Established 1982 Tel: 020 7249 9398

Violin by George Craske c.1870


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Violin by George Craske c.1870 Kenneth Warren Chicago cert

George Craske 1795 – 1888. Craske’s father, who the Duke of Gafton had appointed the first band master of the second West Suffolk Militia, sent him to work with William Forster III in London after the young Craske showed an interest in violin making.   By the 19th century he began making instruments for Thomas Dodd and the firm of Muzio Clementi. He settled in Birmingham, here he began an extremely prolific career as a talented copyist of Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivari. Craske is widely accepted as one of the most prolific violin makers, he was extraordinarily productive, making over 2,500 instruments in his lifetime, he worked without assistance and in complete seclusion. He once repaired Paganini’s violin.  Craske removed the top from Paganini’s concert violin and secured a loose block in time for the violinist to play the same evening.  Although Paganini initially was pleased with the repair, he later said the work had diminished the violin’s sound.  Paganini eventually sold the violin to Vuillume in Paris.  Craske then worked briefly in Manchester, where he sold much of the wood he had bought from Forster to fellow maker, Thomas Earle Hesketh.  nCraske later sequestered himself in a shop in Stockport, where he made violins and lived in isolation for 20 years. During this period, he spent most of his time reproducing instruments by Joseph Guarnerius.

Materials were probably acquired from William Forster III and are usually very good. After his death his entire inventory was left to his life-long friend George Crompton, who sold them to the firm of W.E. Hill & Sons for resale. Most of Craske’s instruments received labels after his death, W.E. Hill & Sons inserted labels, and put them up for sale.

The two piece back of maple of faint medium curl slightly descending across the back from the joint, the ribs, peg box and scroll of similar curl.  The two piece front of spruce of medium grain in the centre broadening towards the flanks.  The varnish of a rich orange-brown colour on a yellow ground.  LOB 354mm WUB 161mm WMB 109mm WLB 198mm

Label Reads:

Johannes Caupers fecit s hage 1773

  • Length of back 354 mm
  • Width upper bout 161 mm
  • Width centre bout 109 mm
  • Width lower bout 198 mm
Condition Report
  • Please note that the condition report lists all repairs that have been historically undertaken. The instrument is, however, offered in a fully restored condition and has been fully and professionally setup in our workshops. Any repairs have either been conducted by ourselves or fully inspected and the quality of the repair verified by our workshop. No further repairs are required.

Additional information

Weight3.2 kg
Dimensions83.5 × 31 × 19 cm


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