From time to time we make special edition instruments. These are not regular production instruments, but rather one-offs. Typically, we make these “specials” when we want to show off our best and/or most unique work at shows.
This particular instrument was made to be shown at a high profile art show (in the functional sculpture category) AND our most important Old-Time fiddlers’ convention (where we meet with many of our most valued existing clients and connect with new customers who actually buy high-end instruments rather than simply browse).
It goes without saying that there is only one of these available for sale. Another one just like it will cost you $3000 for us to make!
About the Instrument
We call this special edition instrument the “Lion of Ireland Fiddle.” The reference is to Brian Buru, the famous High King of Ireland in the late 10th and early 11th Centuries. That name sounds a lot cooler than “Violin with a Lion Head Finial.” We could have set it up for violin playing, but we decided to set it up as a profession performance or competition fiddle.
The fanciful name notwithstanding, the setup is optimized for Scottish Highland, Irish or Old-Time genres; however, some Old-Time players may want a flatter bridge arc and even lower action.
This instrument has the classic Stradivari shape and it is graduated as a Strad. Other things that you may want to know about the instrument are listed below.
Materials: Old moderately flamed European maple back and ribs; tight grained very old spruce top; Indonesian (non restricted for international shipping) ebony fingerboard.
Neck and Finial: The neck is carved and shaped by us from old European maple. The finial part of the neck (i.e. “scroll”) is carved in China by a workshop that specializes in historic violin scrolls and other finials. The lion head of often associated with the Tyrolean (Austrian) maker, Jacob Stainer (1617 – 1683)
Varnish: Traditional hand-rubbed Italian oil. Pigment glaze layer contains burnt umber, river madder root and Baltic amber. Result is a medium brown with a reddish highlight…very traditional! Varnish is not antiqued.
Tuning pegs: Wittner FineTune pegs
Tailpiece: Hill-type tailpiece (ebony)
Strings: Infeld-Thomastik Vision Stark (heavy) synthetic core
- The Setup: Set up the way most fiddlers love (strings low at nut, medium height at bridge)
- Strings: High-end strings chosen by Dr. Rickert for playability and best sound