A fine English violin by Nathaniel Cross, Piccadilly, 1726

Nathaniel Cross is a much talked about maker of the early eighteenth century, and his concept of combining a Stainer outline with Italian arching anticipates Roman and Florentine makers by a at least a decade, and his constant experimenting with Italianate form underlines his close relationship with Daniel Parker. Hence many of his instruments have been convincingly relabelled as Carcassi or Gabrielli. This example from 1726 (made for John Barrett in Piccadilly and still showing traces from the Barak Norman workshop) has the combination of power, focus, and colour that characterises Italian violins. It is both a historic example, and preserved in exceptionally fine condition. All round, a superlative violin of professional standard at a good English price.