Edwin Whitmarsh violin

Edwin Whitmarsh violin


Dated 1922, London.


Edwin Whitmarsh trained with his father, Emmanuel, a prolific maker in London from around 1856 until 1908.  Little is known about Edwin, who worked in London from around 1900 until World War Two.  Neither William Henley nor John Dilworth (in the Brompton’s Book of Violin and Bow Makers) has a particularly high opinion of Edwin’s work.  When we first saw this instrument in 1993, it was considered the finest Whitmarsh we had ever seen, but because the label is hand-signed “E. Whitmarsh” we assumed it to be the work of Emmanuel.  However, some dealer colleagues in the UK advised me that in their experience, the rarer instruments by Edwin are in a much more impressive league than his father.  Their research has led them to find that many of Edwin’s instruments were exported to the Colonies.  We have also since seen a hand-written letter from Edwin Whitmarsh, and the handwriting and signature clearly indicate that this violin is by Edwin.  We have purchased this from the estate of the son of the original owner.  Recently lightly restored by Helge Grawert, there is just one repaired wing crack on the bass side, and is otherwise in exceptional condition.  Set up by Helge Grawert with Zyex strings.


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