W.M. Sharp, “Beautiful Sounding” American Violin from Hailey, Idaho 1918


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This is an exceptional example of the work of W. M. Sharp. To that point this is the only example of Sharp that I have in my 40 years in the business. I have found nothing on this maker after doing much research, calling makers and appraisal specialists from California, Idaho, Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Philadelphia. We have a handmade American violin from a maker who truly studied the craft and made a great sounding instrument. This arching is spot on, the corners and edges are well made, and the scroll is slightly different in the extra turn but well done. We have bushed the two A peg holes and carved a new set of ebony pegs, cambered the board, new Despiau bridge, sound post, ebony tail piece, and Dresden style chin rest. The varnish has some wear along both sides of the tailpiece. Some of the varnished areas have a touch of crackle. The crackled varnish appears in the scroll and along the edges of both the back and top plate.
This violin is very hard to beat for the price. The sound is woody, rich in color overtones, and responsive across all the voices. The G is powerful and rich, as well as the D. The bottom bass string will capture your attention. They are both crisp and clean even when going up the fingerboard in higher positions. The E string is brilliant and rounded. This violin leans slightly to the dark side, the tone is rich, and the volume is excellent. This is a “sleeper” violin. An American original, with great sound, good craftsmanship, great condition, great price.

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