A Violin by Robert Duncan, Aberdeen, 1742 - SOLD

Robert Duncan - front   Robert Duncan - side

This historic instrument is the earliest known Scottish violin to survive in all its parts, and came to me in near-pristine, original condition. The scroll has now been grafted to a modern neck, the bass bar replaced and peg-holes bushed. Up and singing after a long silence, nicely adjusted by Robi during restoration, this is in all ways an interesting violin.

Not much is known about Duncan, except that he lived in the Upperkirkgate, near Marischal College in Aberdeen, and examples of his work are rare. Where he learned to make a violin in the Italian manner, we shall probably never know. A cello bearing his label, dated 1736 was bequeathed to the college by Professor James Beattie and is there to this day. I have heard of two other violins, both in the USA.

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Robert Duncan - side   Robert Duncan - back
The two-piece back, ribs and scroll are of native sycamore, the belly of straight, medium-grained pine, both neatly purfled, with corners flush to the ribs. The varnish is of a mid-brown colour, well-applied and with little wear. Set with Thomastik Vision strings, French bridge, soundpost, and best ebony fittings.
Robert Duncan - label