- Thomas Earle Hesketh Manchester, circa 1935
Hesketh, born in 1866 in Manchester, was one of the leading British makers of his time and was best known for his Guarneri copies.
A player as well as a maker, Hesketh, studied under G.A. Chanot for five years, focusing on restoration work. After his apprenticeship, Hesketh established his own shop at 23 Lower Mosely Street in 1891. There, he made violins after Guarneri and Stradivari models but sometimes followed Ruggeri, Stainer, Maggini, and Amati patterns.
Hesketh used fine wood, which he acquired from George Craske, who bought his wood from the Forster family.
Hesketh often used one-piece backs and excellent oil and spirit varnish with antiqued finish. He made mostly violins, a few violas, and very view cellos.
In his later years, Hesketh modified his instruments to a more personal style. During this time, the height of his career, he made instruments for famous musicians, including a copy of an Amati viola for Rawdon Briggs, a Brodsky Quartet member, and a series of Guarneri copies for Ottakar Sevcik, a teacher at the Guildhall School of Music in London.
This violin is built after a Stradivari pattern and features robust f-holes, clean and deliberate arching and edging, masterful antiquing, and a rich reddish-brown varnish.