Strad 1718 model.
The 30-year-old spruce I used for the top plate was bought from an elderly maker who is 'winding down' : it has close, attractively coloured growth-lines and some fine examples of 'bear-claw' patterning, and - much more importantly - it made the plate-tuning process a real pleasure. The varnish has a walnut tone.
As an amateur player I find that this violin is friendly, responsive and possessed of a really fine, clearly projecting voice - but I would say that! You must try it for yourself.
SOLD - this message arrived 2 weeks later:
'My violin teacher has been raving over this violin so I guess I made a good choice.
I look forward to hearing it as it opens out.'
May 2015 - just had this violin in my workshop for its 6-month check-up. Looked at set-up and overall condition. Verdict? Just a scale and polish but no treatment required this time round.