Ref :   0902

A very fine English violin by
William Beare
(1910 - 2000)
London, 1930. Number 16

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Instruments by William Beare are extremely rare - he only made around 30 violins in his lifetime, but each was meticulously crafted. Since he spent most of his working time occupied as a foremost violin connoisseur conducting business in the extremely successful Beare's dealership in London, the time he actually spent making violins was very carefully spent crafting his instruments for the sake of quality - free from financial considerations.

William Beare (1910 - 2000) apprenticed as violin maker under Marc Laberte in Mirecourt, France during the late 1920s and his work would always be imbued with French style and workmanship.

This violin is fitted with William Beare's known label and is dated in London, 1930, as violin number 16. It is a beautifully crafted violin from every point of view, reflecting a French approach. Workmanship is unusually clean and virtually faultless.

The two-piece back is of nicely flamed maple with a distinct medium to narrow curl rising slightly from the flanks to the centre line - the same wood repeated in the ribs, neck and scroll. The top is of closely grained tone spruce. The Fs are elegant, sloping outward to the bottom and with nicely fluted palettes. The oil varnish is of wine red colour - very French, over a yellow ground. All round this is a very attractive violin.

A peculiarity is that this violin has a neck graft - one of the finest I have ever seen, being virtually invisible. It also has an ebony crown over the button along with an insert between the neckroot and button. It wasn't entirely clear why such a recent violin has a neck graft, until a suggestion was made by an authority I consulted that the violin may originally have been conceived and made as a Baroque violin, with shorter and lower neck and smaller bass bar and was then later modernized by fitting the present neck, insert and crown. It would also explain the existence of a crack in the top (well-repaired) along the lower end of the bass bar - which may have occurred when the original bass bar was being removed. Other than that repair, this violin is in impeccable condition.

As expected, this violin is very well-toned, responds with ease and is a real pleasure to play on.


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 35.8 cm

Condition :
  Excellent condition. The violin has had a neck graft, exceptionally well executed.
The only discernable repair is to a crack in the top running along the lower end of the bass bar. This appears to be a very old repair, well done and perfectly stable.

Provenance :
  This violin was acquired directly from the maker by Prof. Spencer Dyke who, during the 1930s taught in London at the Royal Schools of Music. It served as his second instrument. In 1935 he gave the violin to a student of his - Daphne Shaw (1920 - 2010) who used it until her death.

Price : P.O.A.


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