An absolutely gorgeous Nicolas Lupot, made in Paris, 1806. Lupot was a very special violin maker, often referred to as the French Stradivarius. He followed Stradivari’s designs beautifully, with grace and precision. He was more than just a copyist though – he was rooted in the classical traditions of Stradivari, but was still a forward thinking artisan in his own right. Everything about this violin is first rate – workmanship, varnish, wood (check out the single-piece maple back), and a great, big, beautiful sound. It is a great privilege to have and play this on a regular basis.
This was my exclusive violin for almost 8 years, the violin I recorded the Ysaye Album with. There is a lot of questions over its origins, but most people think late 1700’s Venice. Whatever it is, it has a rich and sweet sound with a vibrant top end and mellow bottom end. These pictures were taken before some restoration work, so it looks a bit different now. If you want to see pictures of the repairs, click here.
An F.X. Tourte – Paris, circa 1785-90. I don’t play on this everyday, but do play it in concert a fair bit. The frog that is on the stick is made by André Lavoye in Montreal, but the original frog is the ivory one on the right.
James Tubbs – London, circa 1895. A really fine example of his work, and also a good reminder that sensational bow making was not only reserved for the French.