Fine Musical Instruments Online
English Mahogany "Apostle" Violin Case, W.E. Hill & Sons, c. 1890, the plaques inscribed W. E. HILL & SONS/VIOLIN MAKERS/38, NEW BOND ST/LONDON, the domed lid inlaid with herringbone banding, the compartment lid inlaid with music-themed marquetry, approximate length of back 360 mm, ht. 5 5/16, wd. 30 11/16, dp. 10 1/4 in.
Provenance: The collection of Dr. Glenn P. Wood.
Literature: Journal of the Violin Society of America Papers, Vol. XXI, No. 1, 2007, cover, illustrated.
N.B. "There is a funny story relating to the discovery of this case. It appeared on eBay in 2006 with a starting price of $20. I couldn't believe my eyes and wrote to the seller to ask if his price was correct. He replied that it was and that he had found it in a local yard sale and was hoping to get $50 for it. Keen to terminate the auction before others had a chance to bid, I mentioned to him that if he was prepared to sell it immediately I might go to $200. He replied incredulously that the case did not include a violin, it was the case alone. While he was mulling over my offer he received another offer and decided that he would just leave the case on the auction to let the chips fall where they may. In the end, just as the prospect of acquiring an Apostle case for $200 slipped from my grasp, I had to pay well over four figures. I was never able to find out how such a distinguished violin case ended up in a yard sale in Ohio.
This edition of VSA Papers also contains my paper titled 'Violin Cases of the 18th and 19th Centuries in their Historical Settings.' In the article, a strong connection can be seen between this case and the one made by Gand Freres in 1865 for 'Mad' King Ludwig II of Bavaria currently in the collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
The case was also the subject of the YouTube video 'An Outstanding Violin Case by W.E. Hill & Sons' (April 2009) which has attracted 13,000+ views."
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