A Violin by Robert Duncan, Aberdeen, 1746 - SOLD

Robert Duncan, 1746 - front   Robert Duncan, 1746 - back and side

In this our 'Year of the Homecoming', when Scots migrants world-wide celibrate our great diversity, it is appropriate that yet another important early instrument has been returned to its native land, this time from Texas, USA. Made in 1746, year of the infamous Battle of Culloden, we know little more of its history until 1978, when it passed through the workshop of Howard Hill. On examination, we discovered the inscribed repair label of John Shaw, Manchester, dated 1897

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Robert Duncan, 1746 -scroll   Robert Duncan, 1746 -scroll   Robert Duncan, 1746 -scroll
Not much is known about Robert Duncan, except that he lived in the Upperkirkgate, near Marischal College in Aberdeen, and examples of his work are rare. Where he learned to make a violin in the Italian manner, we shall probably never know. A cello bearing his label, dated 1736 was bequeathed to the college by Professor James Beattie and is there to this day. I have heard of two other violins, both in the USA. A third, dated 1742 and the earliest known complete Scottish violin, was sold by us recently to a lady player in the North West Highlands.
Robert Duncan, 1746 - bridge   Robert Duncan, 1746 - side   Robert Duncan, 1746 - back
Tonally, this instrument is mature, round and strong, with nice overtones in the lower register and a sweet, powerful clarity on top. It responds well to gut-core strings and is in excellent playing order.
Robert Duncan, 1746 - front