Fine Violins and Bows – Martin Swan Violins
Browse at your leisure in our online violin shop
Finding a great sounding violin at a fair price is no easy matter, and choosing the right violin dealer is almost as hard as choosing the right violin.
Whatever your budget, we can help. Professional violinists and amateurs alike come to us because they want great tone and playability, authenticity backed up by independent certificates, transparent pricing, and level-headed advice about investment.
The internet has permeated every aspect of our lives, and now every violin shop has a website. We have been doing this for longer and we do it better. We offer easy navigation, useful photos that expand easily, and daily updating of our listings. We give relevant information about our items for sale, without recourse to gimmicks or trickery. We have an extensive archive of sold items, and our customer reviews are genuine.
The violin trade is changing fast. In a world of increasingly fluid pricing and decreasing responsibility on the part of the seller, we offer simplicity, security and common sense. Our relationship with our customers is friendly and relaxed – we work with the broadest imaginable range of players at all levels of proficiency. We like to make our customers feel comfortable. We are not pushy.
We deal internationally in fine violins, violas and bows, clocking up a lot of air-miles to meet clients, and regularly shipping instruments around the globe. We may look like an online business, but in fact more than half of our customers meet us in person – we have premises in the Scottish Borders and in London.
A violin dealer should really understand violins – not just their history and construction but also how they work in a musical context. Only a player can do this. You can talk to us about musical issues and we will understand, whether you are a classical or a traditional musician.
We won’t waste your time by making you play through shelves of instruments which look great but sound terrible. We are very selective about what instruments we stock, putting sound and playability above any other considerations. All of our customers remark on the quality of the instruments and bows we offer.
We offer a 14 day trial period, we guarantee our attributions, we provide certificates from leading authorities, and we disclose all condition issues. We may not be a bargain basement, but our prices are fair and visible to everyone.
Above all, we respect our customers.
If this sounds like the kind of violin dealer you’re looking for, just pick up the phone or send us an email.
Scotland, London and Online
Martin told me about a violin he just acquired a violin by Pedrinelli made in the 1850’s and I found a young artist playing one here:
Violins Created to Look and Sound like the Masters
Would you like to purchase a solo violin? Traditionally the best violins in the world are made in Cremona, Italy with violins at very attractive prices compared to the millions spent on collectors violins. When you order one of these, you will receive a violin of good quality and sound. Listen to the two videos below for samples of this great Italian sound. We can also get quotes upon request for any violin made by the masters but copied to perfection and beauty by any of the makers available to us. Above on the page entitled “Violins” we even show a custom made violin which can be ordered. I started to play at 8 years of age and would love to have had one of these violins for many years of playing the violin in orchestras, for solos, and in ensembles over the years. This is why I highly recommend these fine violins at great prices.
Renato Scrollavezza was born in Castelnuovo Fogliani, in the province of Piacenza, on April 14th 1927. His parents, who were farm labourers, moved to Noceto in 1930. There Renato attended the elementary school and started to help his parents in their work. From his infancy he demonstrated a marked talent for drawing, which was frustrated due to the lack of encouragement from the environment.However even stronger in him was his passion for music, and this expressed itself in the desire to play the violin, an instrument which had struck his sensitivity during a public concert in the village square. At the early age of 15, having had the opportunity of examining a mandolin, Scrollavezza decided to build one. But it was always the violin (or rather the intense recollection of that day in the square and those heart-aching notes) which filled the boy’s dreams. And when finally a friend manages to purchase the longed-for instrument, Renato (then 17) throws himself into the task of making one. Once more alone, with no help other than his great passion.
The number of instruments built during the course of these years is noteworthy: 220 violins, 60 violas, 39 cellos, 3 basses, 2 violas d’amore, a viella, a lute, a gamba, a pochette and a hundred or so classical guitars. The maturity of workmanship attained procures him teaching responsibilities as well. In fact in 1975 he is teacher of violin-making at the A. Boito Conservatory in Parma and from 1979 ’till 1983 he lectures at the Milan School of Violin-Making.
In 1980 he is invited as guest of honour to the 7th International Expo in Japan, representing Italian violin-making. That same year however, there is an important turning point in Scrollavezza’s career: the Maestro decides not to sell his instruments anymore, although pressed with many requests. He intends to dedicate all his energy to pure research for his own personal satisfaction, with the aim of reaching that balance between form and sound which represents the only real secret of stringed instruments. In this sense the construction of a complete orchestra is to be understood – an extremely rare example in the history of violin-making. This is a sample of his violins.
I have found several that can make an exact copy of any old master violin. If you would like to order custom made violins from a Cermona Master, please write us on the contact page to tell us what violin you would like one of our master craftsman to make.
To find the true masters like Guarneri del Gesu and others, click on the picture below:
Click on the Graphic below for Violin Master Class