The Makers

Voller Brothers

William (1854-1933), Alfred (1856-1918) and Charles (1865-1949) Voller, are amongst the finest copyists in the history of violin making.

The range of their copies goes from violins in the general style of, to what they termed on their labels an ‘exact copy’; some of these have an almost preternatural ability to conjure the original both in their making and in their brilliantly executed varnish composition and wear.

Their association with Hart & Son of Wardour Street lasted from sometime before 1886 to around 1900. It was a time when fakes abounded as the demand for old Italian violins rocketed, inevitably their work was drawn into the ‘darkside‘ of copying and they became infamous throughout London’s violin world.

Some of their work at least was innocent enough. Our violin of 1898, after Stradivari, was never intended to deceive but was an honest homage to the master. The workmanship and the gently worn orange varnish combine to make this a beguiling instrument.