Small Sized Violins

If parents have no idea of the musical ability of their child then it is sensible to start with a very cheap instrument. I don't sell these. There are a great many children who start a musical instrument but give it up fairly quickly. However if a child shows aptitude a decent instrument can add to their enjoyment and progress. It is at this stage that parents must invest in an instrument that is not a toy, but a serious tool that will do all that is asked of it.

There is no reason why small instruments should not be made with the same care and attention to detail as full-sized ones - and, of course, no reason why they should not cost as much, either. And yet antique small-sized violins or cellos tend to be good value, because of an understandable reluctance on the part of the parents to part with a large sum at this stage. After all, the child will inevitably grow out of it.

I cannot help with the dilemma of how much to spend at this point - it is possible to spend a vast sum, or very little. I recommend that the advice of the child's teacher, or perhaps other parents, is sought - it is not the business of a violin dealer to tell anyone how much they should spend.

However there is some comfort to be had. When I sell a small-sized instrument I offer the full purchase price back if it is later swapped for a larger size. Naturally it has to be kept in a reasonable state, but most keen children do look after these things.

I have a stock of good small violins, and it is fairly constantly changing, as different sized instruments are swapped amongst different families.

At present, just in, is an excellent antique seven-eighths size violin - an unusual size. It is hard to find a good example.

Three small violins for children On the left is a three-quarter sized violin. That means that the body measures 131/8". It is German, and antique, and very well made, with a remarkable volume of sound. Just as a violin can be louder than a cello, a good three-quarter violin is every bit as powerful as a full-sized one. It is very good value at 1,200 - if it were the normal size it would be more - and has already helped two of my clients before they were ready for a full-sized instrument.

In the centre is another German instrument, probably made around 1920. This one is half-sized(12¼") and is 400. Again, this is the third time I have had it for sale.

On the right is an antique French one-tenth-sized (101/16") violin. It was made in Mirecourt around 1870. When I purchased it the scroll was absent, but the body shows very neat workmanship indeed and I wished to rescue it. The scroll now fitted is a replacement. It is 700. All my small-sized violins are fitted with tailpieces which have individual tuners for all four strings. Adults seem able to cope with just one adjuster on the highest string, but most learners find tuning difficult, and anything which makes life easier is a good idea.


Small, Half & Three-Quarter Size Violins


7/8 Collin-Mézin, 1901



7/8 antique, good, labelled Chanot



¾ French violin



¾ Mittenwald school violin



¾ Dresden school violin



small ¾ or large ½ size violin, German, c1880



¾ French violin



¾ good J.T.L. violin



¾ French violin



¾ French violin



½ size violin, Dresden school, early 20th century



¾ J.T.L. violin



¾ Chinese violin, but very carefully set up












½ size violin, Chinese



one-eighth size violin size violin



one-eighth size violin size violin, French, labelled Grancino,



one-eighth size violin size violin


Andrew Hooker Violins
Christchurch House
Rode Hill,
Bath, Somerset
BA11 6PS


or Telephone : +44 (0)1373 831464