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Samuel Gilkes Violin c. 1800

Samuel Gilkes (b.1787, d.1827) is one of the more famous English luthiers working during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Born in Morton Pinkney, Northamptonshire, he eventually worked for William Forster III for some years and opened his own workshop in 1819. Gilkes’ son William apprenticed with his father and was an accomplished violinist and band leader in his own right. He went on to inherit his father’s Buckingham Gate workshop, working for some time as a luthier.

Unlike many English makers from that period, Gilkes used the Stradivari pattern along with the Stainer model. He is noted for his sophisticated copies of the masters into which he also imbued his own stylistic interpretations and characterful but delicate craftsmanship. Gilkes instruments feature a richly-colored deep brown oil varnish that showcases the spruce and maple’s beautiful natural grain. This violin is based on the Stradivari model but of a decidedly English character. It is in fabulous condition, boasting a clear, warm tone and a mature, dark voice.


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