W. Wilkanowski Violin-1939
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Willie Wilkanowski was born in Poland in 1886. He made his first violin at age nine, becoming a full guild maker at the age of 17. He left for America at age 34 and headed to Boston to work for the Oliver Ditson Co. 1920 – 1937. Wilkanowski moved to New York City in 1938 to work for the Fred Gretsch Instrument Co. He must have been a hard-working machine who produced quality instruments and was a highly regarded craftsman wherever he went. Wilkanowski made close to 5,000 violins, 100 violas, and some 20 guitars. He made various Italian model violins as well as his own patterns. Wilkanowski’s violins were always consistent, using a wider one-piece back of flamed maple and cutting a slightly elongated scroll; this violin has both. Our violin is in very good condition with some patina on the top plate and back. The oil varnish has a beautiful glow and clarity to it, finished in a hand-drawn darker amber/red/brown on a golden ground.
Corpus 360.0 mm., Major Width 209.0 mm., Minor width 171.0mm., Rib Height 29.0 – 30.0 mm.
The sound of the violin is slightly darker in tonal color on the G and D strings. It is strong and rich and is complemented with a warm and sweet treble E and A. The instrument is very responsive with an almost smooth quality that is easy to play. The sound is refined and a joy to listen too. This violin is another gem in our collection of American instruments.