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Don Rickert Musician Shop

Hellier Strad Copy: Southern Mountain Classic Fiddles Collection

Call for pricing: 404-828-0136

Hellier Strad Copy: Southern Mountain Classic Fiddles Collection

Call for pricing: 404-828-0136
0.00 LBS
Generally ships within 21 days, depending on setup options

Product Description

Shell or mother of pearl (MOP) inlay in lieu of regular purfling has its roots in the late 1600s with a particular custom instrument made by Antonio Stradivari known as the “Hellier Strad”. Strad copies in general have always been quite popular among Southern Mountain fiddlers. In the earlier days, Strad copies with shell inlay purfling were extremely popular. The decoration form is enjoying a revival.


The actual Hellier Strad was also decorated with ink work decoration on the ribs. This type of decoration has not been as prevalent as the shell purfling among Southern Mountain fiddles.


While many of the early Southern Mountain fiddles were locally made, the better ones were made in either Markneukirchen (Saxony, Germany) or nearby Prague (Bohemia, Austria-Hungary). The Hellier Strad Copy by D. Rickert Musical Instruments replicates the Saxony/Bohemian type.


The setup and varnishing is done by D. Rickert Musical Instruments in our WildRock Studios, Hiawassee, Georgia…located in North Georgia Mountains on the North Carolina the birthplace of Old-Time fiddling

The sound is full-bodied and powerful. The default setup is contemporary, with modern strings (choose strings at checkout) and fine tuners on the tailpiece.  We can easily set up the fiddle to earlier periods.

Features of this fiddle

Of course, the instruments are:

  • 100% hand made
  • 100% hand varnished
  • Made from the finest woods that are dried at least 12 years

And have…

  • Genuine ebony fingerboard
  • Genuine Ebony fittings
  • Inlaid (rather than painted) purfling on front and back

The best part is that the fiddle is in one piece and has NO cracks, nor has the neck settled so much over the last century or more that your bridge has to be cut ridiculously low. It is a new replica! We know from comparing the replicas in our Golden Age series with the scores of originals we have owned, repaired or set-up, that this fiddle is made from better wood (e.g. better grain matching of the two back halves) and has a better varnish job than the original.

Comes with a great suspension case and pretty good brazilwood bow.

Plus, the instrument comes with a good quality suspension case and decent Brazil wood bow. If you are an advanced player, you will want to use a better bow. If you need a new bow, check out the selection of bows we have, which includes a number of pernambuco bows in the $400 to $1,500 range. If you contact us when you buy, we can quote you on a great discount on a pernambuco bow.

Don’t let the low sell price fool you.

This is a superb instrument so close to an original that a fake label could fool most. Note: We do not do fake labels. The label identifies this instrument as a replica. If you are not okay with that, you will have to make your own label. We believe in identifying an instrument for what it really is.


No Extra Cost Options (Brash, Bright and Harsh!)

We don’t like the sound (i.e. nasty) of any of these strings, nor do we sell them except as options for these fiddles; however, many fiddlers love them. We suggest you consider some of the better strings.

  • Super-Sensitive Red Label
  • Super-Sensitive Old Fiddler
  • D’Addario Fiddle Strings
  • Black Diamond Vintage Violin Strings

No Extra Cost Options (Good Strings)

  • D’Addario Helicore medium gauge:
    • Better than any metal string that was available in the 1920s, so their use could be cheating a little (but we won’t tell anybody)
  • D’Addario ProArte synthetic gut core strings
    • Play like gut
    • Slightly dark sounding
    • Replicate the metal wound gut strings of the early 20th Century pretty well, but they stay in tune and don’t break for no apparent reason at all.

Other Options that Cost a Bit More

The extra cost we charge as part of setup is substantially less than the actual cost of the strings.

  • Thomastik-Infeld Vision stark (heavy) gauge (replicate silver-wound silk strings)…$15
    • Quite powerful and full-bodied, verging on dark
    • Our favorite string for all fiddles, including those in contemporary setup
  • D’Addario Zyex (dark sounding metal wound synthetic gut core with a steel E string…play and sound like real gut)…$20 extra
  • Pirastro Eudoxa traditional wound real gut strings with a silvered steel E string…$50 extra
    • A very plausible replication of the type of strings used from the 1890s until well into the 20th Century.
    • Still the favored string for many contemporary classical violinists
  • Gamut real gut strings with a silver wound gut G string…($50)
    • The best real gut strings we have ever played. The only authentic choice for 19th Century replication.

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