Already established as a maker of the Highland bagpipe, Torquil took to violin as musical fashions changed. This is his 'Stradivarius' model, no.3, a fraction under 14" in the back, well-wooded in the neck, with a strong scroll. The belly-plate is of open-grained spruce, carefully graded - the two-piece back and ribs of nicely figured maple, with simple, neat edging - both efficiently purfled. The transparent oil varnish, sparingly applied, is an attractive honey-amber on a pale ground. A few tool-marks can be seen here and there. Pegs and end-pin are original boxwood, fingerboard is in blackwood (from his pipe-making stock, no doubt) with ebony tailpiece, chinrest and Thomastik Vision strings. A fine violinist recently singled out this fiddle from several he tried one day, praising it's 'breadth of tone' and 'rewarding nature'.
|It came to me in the case Torquil sold along with it to a Mrs Parker, who paid him 12 guineas, including the bow, in 1933. The original bill of sale is also here, duty stamped and signed, as is the label. For those of you with a particular interest in Scottish makers, there is an exhibit at Inverness Museum, including his tools, one or two of his later violins and some pipes.|