Fine Musical Instruments Online
English Amboyna Veneer Dart Violin Case, the upper compartment labeled JOHN HART./OLD INSTRUMENTS PURCHASED AND REPAIRED./A VARIETY OF CREMONA AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS./Violin, Violoncello Double Bass & Guitar Maker,/DEALER IN CREMONA INSTUMENTS./14, Princes Street, Leicester Square./LONDON./ONE DOOR FROM GERRARD STREET./Importer of Roman & Neapolitan Violin, Violoncello,/and Harp Strings., the mother-of-pearl plaque inscribed Lyon & Healy/CHICAGO, the bass compartment stamped TUBBS, approximate length of back 370 mm, ht. 5 5/8, wd. 31 3/4, dp. 9 1/2 in.
Provenance: The collection of Dr. Glenn P. Wood; Hermann Walecki.
N.B. "This case was owned by Hermann Walecki, the manager of Lyon & Healy's Los Angeles store, and it was his determination that this case was formerly part of the collection of Dwight J. Partello, the prolific violin collector referenced in Lyon & Healy's own catalog, The Hawley Collection of Violins, published in 1904. Hermann Walecki left this as part of his large rare violin book collection.
The label inside the end compartment is that of John Hart. John Hart died in 1874 and had the distinction of handling more Cremonese violins than anyone else in Britain. The firm of Hill hardly existed at this time. In the last quarter of the 19th century, the firm was run by John's son and grandson and had the name Hart & Son. If the case is contemporary with the label, and the association with the violins in the Hawley Collection (supplied by Hart & Son) would suggest so, then the case would predate 1874. The puzzle is now why the case belonging to Sarasate and now in the Conservatorio de Musica, Madrid, is identical in construction and yet bears a Hill label. This label has the address 72 Wardour St dating it to before 1887 when they moved to larger premises in 38, New Bond St. It seems likely, therefore that both cases were made by Hart at their peak and Hill subcontracted the work of making these cases before they had the skills and space to undertake such work themselves."
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