Violin and Bow Makers of Australia
by Alan Coggins
“…more than an important historical document of every person who ever made a violin in Australia… it’s also a good read, with photos so sharp you feel like you could reach into the flame of a maple back”
Erin Shrader, review in Strings Magazine (US), June 2010.
“The history of the school at the start of the book and the dictionary entries that follow are engagingly and entertainingly written. Many readers, especially those living and working in East Asia, may well be advised to keep a copy close to their benches”.
Philip Kass, review in The Strad (UK), March 2010.
Violin and Bow Makers of Australia represents the definitive listing of Australian stringed instrument makers, from the early 1800s through to the present day. There are biographical entries for over 500 makers, ranging from all of the well-known professionals to most of the part-time makers and amateur hobbyists. The text is accompanied by 282 high resolution, studio photographs showing 47 significant examples (six images for each instrument) to illustrate the work of most of the prominent Australian makers. These images include ten instruments by Arthur Edward Smith, covering every decade of his career from a 1908 Maldon (England) violin to a 1961 post-stroke instrument.
The book also features an overview of violin making in Australia by Michael Lea, Curator of Music and Musical Instruments at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, with some wonderful historical photographs taken from the museum archives. Michael’s introduction serves to place the growth of instrument making in Australia into a broader social and economic context.
Violin and Bow Makers of Australia is a high quality, hardcover book of 312 pages (290 mm x 230 mm) and can be ordered online for A$95 (plus postage and handling).