Benjamin Hebbert has more than fifteen years of experience as an increasingly respected authority on stringed instruments. Since training as an instrument maker in the 1990s, he has worked for a variety of violin shops and auction houses, museums and teaching establishments in London and abroad including a period as European Specialist Head of Sale at Christie’s in London and New York.
I take pride in my consultancy service, by which I get to understand my client as a musician before sourcing a shortlist of instruments best suited to their needs and using my exceptional contacts throughout the industry to narrow the field and find the most suitable instruments on the market.
Consultancy has been the backbone of my business, but as I have grown to have a permanent showroom and a steady stock of instruments, I hold firmly to the same principles. I aim to provide the kinds of instruments that – in my experience – work best. I also value the relationships and understanding that I develop of my client’s needs and acknowledge that the longer I work with a musician the more I can refine my understanding of the perfect instrument to suit them. If we are unable to supply the instrument of your choice in the first instance, we are always delighted to make a search of the market on your behalf.
As a dealer in fine stringed instruments I maintain strict criteria for our stock based on condition, attribution, sound quality and value for money. I offer a particular specialism in fine English instruments, but have a strong knowledge across all major schools of violin making including fine French, German and Italian violins. My stock ranges to suit amateur and upcoming student musicians through to professionals and soloists. It includes some of the best European workshop instruments on the market through our dedication towards contemporary makers to examples of the finest eighteenth-century Italian workmanship.
I actively search for instruments and bows to sell that are suitable for professional and serious amateur musicians, and I also consider buying instruments requiring restoration. If your instrument meets my criteria, I can sell it on your behalf by commission sale or private treaty. I also consider purchasing for resale. If you have an instrument and would like to discuss options with us, please email or telephone in the first instance. If your instrument is not suitable for our stock, I also provide practical advice to help bring your property to market.
I have a deep interest in research on all aspects of the violin and the history of the violin trade, and have long studied this with the aim of increasing my knowledge and improving my eye. In the past. In the past my interests have led me to holding research fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My published works include monographs on topics ranging from Gaspar da Salo and the early Brescian School to Vuillaume and his creation of a market in nineteenth-century France.
After training as an instrument maker at London Guildhall University, I joined the faculty as a visiting lecturer in Design Analysis, Music History and Musical Instrument History. Later, I was appointed to an honorary fellowship at London Metropolitan University. More recently I spent time as a senior lecturer on the instrument making course at West Dean College. I gives regular lectures on the violin at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and have been guest lecturer for the British Violin Making Association and at the Newark Lutherie seminars, as well as giving lectures at the Royal College of Music and Royal Academy of Music. I have lectured and published internationally on elements of the history of the violin.
My methods of selling are clearly defined. I do not accept, or pay, secret commissions of any kind under any circumstances.