Fine Musical Instruments Online
English Leather Violin Case, Finnigan, c. 1900, branded FINNIGAN/MAKER/MANCHESTER, ht. 9 1/2, wd. 30 3/4, dp. 5 1/2 in.
Provenance: The collection of Dr. Glenn P. Wood.
Literature: The Art & History of Violin Cases, 2008, pp. 56-57, illustrated.
N.B. "It is rare to be able to trace violin cases to workshops without specific links to the violin trade, but here we have one of unquestioned provenance. Twice branded with the Finnigan logo, this case was made in Manchester, England, around the turn of the 20th century.
In its day, Finnigan's was a highly prestigious store specializing in luxury items rivaling those of Harrods or Liberty. Most prized were its leather goods and in particular traveling trunks and cases. Many first class passengers sailing with the Titanic would have had luggage made by Finnigan's, and with that doomed cargo began the end of an era that was not to return. The Titanic disaster soon followed by the First World War ushered in a period of austerity that sealed the fate of the two Finnigan stores in London and Dublin.
The finest saddle leather has been fashioned around a steel box thus providing total stability to the structure and protection for the instrument. The edging to the case and top are of fine Moroccan leather dyed purple to match the velvet lining.
Two bows can be accommodated on a plush pad hinged by leather within the lid. The ebony spinners were typical for the day.
Side loading cases like this one are unusual; the design is rarely used. However, the footprint of the case is small and it would stack neatly amongst other luggage, not to mention the comfort of hand carrying."
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