Description: this violin is a fine old English instrument, the work of John Betts of London, whose original brand is at the top of the back. It dates from c.1800. The neck is original.

Measurements: 35.6cm in length of body, with widths of 16.1cm and 20.3cm.

Violin maker: Betts, John (I). Born 1752 Stamford, died 1823 London UK. Apprenticed to Richard Duke in 1765, subsequently buying the business from Duke’s daughter Anne. In 1781 he was established independently in Holborn, moving to Royal Exchange in 1782. He employed G. Gillingham, Edward Betts and John Carter, then Vincenzo Panormo, Joseph and Henry Lockey Hill, Richard Tobin, Bernard Fendt (father and son), John Furber, and a minor maker named Isaac Newton. Betts himself became Official Valuer of violins to the Customs office. While these craftsmen produced a very important body of work, particularly the cellos which have become highly sought-after, Betts’ greatest importance was as an expert and entrepreneur, responsible for making London a major centre of violin making activity in the 19th century. Often signed internally on front. Branded below the back button: Betts / Royal Exchange / London. Printed label: Jo. Betts, No.2 / near Northgate the / Royal Exchange London, 1789. John Betts, No.2 North Piazza / Royal Exchange, London, fecit / January 9, 1782. [John Dilworth]


This violin is currently available.