Andrew Hooker Violins

Click to phone Email link


For fourteen years I was in the violin department at Sotheby's. My last seven years there were as a departmental director. This meant travelling around the world advising clients about their instruments.
Now I'm far happier: I've written a book about violins and I've been working for myself for over twenty-five years.

I specialise in violins, violas, cellos and their bows for the professional (sorry, I don't do school fiddles) and I'm based in a converted country church rather than a conventional violin shop. It's a lovely place to try instruments, and indeed is popular as a performance space. Internationally famous performers play here. There are some images below.

Being away from a city centre has many advantages. Parking is easy and it's quiet. I have no punitive business rates, or indeed rental costs, that must be paid for from inflated profits. It takes about two hours to get here from London. However, that might save a great deal . . .

I'm always keen to buy antique instruments, not just of the violin family, for restoration. I work closely with perhaps the most gifted restorer in the business, Colin Irving. I'll point out any repairs, and I'm happy to guarantee the work.

Mr Black's Violins


An insight into the violin collection of Gerald Segelman, also known as Mr. Black. I have tried to make my book more interesting and informative than other books about violin collections. Among the acknowledged masterpieces of Stradivari and other famous old-master violin makers are some less notable, though fascinating, instruments, and some details of various restorations. I have demonstrated that one of the most famous violins in the world has been incorrectly attributed until now. I have tried to include information that, as far as I am aware, has not been written elsewhere. Perhaps the only convention that has not been compromised is the quality of the photography.


Buy the book from Amazon

Christchurch House

view from one of the steeples while the scaffolding was in place

14 flights of scaffolding
Christ Church, Rode, was built in 1824.

The building is to the design of Henry Edmund Goodridge, a Bath architect perhaps best known for the extraordinary Beckford Tower on Lansdown (1826) [more]