Sam McLean violin, Wellington 1962
Sam McLean was Wellington’s principal violin maker and repairer in the mid-twentieth century, with a professional workshop in Island Bay. His instruments are relatively rare and his total output unknown, but this instrument shows the work of a luthier who knew his craft and had a clear conception of what he wished to achieve. The model follows Stradivari, though the narrow edge work is closer to the German School. A golden honey-brown varnish has been applied directly to the wood. The tone is remarkable for an instrument of this price, with a bell-like clarity and resonance and a very attractive character.