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Details about  Rare 17th 18th century carved walnut violin maker's shop sign.

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Rare 17th 18th century carved walnut violin maker's shop sign.
Item Ended
Item condition:
26 Feb, 2012 21:07:51 GMT
Winning bid:
18 bids ]
Will post to United States. Read item description or contact seller for postage options. | See details
Item location:
London, United Kingdom

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Item specifics

Condition: Used Instrument: Violin
Rare 17th century carved walnut violin maker's shop sign.

17th or 18th century. Probably 17th century.

It has been suggested (by a serious violin collector) that the form of the violin suggests a probable English origin and that it probably dates from the 17th century (rather than the 18th century). I am not a violin expert. Please make up you own minds about this from the photographs.

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, shop signs were took the form of dimensional models suspended from a bracket. In the later Georgian period projecting signs were prohibited due to the number of injuries caused to pedestrians.

It has been suggested that this sign was probably made by the violin maker himself (who would have had workshop with all of the requisite tools and materials). If this is correct, the form of the violin is likely to be a good indicator of date and origin.

Shop signs from this period are particularly rare - they were exposed to the elements and they had no obvious secondary use. 18th century signs are of interest to collectors of early folk art. This example is particularly decorative. It could be mounted on a wall in a similar fashion to the Chatsworth trompe l'oeil violin!
(see:   ).

Alternatively, this sign may be of interest to collectors of early violins.

Good, original surface.

I have been unable to trace any similar examples elsewhere. This is a very rare, museum quality item.
There is a loop of nylon picture "wire" attached to the top of the sign, allowing it to be displayed.


Genuine 18th century signs have inevitably suffered damage and decay. This example is no exception:

Missing elements as per photos.

Historic, extinct woodworm damage.
Does not detract (in my opinion). The worm was apparently extinct when I acquired the sign several years ago. I treated it as a precaution, but there has never been any sign of activity. 


Height: 13 1/2 inches, 34.4 cms

Width: 7 1/2 inches, 19.2 cms


Payment within 7 days of the end of the auction.

Collection within 14 days of the end of the auction.

I will ship abroad.

I regret that I am unable to give postal quotes to foreign destinations before the end of the auction. This is because postal costs are dependant on the size and weight of the parcel and items are not packed until the destination is known. .

Postage costs are calculated at the actual cost of sending the parcel + £3 for packing and packing materials.

Due to Paypal regulations I send using the cheapest tracked service (where available). This means, typically, Airsure "Small packet" or Parcelforce "Global Priority".

Domestic postage is sent using a "signed for" first class service or "Special Delivery".
Buyers can collect in person within 14 days of the end of the auction. Payment must be cleared in advance.
Collection can be arranged from Spitalfields, London, E1 - most evenings and weekends by prior appointment.

I offer combined shipping rates at the true cost of shipping for the combined parcel + 1 x £3 packing fee.

Please see my other auctions of 17th and 18th century items


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