Violin By Richard Duke London 1763
Richard Duke 1718-1783 was one of the most successful and prolific violin makers of the 18th Century. He was a British violin maker and entrepreneur whose shop made highly desirable instruments and trained a wave of the craft’s next generation.
Duke’s business grew to incorporate multiple locations within the city of London and employed many makers of instruments and bows, including William Napier and John Betts. It was John Betts who bought the shop from Duke’s daughter Anne after his death in 1783.
Duke was appointed musical instrument maker to the Duke of Gloucester around the 1767. Duke’s early work bears some resemblance to those of Peter Wamsley it has been speculated that he may have studied with Wamsley, he was certainly influenced by him. Duke’s earliest known instruments are fairly faithful copies of Stainer instruments, with characteristic high arching and appropriate f-holes. Duke was an early exponent for copying Cremonese instruments, he produced many Strad and Amati copies. Most instruments are branded “Duke London,” but more faithful copies did not receive brands.
The back in two pieces of maple of attractive, irregular curl running horizontally across the back from the centre joint. The ribs, peg box and scroll similar. The front in two pieces of spruce of fine grain in the bass becoming broader towards the treble. The varnish of dark orange-brown colour on a yellow ground.
in Holbourn, Londini
- Length of back 355 mm
- Width upper bout 162mm
- Width centre bout 113 mm
- Width lower bout 203 mm
- 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
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