Description: This violin is a fine old English instrument, the work of Jacob Ford of London. It dates from c1790. It is a fine and characteristic example of the maker’s work.
Measurements: 35.7cm in length of body, with widths of 16.4cm and 20.2cm.
Violin maker: Ford, Jacob Worked 1770-1795 London UK. According to his labels Ford worked from various addresses including ‘corner of Davies Street and Berkeley Square’ and ‘South-Street, Grosvenor Square’. The Hill Archive relates that he was a ‘Gentlemen’s Servant’ by profession and that he later became a ‘lodging-house keeper’. Seems to have supplied work to Duke, Simpson, and Thompson, as his signature is found within instruments bearing those labels. Often given false Italian labels, having been passed off as Roman or Florentine work by unscrupulous dealers. Only one cello recorded but small violas encountered. Very fine and distinctive workmanship on a broadly Stainer-derived model. Beautifully finished scroll of personal model, with deep undercuts and narrow chamfer; concentric volutes but core, laid close to the edge. Thin but complex and rich varnish of golden-amber colour. Often signed on the interior of the front in pencil. [John Dilworth]
The Jacob Ford violin on loan to me from the Harrison-Frank Foundation is a perfect instrument to be played on with gut strings and will from now on be the instrument I play on in the Consone Quartet. This instrument has a gorgeous deep lower register and a beautiful bright top register, perfect for blending in a quartet while also being able to bring out those higher singing violin melodies. I very much look forward to getting to know this instrument better and exploring lots of repertoire on it!
Agata Daraskaite, October 2017