|Rare & Fine Instruments
The Ifshin Collection of Fine Violins
We at Ifshin Violins have always been proud of our extensive collection of fine string instruments and bows. We currently are fortunate to have an unusually large selection of fine violins. If any of these fine violins are of interest to you, please give us a call. We will be delighted to give you more information.
Giovanni Baptista Ceruti
Cremona, 1802. Giovanni Baptista Ceruti was the founder and most important member of the Ceruti violin making dynasty and the best known Cremonese maker of the post-Storioni era. His direct followers include his son, grandson, as well as the Antoniazzis. When Storioni left Cremona, it seems that Ceruti took over where Storioni left off and became very successful. J.B. Ceruti’s instruments have always in great demand. Our exceptional example has a wonderful tone and we recommend it for a top orchestra musician or soloist
Fermo, mid 19th Century. Postacchini spent his entire career in Fermo and was mostly self-taught. This wonderful violin was made in the maker’s best period. The tone is superb, powerful, resonant and responsive. This would be an excellent choice for a soloist and is tonally one of the best violins we have had in recent years.
Carlo Giuseppe Testore
Carlo Giuseppe is generally considered the most important maker of the Testore family, despite his limited production of instruments. Born in Novara, he moved to nearby Milan in 1683 where he worked with Grancino before setting up on his own. He was focused primarily on tonal qualities in his work, selecting woods for their superior acoustic potential. Today, collectors and concert musicians alike praise his instruments for their sonorous qualities.
This instrument has a wonderful, warm tone, a great deal of depth and rich overtones- a real joy to play. It is a particularly fine example of his work, in a good state of preservation, and comes with certificates from W.E. Hill & Sons and Kenneth Warren in Chicago.
Milan, 1702. Members of the Grancino family are generally considered the best makers in 17th and 18th century Milan. Tonally, this fine violin is exceptional. It has that "old Italian" sound with clarity, brilliance and a great deal of power and projection. This would be a wonderful violin for a professional or soloist.
Modena, 1790. This beautiful violin is the best work we have seen by Soliani. It was made on the model of J.B. Guadagnini. The varnish is a striking red-orange and the tone is full, warm, and rich. This is an outstanding violin for the professional musician.
Milan, 1900. Bisiach was probably the most important figure in Italian violin making of his era. His instruments dating from 1900 and before are considered by experts to be his best. This is an exceptional example of his work, in wonderful condition and a superb tone. It is one of the finest examples by this maker we have ever had.
Rimini, 1966. Having worked in both France and Italy, Capicchioni started to become respected as a maker by the late 1930’s, winning numerous awards and medals at competitions. Both Menuhin and Oistrakh along with other famous soloists came to Rimini to commission instruments from him. He is noted for his superb workmanship, choice of wood and beautiful, transparent varnish. This violin is a exceptional example of his work and one of the finest we have ever seen.
Carlo Antonio Testore
Milan, 1764 (7/8). Instruments of the 18th Century Milanese makers are always in demand because they represent excellent value in a fine old Italian violins. Their clients were not as wealthy as those from Cremona and Venice, so they had to use plainer wood and work more quickly, yet the tone quality of their instruments ranks with the best of the great old Italian masters. This violin has a wonderful "old Italian" sound. This is an excellent choice for the professional musician looking for a slightly smaller instrument of quality.
Rome, 1904. This violin is an especially fine example of Fredi’s work, made during the best period of his long and distinguished career. The tone is clear and focused, but with depth and warmth. The maker’s original handwritten label is a dedication to the owner of this violin.
Milan, 1926. Musicians from all over the world flocked to Bisiach’s shop. At the time it was one of the most important shops anywhere. The quality of the instruments produced there were the very best. This is an outstanding example with a responsive tone with depth and character.
Florence, 1936. As the son of Leandro Sr., Carlo Bisiach worked as his father’s assistant until he left for Florence in 1926. He is considered by many as the most gifted of Leandro’s three sons and his violins are highly sought after. This beautiful violin has an excellent tone of great depth and warmth.
Carl Becker & Son
Chicago, 1951. Carl Becker is considered by most experts as the greatest of all American makers. This is one of the finest examples we have seen from this period and is in unusually fine condition.
Gaetano Gadda was the only student of the great Stefano Scarampella and his instruments show many of the qualities of his master. This fine violin was made during his best period after he had broken away from his master's style and had found his own way. The tone is brilliant and quite responsive and is in superb condition.
Born in Parma, Tarasconi trained in Milan with L.Rossi before setting up own shop in 1888. He became very successful and respected. He also worked with most of the other makers in Milan including Leandro Bisiach and the Antoniazzis. This violin has a wonderful responsive sweet tone and is very easy to play.
Bologna, 1957. Originally a self taught maker, Bignami began working and studying in Gaetano Pollastri’s workshop in 1952. Using his own Pollastri inspired model, Bignami won prizes in 1956, 1957 and 1976. He was a highly influential maker, having founded the Bologna violin making school in 1983. This violin is an unusually fine example from 1957, his prize winning year, and is accompanied by a Rampal certificate.
Florence, 1921. A student of his younger brother Serafino Casini, Lapo was mostly known as an expert restorer in his native Florence. He built instruments on his own model. He was particularly interested in classical varnish recipes, later publishing a book on the subject. This violin, made in 1921, is a fine example of his unique style. This violin is accompanied by a Dmitry Gindin certificate.
Caressa & Français
Paris, 1920. For many decades, the firm of Caressa & Français was perhaps the most important and respected violin dealers in Paris. Many of the most important makers worked there. Musicians and collectors from all over the world came there. This beautiful violin is in wonderful condition and is one of the finest examples from these makers we have ever seen.
Paris, 1874. Chardon was a pupil of the great Georges Chanot and opened his atelier two years before this exceptional violin was made. He had a long and distinguished career both as a maker and expert. This violin is in exceptional condition. The tone is brilliant and responsive.
Los Angeles, 1957. Of all of the violins by Mario Frosali that we have offered over the years, this exceptional instrument is by far the finest. In a letter that accompanies this violin, Frosali states that this is one of the best he ever made. All of us here are especially enthusiastic about it. The tone is superb, full and warm. This would be a great choice for a top professional violinist.
1949. Over the years we have been fortunate to have been able to offer several fine violins by Genuzio Carletti, but this is one of the finest we have ever had. It was made the same year that he won first prize at the important Cremona competition when he was at the peak of his career. The tone is brilliant, with great depth and complexity and of exceptional quality.
Cento, 1930. Mozzani set up a workshop in 1910 to make string instruments. While some of the violins were of the less expensive student type, he also employed some of the best makers of the time like the Antoniazzi’s to make his best instruments. This is one of the best Mozzani’s we have seen. It has a powerful, brilliant, responsive tone and is in excellent condition.
Pieve De Cento, 1946. Nullo was the third son and student of Carlo Carletti. A talented violin maker, Nullo was also an electrician and mechanic, even patenting an electric guitar prototype. Because of economic struggles he made only about 200 instruments, all of high quality. His work is best known in this country due to the family's relationship with Joseph Settin in New York. This violin is a classic example of his work and has a clear, singing tone.
Bordeaux, 1900, no. 99. Resuche worked for famous shops both in Paris (Gand & Bernardel) and Lyon (Diter) before establishing his own shop in Bordeaux. This beautifully made violin has a full, rich tone.
Budapest, 1918. Like many great makers, Toth began his professional career in his father’s cabinet making shop. After studying violin making in Hungary and Vienna, Toth established his shop in Budapest in 1910. He quickly became one of the most important Hungarian luthiers of the first half of the 20th century, achieving very high prices during his lifetime. His instruments won many prizes, including 1922 in Budapest and 1931 in Rome. This violin is a classic example of his Guarneri model, full bodied, with dark amber varnish and a warm, well-balanced sound.
Gennaro De Luccia
Miami, 1974. Gennaro De Luccia came from a large family of violin makers that spanned three generations. He came to America in 1951 and worked at the famous Rembert Wurlitzer shop along with his brother Vincenzo plus some of the best makers of the mid 20th. century. This violin was dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, according to the maker’s internal inscription.
Turin, 2006. Ada Quaranta’s instrument are in great demand because of their great quality. She studied at the Cremona school beginning in 1990 after receiving her diploma in violin performance. After graduation, she worked in some of the most important shops in Germany and France. She has won numerous awards for her work. We are pleased to be able to offer this fine example of her work.
Turin, 1999. See description above.
Ravenna, 1976. Cavalazzi was a student of Domenico Veggi and established his workshop in the late 1920’s. A highly respected maker, he also did extensive research in varnish chemistry. This violin has a full, warm tone of great quality.
Bologna. 1984. Magrini has become one of the most important makers of the Bologna school and this violin displays the best of the elegance and craftsmanship of the Bologna makers. This violin is a reproduction of a violin by Ansaldo Poggi.
Ascoli Piceno, circa 1930-40. Labeled Riccardo Antoniazzi.
Known as “The Turk”, Constantine was a farm laborer in his native Ascoli Piceno before studying violin making with his brother Emilio. Though his workmanship was often rustic, he had a keen ability to craft instruments of fine tone. This violin is an excellent example of his work, and has a powerful, clear and rich tone. It is accompanied by a D’Attili certificate.
Buenos Aires, early 20th century. Rovatti studied with Enrico Ceruti before emigrating to Buenos Aires in 1885 where he joined many other fine Italian makers who were encouraged to move to Argentina. This violin has a brilliant, responsive tone.
Possibly by George Gemunder
Catania, 1923. This violin by Puglisi is an excellent value in a quality Italian violin. The tone is warm and surprisingly responsive.
Stentor, Nicolas Vuillaume
Mirecourt. The Stentor violins were made in the workshop of Nicolas Vuillaume to be sold in the shop of his brother, J.B. Vuillaume, in Paris, as well as other shops. The demand for the Stentor instruments has been increasing dramatically in recent years due to their excellent workmanship and tone. This example has a powerful, highly responsive, vibrant tone.
Bordeaux, 1909. Résuche worked in Paris with Gand and Bernardel and at Lyon with Justin Diter before settling in Bordeaux in 1897. This attractive violin has a big, full bodied responsive tone.
Fine old German
Labeled Carcassi, Saxony c. 1900. As can be seen from the photos, this violin is exceptionally beautiful. The workmanship is very fine and it has an excellent tone with power and brilliance.
French, labeled Nicolaus Amatus
From the workshop of N. Vuillaume, Mirecourt.
Nicolas Vuillaume, borther of Jean Baptiste, made fine instruments for his brother as well as for others.
Rome, 1922. This attractive violin is in excellent condition and has a very nice rich, sweet tone.
Ravenna, 2007. Marco Minnozzi has been making violins for over 25 years. He trained with Renato Scrollavezza in Parma and has worked with V. Nigogosian, Horacio Pineiro, and Rene Morel in New York. His work is sought after all over the world. This beautifully crafted violin has a full, warm tone.
Ashtead, Surrey, 1958. Hardwick was a pupil of George Wulme Hudson. This violin has a brilliant, powerful tone.
Carlos Funes Vitanza
San Francisco, 2006. Carlos Funes studied violin making in Cremona at the violin making school and worked in Cremona for a period before returning to San Francisco. Even after many years away from Italy, his instruments show many characteristics of the Cremona School.
possibly Stockport, England, latter 19th Century. Craske was a very prolific maker who worked anonymously for much of his career. After he died, W.E. Hill & Sons purchased and labeled all of his instruments. None of these instruments are dated. The workmanship of Craske's instruments can vary a great deal. This is one of the best examples we have seen. The tone is warm and rich.
Brussels, 1925. After apprenticing with Chevrier in Mirecourt (from age 13) and working at major shops in Paris, Bourguignon went to Brussels and worked with G. Mougenot. He took over his shop in 1910. During his career, he won numerous medals for his work. This violin is in superb condition and has a powerful, brilliant tone.
Cremona, 2009. After graduating from the school of violin making in Cremona thirteen years ago, Daniele Tonarelli has distinguished himself in a number of competitions around the world. This beautifully crafted violin is in the classic modern Cremona style. The tone is even, warm and clear.
Cremona, 2012. Since graduating from the school of violin making in Cremona fifteen years ago, Daniele Tonarelli has distinguished himself in a number of competitions around the world. This beautifully crafted violin is in the classic modern Cremona style. The tone is even, warm and clear.
We are very enthusiastic about Haensel’s work. He first worked with several important makers as well as graduating from the Mittenwald school. Since then he has done an extensive study of varnish. This violin has a powerful, vibrant and responsive tone.
Milan, 2007. Rossi graduated from the Parma school headed by Scrollevezza and has also studied with Greg Alf, Guy Rabut, and Carlos Arcieri in New York before opening his workshop. We have just received this violin and were immediately impressed with the beauty and elegance of the workmanship as well as the tone.
Alessandro Commendulli worked with some of the most important Cremonese makers at the International Violin Making School before graduating in 1995. His work is of the finest quality, both tonally and aesthetically. Since 2001 he has shared a workshop with Daniele Tonarelli in Cremona. This violin is a copy of the “Lord Wilton” Del Gesu and has a silvery, robust tone.
Carlos was originally from Argentina where he worked with Allesandro Bertoncello, before moving to Cremona to study at the International Violin Making School. He set up his own workshop after graduation in 1990. This violin has a full rich tone of great charm and complexity.
Chicago, 1996. Esteemed Chicago maker William Whedbee studied with Morassi and Conia at the violin making school in Cremona and worked at the William Harris Lee shop from 1979 until 1992 when he opened his own workshop. His instruments are used by professional musicians all over the world. This beautiful example has a nice warm tone with great depth, and is in superb condition.
Chaumont,1924. This beautiful violin has a full, warm tone.
Mattia Paolo Riva
Varese, 2008. We recently met this gifted maker and were very impressed with his work. This striking violin has a lustrous red-orange varnish. The tone is also impressive, powerful, brilliant, and tremendously responsive.
Scrollavezza & Zanré
Parma, 2007. Elisa's father Renato Scrollavezza founded the famous violin making school in Parma so she was deeply involved in the world of violin making from childhood. In 2002, Elisa formed a partnership with Andrea Zanré, also a Scrollavezza student. In their workshop in the historic center of Parma, they concentrate on making new instruments along with training the next generation of violin makers. Mr. Ifshin just chose three violins from their selection and we are delighted with them. We also chose two of the violins made in their Parma workshop under their direction which represent an excellent value.
Cremona, 2008. Borja comes from Madrid, but started his training in violin making in the U.S. He moved to Cremona to study at the violin making school. After graduation, he worked with Silvio Levaggi and Alberto Giordano before establishing his own workshop. In 2006, Borja won two silver medals for a violin and viola at the Violin Society of America competition in Baltimore.
Andrea began his career in violin making with his father in Moscow and was already an established maker when he began his studies at the violin making school in Cremona, graduating in 1995. He has won numerous awards at international competitions.
Madrid, 1967. Fernando Solar is considered one of the most important Spanish makers of the 20th century. His instruments are known for their full, rich tone. This violin is a fine and characteristic example of his work.
Cremona, 2014. Ferrari graduated from the Cremona violin making school ten years ago and has worked with Massimo Negroni and Elio Severgnini. He works both in Cermona and Madrid. We picked this violin from our last Cremona exhibition.
A few years ago, Mr. Ifshin met this gifted maker in Europe and was most impressed with his work. He is clearly one of the most talented makers of his generation. He studied with Scrollavezza at the school in Parma. We currently have a selection of Marcello's violins.
Cremona, 2000. Nolli, like many of the top Cremona makers, was fortunate to have been at the school when Stefano Conia and Giorgio Scolari were teaching there. Since graduation, he has won numerous medals at competitions all over Italy and has launched a very successful career. This violin is now a few years old and has been "played in." The tone is smooth, clear and responsive.
Canossa, 2006. Virgoletti is the son of a woodworker and lute maker and was introduced to violin making by Ferdinando Garimberti. After making several violins, he began a ten-year apprenticeship with Sesto Rocchi. Starting in 1993 he began working with the Bisollottis (both father and son).
Mirecourt, 1868. This violin is one of the finest D. Nicolas violins we have ever seen. It bears a written inscription internally on the back dated 1868. The condition is excellent and the tone is full and brilliant.
Berkeley, 2014. This outstanding violin won certificate of merit for tone at the 2015 Violin Society of America competition in Indianapolis.
Fabrizio Di Pietrantonio
Livorno, 2004. Born in Livorno in 1964, Pietrantonio worked with several important makers who trained him in the traditions of the Bisiach family and especially Igino Sderci. This violin is a reproduction of the model of J.B. Guadagnini and has a wonderful, rich tone of great character.
Toulouse, 1951. This violin is especially beautiful with a rich, ruby-red varnish and is in almost new condition. This tone is brilliant, powerful, clear and responsive.
Neufchâteau, mid 19th Century, labeled Gaspar da Salo. A great violin for the musician looking for an instrument with a full, dark, rich tone.
Guy Aubrey Griffin
Sydney, 1937. Guy Aubrey Griffin emigrated to Australia in 1924 and became the assistant to A.E.Smith, one of the great makers of the 20th. Century. In fact, his work shares many of the characteristics of his master, especially the varnish. This fine violin has a full, warm tone.
1999. After studying at the violin making school in Mittenwald in his native Germany, Kapfhammer moved to Salt Lake City and taught at the violin making school there in the mid 70’s. He has worked primarily in Salt Lake, but also for a number of years in the Bay Area. The tone is powerful, responsive and brilliant.
San Jose, CA 1915.
Although born in California, Lanini studied in Italy, first with Romeo Antoniazzi and then with Farotti in Milan from 1911 to 1914 before returning to San Jose. This violin is in almost new condition and has many characteristics of the maker's masters.
Markneukirchen, circa 1900. This violin is typical of the very best work coming from Saxony at a time that the workshops there were producing their finest instruments. This attractive violin has a powerful, very responsive tone.
El Cerrito, 2012. Over the last several years, Haide Lin, who oversees both our repair and restoration workshop and our Jay Haide workshop, has won numerous medals and awards at the Violin Society of America competitions. This exceptional and beautiful violin is modeled afte the work of the great J.B.Vuillaume. Tonally outstanding, this violin has a responsive tone with great depth and complexity.
Ernst Heinrich Roth
Markneukirchen, 1925. The Roth instruments from the 1920’s are among the finest and most sought after German instruments from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Patterned after a 1725 Stradivarius, this was Roth’s finest model and is an exceptionally beautiful example.
Giustino Dal Canto
Castelfranco di Sotto (Pisa), 1959.
Neufchâteau c. late 19th Century
Cremona, 2010. Sperzaga graduated from the school of violin making in Cremona in 1986 and set up his own workshop in 1990. He has won a number of awards at competitions around the world, including the Violin Society of America. Since 1998, he has taught varnish technique at the Cremona school.
Palermo, 2010. Pampalone has been a violin maker since 1997 and while still young, we consider him an interesting up-and-coming maker of great talent. The tone is strong, full and rich.
Henry Richard Knopf
New York, 1934. A member of a very famous family of violin and bow makers, H.R. Knopf studied with his father Heinrich and other important makers in Germany before coming to this country. He established what was to become a very important and successful shop in New York. Tonally, this violin has a brilliant, clear and responsive tone.
Pisano (near Milan). We have several examples by this maker. See more detailed information.
K. Lothar Meisel
Owatonna, MN 1969. Kurt Lothar and his father came to this country from Klingenthal, Germany in the early 1950's. They were raised in a famous family of violin makers going back to the late 1700's. Their work has always been highly respected all over the country. This fine example of K. Lothar's work has a powerful, brilliant tone.
Caussin workshop, labeled Januarious Gagliano
Workshop of Aristide Cavalli "Officina C. Monteverdi"
Labeled Giovanni Maria Ceruti, Cremona, 1923.
Aristide Cavalli established a workshop in Cremona called the "Officina C. Monteverdi" in 1880, which employed excellent makers making the "Giovanni Maria Ceruti" instruments. He also taught at the violin making school there. The tone is big, powerful and brilliant.
Bad Brambach, 1988. Werner learned violin making from his father Walter an continued on in the workshop. He has won numerous awards for his instruments in international competitions, both in the East and the West. Both Werner and Walter are noted for thier exceptional workmanship.
Salt Lake, 1989. Paul Hart is considered one of the key figures in American violin making. In the 1970’s he taught at the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake. In his classes were those who were to become some of the most important American makers of their generation. He continues to teach violin makers today. This violin shows his exemplary craftsmanship and skill in varnish work. The tone is brilliant and powerful.
Bad Brambach, 1957.
This beautiful violin was crafted with very striking bird’s-eye maple. The wonderful tone is full, warm and rich. See our listing above for a violin by a violin by his son Werner.
1927. This beautiful violin represents Gütter's best work. It is in exceptional condition and has a wonderful tone.
Heinrich Th. Heberlein Jr.
Markneukirchen, 1926. A very nice example from the Heberlein workshop, this violin is in excellent condition and has a big, powerful tone.
French, early 20th century.
Ernst Heinrich Roth
Bubenreuth, 2003. One of the best known names in the violin world is that of Ernst Heinrich Roth. Beginning in the early 1920's, this workshop produced some of the best workshop violins to be found. Today, they maintain two workshops in Markneukirchen and Bubenreuth. With only five makers, they concentrate on high quality instruments. Jay Ifshin purchased this beautiful violin directly from Ernst Heinrich Roth IV.
Denver, 1924, #316. Born in Sweden, Hennig worked in Miami, Denver (1920-1928) and Seattle. His work is highly respected for workmanship and the quality of his varnish.
Budapest. Horvath is an interesting young maker who has had success in various international competitions. This violin has a brilliant, responsive tone.
Oakland, 1914. The Aschow family were the most important makers and dealers in the San Francisco East Bay area for almost 70 years, closing in 1969. John was born in Denmark and studied at the violin making school in Mittenwald before coming to this country at the beginning of the last century.
Frankfurt an der Oder, 1890. Julius Altrichter had an important workshop making fine violins and bows for many years. This violin is in excellent condition and has a big, brilliant tone.
Oakland, 1915. The Aschow family were the most important makers and dealers in the San Francisco East Bay area for almost 70 years, closing shop in 1969. John was born in Denmark and studied at the violin making school in Mittenwald before coming to this country at the beginning of the last century.
Markneukirchen, 1922. Made for William Lewis and Son, Chicago.
Ernst Heinrich Roth
Markneukirchen, Amati model.
Ernst Heinrich Roth
Markneukirchen, Amati Model
Model 66, Bubenreuth, 2008
“Primiata Liuteria Italiana”
Cremona, 2014. This beautifully made violin represents an exceptional value in a handcrafted Italian violin.
Forcheim, 2012. Model 703
Jay Haide, á l'ancienne
Jay Haide, à l'ancienne. Our latest reproduction in the à l'ancienne series is of a Tomasso Balestrieri from the Ifshin collection. These instruments are enjoyed by advanced students and have recently become possible as a nice sounding alternative for professional players that do not want to travel with more expensive instruments.
New! We have an exciting addition to the à l'ancienne collection. This is our "Special Model" made with aged European wood.
(Click here for further information on our Jay Haide instruments.)
The Monza, Bubenreuth, Germany. This newly introduced model from the famous Heinrich Gill firm has an excellent full warm tone.
Bulgaria, model VP1.
The Kremona workshop has been in operation in Bulgaria since 1922. These instruments have been popular with our customers in recent years. We feel that they are among the best and most affordable violins available from Eastern Europe.
The popular Jay Haide 104 model is an excellent choice for an intermediate to advanced student.
Bulgaria, model VP3.
Jay Haide, Model 101. This fully handmade instrument is an excellent choice for a promising player on a budget.
(Click here for further information on our Jay Haide instruments.)
Wernitzgrün, Models 93MT and 98AP.
For the past 25 years, we have been offering the Alois Sandner instruments from Bubenreuth Germany and have always been delighted with the quality.
"Alosa" model #8120.
The Alosa from Alois Sandner is the best value we have ever found in a well made European violin.
The Borceto is our most affordable violin. Hand made in our workshop and set up here in El Cerrito, this violin offers a wonderful value for the beginning violinist.
We also have a fine selection of violin bows by such makers as: Victor Fetique, Emile Ouchard, W. E. Hill & Sons, Cuniot-Hury, Roger Gerome, Vidoudez, Morizot, Marcel Lapierre, Albert Nurnberger, G.A., H.R. and F.C. Pfretzschner, F. Daugin, Morgan Andersen and many more. Please see our Fine Bow page for a full listing.
Of course, our collection of fine violins is always changing. We strongly recommend that you call before you come in, to see what instruments are available for you to try.