Ref :   1071

A superb violin by
Adam Mackie
(b. 1871)
Johannesburg, 1925

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In his noted reference work 'The Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers' William Henley refers to the maker, Adam Mackie, in superlatives, holding his work in very high esteem: 'Scroll of exquisite curves. Everything beautifully finished. Sound-holes and purfling deserve similar compliments. Fine belly wood of perfect straightness of grain. Backs, ribs and scroll of Turkish maple. Oil varnish [] always effectively applied.' This positive appraisal much describes this violin, made in 1925, when Mackie was at the peak of his powers.

Referring to this instrument as Scottish would not be correct - although Mackie was born and apprenticed in Aberdeen and Glasgow, he spent several years in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania before settling in Johannesburg (South Africa) in the early 1920s. Throughout his life he carefully studied old Italian instruments, exploring in particular their tonal properties. This resulted in a publication on 'The Secret of Italian Tone', which Henley considers as a real contribution in this field. He copied in particular a Strad from 1720, which may have served as a model for this violin, but an opinion has been expressed that this violin could have been copied from G. B. Guadagnini.

In this violin one immediately notes the exquisite one-piece back. Workmanship throughout is impeccable, notably in the Fs, purfling and corners.

The violin is in superb condition and unusually well-toned with clarity, power and focus and with easy response and ease of execution.


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 35.7 cm

Condition :
  Other than a minor repaired hairline wingcrack in the treble F, this violin is utterly free from cracks.
A thin insert has been made between the back button and neckroot. Whether this was a repair or simply a correction made by the maker himself is not clear - I suspect the latter. However, structurally one can call this violin impeccable.
Marks in the varnish are purely superficial and have no structural implications.

Provenance :

Price : On request


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