A fine violin by George Craske, Bath, circa 1820 after Stradivari

This is a rare example of George Craske’s work, from his early period in Bath, made around 1820 or slightly before. The model is very close to the Stradivari violin of his patron Sir Patrick Blake (bequeathed to him in 1815 by J.P. Salomon, and sold following Blake’s death in 1819). The narrow pattern is Stradiari’s shorter long pattern, exemplified by violins such as the ‘Baron Knoop’ of 1698. Craske’s early work incorporates the use of sugar-maple for the ribs a sycamore back, following the interest in this more highly figures wood that was in fashion with makers such as Gilkes and Panormo around the same period back in London. The violin is unusual for having a scroll made by Craske, who later abandoned head carving in favour of buying in ready-made parts.

The violin was probably resold by W.E. Hill & Sons, at which point it acquired their label marking it as “Special Quality”.

Labelled: “Made by George Craske/(born 1793, died 1888),/and sold by/William E. Hill & Sons, London.”
Length of back: 356mm
Upper bouts: 166mm
Middle bouts: 114mm
Lower bouts: 205mm