recitals of some of the best musicians of the day, including Sarasate and Kreisler.
His interest in music, and his early experiences employed in a pawnbroker's shop handling lots of fine instruments, led him to become an instrument maker, receiving valuable guidance from T.J. Holder in Blackheath. He then trained as a violinist and did not make his first complete violin until the age of thirty. Famously, Wulme Hudson had the wonderful tradition of beginning a new instrument on Christmas Day each year for over a quarter of a century.
Wulme Hudson's work has not been without controversy. His London contemporaries were the infamous Voller brothers, highly skilled copyists and fakers whose work very often succeeded in fooling even those familiar with the great Italian Masters! Wulme Hudson's output looks relatively similar to that of the Vollers in terms of its diversity of models and his decision to antique most of his instruments. This decision was made from a purely practical standpoint: musicians of the day preferred to play on older-looking instruments, guaranteeing a better rate of sale!
About the violaThe viola is a tastefully shaded Amati model made in 1937. It has a one piece back of very attractively-figured maple and a two piece front of straight-grained spruce which widens towards the flanks. The varnish is golden-brown in colour, laid over a lighter golden ground. It is always nice to see a maker choosing a similar wood to that of the maker whose model they are following: this violin by the Brothers Amati shows a similarly quilted maple back.
The viola has a length of back of 16 and a 1/2 inches.
How does it sound?This viola plays extremely well! The sound is sophisticated with a great deal of variation of colour to the tone. The instrument is extremely well balanced across the strings and is quick to respond.
ConditionThis viola is in stunningly good original condition.