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S223 violin, Zhu Hua Jie, Shanghai, China, 1994$ 10,000.00
Zhu Hua Jie made this strongly-modelled violn, with its bold edges and beautifully flamed maple back, in 1994, two years after winning a silver medal for tone at the 1992 Violin Society of America International Competition in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The tone of this instrument is strong, brilliant, and would suit an experienced player. The pegs, tailpiece, and endpin are elaborately carved from genuine boxwood.
S236, 4/4 Violin, “Huai Li Ming”, Auckland, NZ, 1996$ 10,000.00
Huai Li Ming came to New Zealand in the early 1990’s, working first for Noel Sweetman before joining the Stringed Instrument Company workshop for two years. This violin was made not long after he established his own workshop, and is typical of his instruments from this period. The violin has an immediate, almost explosive response – playing it is rather like riding a pedigree race horse and can promise an exhilarating experience for those wanting a dynamic, exciting sound. Not for the faint-hearted.
B955 “Officina Claudio Monteverde” oversigned “Gio Maria Ceruti”, Cremona 1923$ 12,000.00
The Cremona workshop “Officina Claudio Monteverde” was established by Aristide Cavalli in 1880. “Gio Maria Ceruti” denoted one of their models rather than having any attachment to the famous family of violin makers by that name. The instrument is handmade however, with some attention to detail, though lacking the rather exaggerated delicacy of the “Aristide Cavalli” model. The tone is rich and warm in the lower strings, with a clear, open E string.
S415 Violin by Tobias Widemann, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2008$ 13,500.00
Tobias Widemann graduated from the Mittenwald School for Violinmaking shortly before moving to New Zealand. He has established his own workshop in Christchurch after working for Antonio Strings. His primary focus these days is on new-making though he also does some setting-up work on older instruments. While studying in Europe, he was able to examine first-hand the work of the great Italian violin makers, becoming particularly fond of the violins of Guarneri del Gesu, of which this instrument is a fine copy. The tone is resonant, colourful and even, the wood is handsome without being garish, and the red-gold varnish, applied in the Mittenwald style, is very attractive.
Start sale price: $13,500.00
S416 probably Charles John Wilkinson violin, London, early-mid twentieth century$ 22,000.00
Although this violin lacks a label, its provenance indicates a strong likelihood that it was made by the London violinmaker Charles John Wilkinson, whose instruments this violin closely resembles. Charles John Wilkinson made instruments for G Withers and later for J and A Beare, following the work of Cremonese, Milanese and Turinese originals. His personal history is documented well here; The article describes a shy, retiring man who overcame serious injury to gain very considerable skill as a luthier. The wood of the back and ribs is a lovely, soft-textured birds-eye maple, and the honey-brown varnish is pleasantly antiqued. The tone is open and even, with a clear, characterful resonance, and strong projection in the upper registers.
Start sale price: $22,000.00