A contemporary small-sized violin by Colin Cross, Deal 2014. £8500

Colin based this instrument on a mid-eighteenth-century example labelled for Giuseppe Antonio Finolli, working in Milan. We don’t know much about Finolli at all, and there is even some discussion whether the original violin is by him. Nonetheless, it is a compelling instrument and Colin’s copies prove to be  extremely successful serving as a model for a musician looking for a slightly smaller violin: The combination of a slightly smaller body and narrow upper bouts make it a very comfortable instrument to play, whilst the richer and fuller arching compensates for the air-volume inside the instrument  and the stop length (from the top of the body to the bridge) and string length remain those of a full-size violin, allowing modern strings to work at an optimum tension. For a musician who is yet to grow into a full-size violin, or finding one a struggle, this model provides a brilliant alternative.

Altogether a brilliant violin, with bags of character visually as well as a compelling ‘full-sized’ tone.