Ihle Violins

Beauty may happen in the dynamics of lines, in the tension between strength and fragility, in the shimmering game between light and shadow ... This is what I love about violin making.

"This Stradivarius needs a new front...

... you want to do it?" 

June 2015   Photo by David Stone

June 2015   Photo by David Stone

This was what my colleague Melvin Goldsmith told me when he called me in February 2015.  He had been asked to do the job, but as he told me, he had just taken on some important work which he wanted to focus on. 

Making spare parts for very beautiful violins is the single best thing, only little behind a picnic with some friends and family on the Heath.

Yes, this was nearly two years ago. The violin is now finished and the London auctioneers Ingles & Hayday found it a new owner across the Atlantic - time for sharing a few photos.

This project was unique, it was a 1701 Stradivari that needed attention. And it needed quite a bit: it's original scroll and front had been lost for good and the replacement parts that had been made for it about a hundred years ago were dull in appearance and sound, thus making a sale rather unlikely. Besides that, the back and the ribs needed to be restored. 

Challenge and responsibility were immense, I decided to team up with some very accomplished colleagues: the restorers Tomoko Murai and Damien Sainmont for the restoration of ribs and back and my colleague Stephan Von Baehr for sharing the huge challenge of making of front and scroll together with me.

28 May 2015  Stephan and I feeling overwhelmed in Paris

28 May 2015  Stephan and I feeling overwhelmed in Paris

A few hours later

A few hours later

Copying the outline - ça va! 

Copying the outline - ça va! 

August 2015  Tomoko restoring the ribs at our workshop in Robert Blair School

August 2015  Tomoko restoring the ribs at our workshop in Robert Blair School

23 November 2015, Robert Blair School, London: Damian returned the restored back. It took him about five months in his workshop in Lausanne. I am showing off the nearly finished front Stephan and I had made.

23 November 2015, Robert Blair School, London: Damian returned the restored back. It took him about five months in his workshop in Lausanne. I am showing off the nearly finished front Stephan and I had made.

Stradivari 1701 the reason for all the effort! 

Stephan Von Baehr and Philip Ihle, London and Paris 2016

Goes together well  

Goes together well  

Yes, this was us too

Yes, this was us too

Background image by Sophie Lewisohn.