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A. E Smith Violin Sydney 1925

SKU 20400-242


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This violin was made by the ‘father of Australian violin makers’ Arthur Edward Smith in Sydney, in 1925. Smith was born in 1880 in London and migrated to Australia in 1909. After spending just a few years in Melbourne, Smith lived for two years in San Francisco before moving back to Australia in 1914 and opened a shop in Sydney. Throughout Smith’s almost 50 years in Sydney, now well-known Australian violin-makers such as Guy Aubrey Griffin, William Dolphin, Lloyd Adams, Ronald Cragg, Phillip Burgess, Cedric Clarke and Harry Vatiliotis began their careers and training here. Between 1897 and 1970 Smith made close to 200 violins, 40 violas and 3 cellos. Smith’s instruments became sought after by prominent violinists of the time including Isaac Stern, Ruggieri Ricci, Yehudi Menuhin and David Oistrakh. Smith passed away in 1978 in Canberra at age 98. This violin is labelled "Arthur Edward Smith, / Made in Sydney, 1925". The body measures 355mm along the back, 169mm across the upper bouts and 207mm across the lower bouts. It has a two-piece back of highly flamed maple with a moderate curl, and with matching ribs and scroll. The violin has a top of finely grained spruce, a honey-brown varnish, and ebony fittings. It is in good condition. This violin has a rich sound and is most suited for performance at a professional level. It possesses a full, confident tone, layered with resonance, and with an extraordinary ease of projection. The G string has a raw intensity, the D string a smooth, silvery tone, and the A and E strings have a lustre that extends all the way into the higher positions. Even with this sense of variety and character, balance across the four strings is still very even, and neither the upper or lower register jumps out unintentionally. The action and playability is quite easy, with a string height that is comfortable but still high enough for good clarity and projection. Please contact us if you would like to book an appointment to try this beautiful Australian violin.