A fine Nuremberg violin by Leopold Widhalm, 1782.

An outstanding violin by one of the leading makers of the German region of the late eighteenth-century. Martin Leopold Widhalm was the maker to the Nuremberg Court when he made this violin in 1782. The majority of Widhalm’s work comprises very fine interpretations of Jacob Stainer’s violins from the seventeenth-century, but this exceptional example combines Stainer’s modelling on the larger ‘Grand-Amati’ pattern of the Cremonese Golden Period. Similar marriages of design and form would happen in Venice, in particular amongst the violins of Peter Guarneri also producing particularly warm and playable instruments with a surprising capability and projection given their generous dimensions. An extraordinary violin, as much a pleasure to look at as it is to play.

Condition notes: Like many German instruments of the period, the varnish is notoriously delicate and the top pigmented coat rubs off easily. There is substantial sensitive restoration to the lower part of the belly of the instrument, but overall it is in a very good state of preservation for this kind of instrument, and the integrity of the woodwork is of extremely high standard. The scroll is of pear wood, as is a trait frequently found amongst violins by Jacob Stainer and his followers throughout the eighteenth century and is original to the instrument and characteristic of the maker’s work.