George Wulme Hudson made instruments to different qualities according to the priorities and circumstances of each opportunity. Over the years I have seen several examples of his most deceptive work, all coming from the United States of America with provenances suggesting they were bought by American dealers around the 1940s and thereabouts. This fine violin is such an example, and is a very well made copy of a Carlo Giuseppe Testore, made without a label and unbranded on the interior. Whilst these were certainly ‘speculative’ violins in Hudson’s mind, we cannot be certain of how far he played a part in passing them off as genuine. Although it would be hard to fool an expert knowledgable of Hudson’s work or eighteenth century Milanese examples, it is a particularly compelling instrument. Much of the discussion surrounding these instruments recently asserts that they are simply too good to be Hudson’s work and must be by the Voller brothers, but a more considered examination of internal work, and of the materials chosen for these instruments firmly proves that Hudson’s talents equalled those of the Voller brothers when the opportunity allowed.
A fine English violin after Carlo Giuseppe Testore, London circa 1940