In Focus: A c.1798 Matthew Hardie violin


David Rattray explores the British maker’s c.1798 violin

This article appeared in the May 2018 issue

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This instrument features in the book In Focus 2: click here to buy a copy

Maker: Matthew Hardie

Nationality: British

Born: 1755

Died: 1826

Instrument: Violin

Date: c.1798

Edinburgh-based Matthew Hardie was the most esteemed violin maker of the Scottish school. During the 1790s he developed his own sophisticated style basing many of his violins on the ‘Long Pattern’ Stradivari form. These elegant works can be counted among Hardie’s greatest achievements. The inspiration for his model came from his acquaintance with the publisher, violin professor and dealer Paul Alday (c.1763–1835), who owned an original 1690s Stradivari. His arrival in Edinburgh ties in nicely with the earliest Hardie interpretations of the Long Pattern, examples of which have been internally signed and dated. Some were apparently unlabelled. There is little doubt that Alday influenced Hardie’s style, by allowing him to study some of his classical instruments…

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