The Voller Brothers were clever Victorian copyists and fakers of violins. Their work is now highly valued and ironically fakes of the fakers are appearing. One, at the time of writing, on eBay is labelled as a replica of the Guarneri "Leduc" of 1743 by the Vollers for Wurlitzer & Co. The most basic examination of the pictures shows that it is not a replica of the Leduc which a has a 2 piece back, as the violin on eBay has a 1 piece back.
There is no typical distressing of the varnish and the scroll is nowhere near the Leduc original.
The Vollers made some violins for dealers, for example George Hart, and these violins were clearly labelled as copies. Most of their violins however have fake labels by the maker they copied, leaving no record of the real maker.
Typical of the Vollers work is the use of ebony purfling, the bottom rib in 2 pieces with a join at the button, the purfling at the back has an angled joint on or close to the back joint of the centre plate, and the varnish of their replica or copy violins is very cleverly distressed to resemble the original instrument copied. This distressing is what fooled many experts at the time as it is diificult to acheive realistically.
W.E.Hill & Sons were one of the main experts not to be taken in by the Vollers and referred to them as "A bad lot" not because of their workmanship, but for their deception. The Vollers did not replicate the exact interior work of the masters, and that was how they failed to get Hill certificate approval.
Bidders beware of shelling out thousands on a confidence trick in passing off a fake fake!!
As always one should ask why anyone who is not totally stupid should sell a violin for a small fraction of it's true value if it has the silghtest chance of being genuine.
Literature. The Voller Brothers, Victiorian Violin Makers. Dilworth.
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