Hergova Violins, fine old European violins & bows....read about restoration below.
Being made of wood, stringed instruments can sustain damage relatively easily. Fortunately, they can be repaired and restored in just about every instance although it can prove to be a time consuming and expensive job if done properly.
All instruments require a unique set of restoration techniques. A common approach by professional restorers is to ensure that the original structure is retained as far as possible striving to preserve the instrument’s original wood.
Our policy is to buy instruments that are structurally sound in the first place as they will inevitably be that much more valuable in the longer term as an investment. Below are just a few of the jobs that are regularly done by a violin restorer with more detail in the column on the left.
Cracks - usually involves removing the violin top and /or bottom (see column on the left). Cracks need cleaning, clamping, glueing and the use of studs or cleats to ensure a permanent repair.
Damaged corners and edges - choosing timber, treatment, shaping, sealing & finally retouching
Retouching the instrument - preparation and pre varnish application, colour application, environmental considerations, varnish application, polishing & finishing
Patches are used to repair a variety of more serious cracks - soundpost, button, through, underedge, replacing failed patches, plastercasts and moulds used in removing and replacing patches
Neck grafts and ebony crowns - used when a neck is damaged or significantly out of alignment, likewise ebony crown.
Bushings - pegs wear over time and the peg & end pin holes need to be bushed to ensure they funtion effectively.
Fingerboards - need reshaping (sometimes referred to as 'shooting' a finger board) due to string & finger wear. As this needs to be done reasonably regularly with a well used instrument, new fingerboards will need to be fitted periodically.
Bow sticks (the wooden part) can need all manner of works - splicing, wood replacement, bushings, grafts, grips and crack treatments to get them back to a useable state.
Another tricky, but necessary job is to recamber a bow. This usually happens with older or well used bows and the stick loses its' curvature. It's a difficult technique to master.
Head plates can be cracked and need replacing, frogs can sieze up, buttons can split
And last, but certainly not least, bows need re-hairing on a fairly regular basis to ensure you're sounding your best! Have a look here to get an idea of what's involved in rehairing a bow - it's not as simple as it may seem! There are 5 seperate video clips explaining the processs.
RestorerWe undertake minor repairs in our own workshop & use top restorers James Powell and Rebecca Houghton to restore instruments that need more work.
James has been restoring violins to a very high standard for the last 20 years. Rebecca has years of experience restoring violins and is a graduate of the prestigous Newark School of Violin Making.