LRVS is proud to offer a selection of American made violins. With the advent of violin making schools in Salt Lake City, Chicago, and Boston, the combined efforts of organizations like the Violin Society of America and American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, and the easy transmission of knowledge in the digital age, American lutherie has entered its first Golden Age. With numerous American makers meeting and exceeding the long established standards set by 17th and 18th century Italian craftsman, now is an excellent time to buy American. Also, recent research into the history of American violin making has created new interest among players and collectors for instruments previously overlooked.
Please feel free to browse our other antique and vintage violin collections below.
Carl Fite Sr. - 1973 - Benton, Arkansas
A prolific self-taught maker, Carl Fite Sr. crafted over 50 violins in his lifetime. Carl got his start in violin making, "One day during the depression [when] my Dad (who owned and played a fiddle) and I went down to Lost Creek and cut down a maple tree. Those were the days when no one had steady work. I decided to try and make me a violin. I got a hunk of that maple, used a pocket knife and a scraper and made the back." This effort, however, lay unfinished for over 30 years while Fite worked as a maintenance man for Bauxite Schools. One day in the late 1960's his interest was renewed, so he cut white pine from an old door and made the instruments top. This was the start of period of great productivity, and the violin offered for sale here from the beginning of that period. The instrument shows a unique individualistic approach to violin making and produces a large, resonant sound.
Dr. Alexander - 1909 - Scranton, Pennsylvania
While we've yet to uncover research or references to Dr. Alexander in the annals violin making, this beautiful violin shows many hallmarks of early twentieth century American violin making. Likely the work of an amateur maker, the work exhibits a strong practical knowledge of classical construction techniques, likely learned in Europe or from a European immigrant. It is made from finely figured native tone woods, adeptly carved and beautifully finished. The violin's tone is rich and as unique as it is to look it.
Darwin Fonteneau - 2013 - Ft. Douglas, Arkansas
A native of south Louisiana, Darwin has been making instruments for 10 years. He was a computer engineer and took early retirement from Hewlett Packard in 2005 to pursue his passion for making instruments. Darwin was inspired to take up the craft from his father Royne Fontenot who lives in Eunice, Louisiana and who is also a Luthier. The nature and scenery of the Ozarks inspire Darwin to make beautiful looking as well as beautiful sounding instruments. The violin offered for sale here is patterned after Stadivarius and possesses a clear, bell like tone.
Douglas Cox - 2012 - Brattleboro, Vermont
We are pleased to offer this fine violin by Douglas Cox. "Most of my work is modeled on specific instruments of the past. I admire and strive for strength of character and personality, and am willing to sacrifice some fineness of detail to achieve it," says Cox. This instrument, patterned after the "Ysaye" violin of Joseph Guarneri del Gesu, is made from New England maple and Engelmann spruce from British Columbia. "I use local woods because I want my work to reflect the place and time of its making. I am an American and want to use American wood." On the subject of sound, Doug says, "Tonally I strive for ease of response and a full, flexible sound. I work on a wide range of models to try to meet the needs and tastes of a wide range of players. The goal is a rich, complex foundation with enough character and personality on top to provide projection and clarity of articulation."
A. Christopher Ulbricht - 2013 - Indianapolis, Indiana
Chris Ulbricht grew up in Stafford, Virginia. He began studying piano at an early age. After four years of lessons, he found his way to the cello. He played cello seriously through his teenage years, taking private lessons, participating in youth orchestras and small chamber ensembles. After high school, Chris moved to Salt Lake City to enroll at the world-renowned Violin Making School of America. While in Salt Lake City, he also had the opportunity to compliment his education by working at Peter Prier’s shop. Chris is now an owner of Indianapolis Violins. The Stradivari model violin for sale here possesses a powerfully dark, even tone.
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Alvin Thomas King - 2012 - Potomac, Maryland - SOLD!
Tom King received a strong training in classical, traditional violinmaking and an appreciation for important research in violin acoustics and design from two of the world’s great teachers, Karl Roy and Dr. Carleen Hutchins. Tom trained his eyes and hands with Karl Roy, former Director of the State School for Violin Making in Mittenwald, Bavaria, for 19 years at the Program for Violin Craftsmanship at the University of New Hampshire, ultimately serving as his Assistant. From Dr. Carleen Hutchins, renowned for her path breaking research into violin acoustics, Tom learned to think about the physical basis for what we hear in a fine violin. Thanks to Carleen, Tom became an active member of the Catgut Acoustical Society, serving as Trustee, Society President, and Editor of the CAS Journal. The violin for sale here has a clear and powerful tone.
John Wesley Rule - 2012 - Salt Lake City, Utah
Originally from Knoxville, TN, LRVS employee Wesley Rule learned the organ building trade from his father and grandfather. In 2009, he left the family business to study violin making at the Violin Making School of America in Salt Lake City. While there, Wesley received all available scholarships, was the first student to complete the school's violin restoration course, and made a cello and seven violins, of which this violin is one. He possesses great technical skill and high standards. His life's work is making, repairing, and restoring beautiful, musical boxes waiting to be fulfilled in a life of music.