A fine, quaint English violin made by the unknown amature maker George Quainton in Rishton, a small town around 5 miles from our shop, probably in the 1920s.
Although clearly a very skilled violin maker, Quainton doesn't appear in any of the published violin literature or indeed in our extensive records going back to the 19th Century.
However a very helpful local historian who curiously also owns another George Quainton violin has told us he was born in Rishton in 1882 and died in 1954. At the time of the 1911 census, he was a boot and shoe maker (single, aged 29, living with his widowed mother and cotton-working siblings). So at what point he turned to violin-making is unclear? Perhaps he did it as a hobby or retrained as a violin maker?
Either way, the quality of his work is exceptional and the choice of the timber is superb. He left over £1300 on his death in 1954, which suggests that he was reasonably affluent and presumably sold some of his violins for quite high prices.
William Merrick Farran also owned a Quainton and knew him well, he said of Quainton and his violin; "He was a wonderful person, kind, almost saintly, but human. His violin brought me a great deal of luck".
English Violin, George Quainton, Rishton circa 1920