Please note that as of April 2022, Blackburn Stringed Instruments is no longer trading.


On this page you will find links to our current stock of violas. Click on the 'Images' links to see graphics or use the menu on the right hand side to list specific instrument types.

Violas by Value

Most recent additions:


From time to time we high-light an instrument or bow which we consider to be special, regardless of its value. Unique playing qualities or strong investment potential may catch our eye.

  • Ref: 324 Maker: Hammig Year: 1900 Category: £10,001 - £20,000

If at any time you have a special request, like a particular instrument or bow, then please email or phone us with your details. We shall be pleased to do our best for you.

£10,001 - £20,000 violas

Ref: 278 Maker: George Craske Origin: English Year: c.1860 Back length: 460mm Status: Sold or on approval

GEORGE CRASKE was born in 1795 and died in 1888 and thus spanned almost the whole of the 19th century. As one would expect his output was large, but as a maker he is considered important and at his best his work could be faultless. His instruments are renowned for their tone and can hold their position against instruments of far greater value.

We are pleased to offer here a Craske viola of exceptional quality. It is being sold by us for the present owner who bought it from us over twenty years ago. It is in a mint condition and is a truly fabulous example of his work, showing his artistic approach to applying varnish which is artistically 'antiqued'.

The tone is full and rich and highly responsive.

Ref: 196 Maker: Gill Solomon Origin: English Year: 1970 Back length: 424mm Status: Sold or on approval

Gill Solomon is a native New Yorker who trained as a restorer. He came to England in 1968 and soon established himself as a superb craftsman and maker. He has been the custodian of many of the World's greatest instruments, including those belonging to such renown international artists as; Steven Isserlus, Karine Georgian, Sandor Vegh, Szymon Goldberg, Robert Cohen, Uto Ughi, to name but a few.

The viola which we are offering here [on behalf of a retired, top professional player and professor] was made in 1970 and is a splendid example of Solomon's exceptional craftsmanship, being in a mint condition. It is unlabelled but bears the maker's brand 'GS' on the outer bottom rib. The model which he has used for this instrument is based on early Brescian work and this particular instrument has a superb rich tone, full of many varieties of tonal colour. The owner has used this viola as his principle instrument for over thirty five years. £12,500

Showcase instrument

Ref: 324
Maker: Hammig
Origin: German
Year: 1900
Back length: 409mm

WILLIAM HERMAN HAMMIG was born in Markneukirchen, north Germany in 1838 and was taught the art of stringed instrument making by his father. In 1850 he was working with Carl Grimm in Berlin and for a short period in Amsterdam. In 1864 he returned to his birthplace and a further two years in Frankfurt. Finally, he settled in Leipzig in 1875 and remained there for the rest of his life where his reputation and expertise established him as one of the foremost luthiers in Germany. He died in 1925.

Some of his finest work can be seen in his violas and we are particularly
pleased to have been commissioned to sell a fine example pictured here.
Beautifully made from the finest wood and covered in a glorious red varnish.

The tone is superb!

Sold with the certificate of authenticity from Hamma & Co of Stuttgart, Germany.

Ref: 286 Maker: Nicolas Caussin Origin: French Year: c.1860 Back length: 389mm

The Caussin family of Neufchâteau in the Vosges region of Eastern France, near to the more famous city of Mirecourt, created a distinct style of instrument making, in particular, a quality and technique of varnishing which became highly regarded and influenced many French and German makers.

François (born 1793) founded his own premises in 1815 and was assisted by his two sons plus other makers. The eldest son, Nicolas, became the pre-eminent maker of the family and was highly regarded throughout France. Many makers, particularly from Paris, had their instruments varnished by him. [Refer to Page 77 of 'Les Tresors de la Lutherie Francaise du XIXe siècle' for photographs of a violin of the same period by Nicolas].

The viola we offer here is a superb example made by Nicola Caussin circa 1860 and is in a mint condition. It is typical of his finest craftsmanship and covered in the varnish which is so cherished. The tone is full, rich and of outstanding quality.

£5,001 - £10,000 violas

Ref: 195 Maker: Alfonso Cappellaro Origin: Italian Year: 1983 Back length: 414mm Status: Sold or on approval

ALFONSO CAPPELLARO of Vento [nr. Venice], Italy, has produced some splendid violins and violas and is considered to be a top-ranking 20th Century Italian maker. His work is cleanly executed and he uses the finest of wood. He uses a soft looking oil varnish, as this viola shows, which is an attractive orange, light red-brown colour.

The owners of the viola have played happily on it for over twenty years and kept it in a superb condition. The tone has a great depth and splendid resonance and is even on all four strings. £6,500

Ref: 194 Maker: David Milward Origin: English Year: 2009 Back length: 415mm Status: Sold or on approval

We have been asked to sell, on behalf of a client a modern viola made by one of England's top, professional makers. The present owners are reluctant to sell this instrument, since it has a tone that is full, rich and responsive, but the size of the viola has proved a little too large for them.

DAVID MILWARD's viola is stylistically his own conception and we feel he has achieved an instrument which is both artistic and acceptable [refer to images]. The wood which he has chosen is visually and acoustically of the highest order. The oil varnish is tastefully and gently 'antiqued' with a texture and patina very acceptable. We particularly like this instrument! £9,000.

Ref: 287 Maker: Paul Collins Origin: English Year: 2010 Back length: 414mm Status: Sold or on approval

We are pleased to offer this superb English viola on behalf of the present owner. Paul Collins' reputation for fine work is well established. This example is in mint condition and has a generous tone which is easily produced and very vibrant.

£2,001 - £5,000 violas

Ref: 154 Maker: Dennis Plowright Origin: English Year: 1992 Back length: 413mm Status: Sold or on approval

An extremely good modern viola by this well known English maker. Based on the Strad model, the viola is made from the finest of wood and thus, possesses an excellent tone.

It contains the maker's written label dated '1992' and numbered 151 together with the maker's brand 'D.P. Plowright' on the outer, bottom rib.

The viola is in a mint condition and covered in a golden varnish. It offers ideal value for a progressing student. £2,250

Ref: 202 Maker: J T Lamy Origin: French Year: c.1880 Size: 394mm Status: Sold or on approval

Another very good French viola made in the workshops of THIBOUVILLE-LAMY at Mirecourt circa 1880 which is in a near perfect condition. Based on the Strad model, from attractive wood and covered in a honey, orange-brown varnish, this is an ideal instrument for a player of Grade VIII plus.

The tone is exceptional; full of power and resonance across all four strings. £3,250

Up to £2,000 (students' instruments) violas

IMPORTANT NOTICE. We would ask that you read about our 'Buy Back Guarantee'. We try to carry a varied stock of student violins to suit every pocket, ranging from £500 to £2,000. We purchase only those instruments which are in a near-perfect, mint or near-mint condition and each is set up with the best quality fittings.

Ref: 124 Maker: Amédée Dieudonné Origin: French Year: 1922 Back length: 379mm Status: Sold or on approval

Petite violas of quality are few and far between. We are especially pleased, therefore, to offer one which was made by Amédée Dieudonné. The condition is mint and it is covered in a beautiful rich, red varnish. The tone of this viola is remarkably powerful and rich.

New hand-made violas

In addition to the older instruments recommended for students (up to about grade VIII standard), we are delighted to offer hand-made instruments from two of the finest workshops in China. The images, where shown, give a good indication of their high quality. We choose them for their exceptional craftsmanship and choice of wood, many of which are made from European wood (Balkan maple and Italian spruce) and also the use of a superb oil varnish, tastefully antiqued. They are finished and set up in our workshop with the finest fittings, strings and materials, in order to offer a sound of the highest quality.

Ref: 151 Maker: (various) Origin: Chinese Year: n/a Size: [various]

Indicative price range: £700 - £2,000.