A good violin for Hawkes & Son, Piccadilly, circa 1910. £4,500

Hawkes & Sons (Boosey & Hawkes after 1930) were a very successful company selling orchestral sheet music and specialising in military band instruments, established in 1865 and setting up an instrument factory in Edgware, North London. Violins sold by Hawkes range enormously, but were always consistent with the high standards to which they produced band instruments of their own. Catalogues from the period when this “Tyrolean” violin were made show that they had regular supply contracts with makers such as Pedrazzini and bow makers including Eugene Sartory.

The “Tyrolean” model label in this instrument seems at first to be  slightly misleading – it is not, as the initial appearance of the violin is of a French Stradivari copy, typical of the J.B. Collin workshops or better-quality worth by Jerome Thibouville-Lamy of the period, but the varnish is slightly more opaque than is found in Mirecourt workmanship of the time, and other features – for example the lozenge-shaped button, and the shading of the varnish – all point towards German workmanship produced specifically to imitate the look of the French to compete in their markets. The violin is made in Schönbach am Tyrol, at the time a hugely important centre for musical instrument production in Germany (later becoming Luby in Czechslovakia).

Condition notes: The violin has had a full renovation and setup in order to prepare it for sale. The instrument is in excellent condition.