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Information About Our Baroque Instruments

Due to the renewed interest in early music in the last few decades, we hold a small stock of Baroque instruments; primarily violins, and on occasion cellos, viola de gamba and bows.  Although we do not consider ourselves specialists in early instruments, the instruments are of a high quality and are set up to our usual rigorous standards.  We also have a professional Baroque violinist on our team, so please call in advance on 02920 227761 if you would like her assistance when selecting your instrument/bow.

Examples of current and recently sold stock


Finely crafted violin from Peter Boardman, whose 25 years of experience as a luthier is evident when playing his instruments.  Recommended for advanced students and professionals.

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Compelled and inspired by his interest in finding new instrument models, Ian has created a wide and diverse range of high-quality instruments.

Ian is very modest and believes that 'it is the instruments themselves that should win someone over rather than the words used to promote it!'

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This stunning Chinese hand-made Baroque cello, set up at Cardiff Violins, is an excellent alternative to old, more fragile and more expensive Baroque cellos. 

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Beautiful Baroque violin, must be tried!  Please call 029 20 22 77 61 to book an appointment!

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Beautiful Baroque-style viola with a rich and robust sound.  Strikingly attractive, the Prelude is finished with a reddish brown varnish overlaying its fine grain, with a delicate horizontal grain on its two-piece back.

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Labelled "Joseph I. Ross, Pitlochry, fecit Anno 2015".  Featuring a beautifully inlaid fingerboard and tailpiece, both made of maple. This viola possesses a cantabile tone, warm and mellow. 

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Testimonials from Baroque customers:

Nicolas Ramirez, Conservatorio de Castelo Branco, Portugal

The Early music scene is rapidly growing in interest here in Portugal and I was recently lucky enough to successfully audition for the Concerto Iberico Orquestra Barroca, one of the top Portuguese Early Music groups. Up to that point I was borrowing a fiddle but decided the time had come to invest on my own one. Budget was not large, so knew from the start that it would need to be a Chinese copy, which didn't´ worry me at all as I have witnessed the excellent quality of some Chinese violins in the past. I looked on the Internet and suddenly panic started to appear: the amount of makers, dealers, Website selling Chinese Baroque violins is enormous, it is a bit of a jungle. I looked at some shops here in Portugal but somehow didn't´ trust the products I was being offered. After weeks of frustration, I finally opened my eyes and saw that the answer to my predicament had been in front of me all the time: Cardiff Violins!

I have enjoyed a wonderful friendship with Chris and Cecile for the past 15 years. They were always there for me at the start of my career and during my 13 years in Cardiff, and colleagues and pupils have enjoyed the outstanding quality of their violins, bows and accessories here in Portugal too.

Due to professional commitments it was impossible for me to go to Cardiff personally, and on the other hand, I needed the fiddle urgently. So I experienced the best thing Cardiff violins has, its customer care. For the past few weeks, Chris and Cecile have patiently replied to the dozens of emails I sent them with all my requirements.

As the budget was so limited my expectations were not high, but wanted to get the absolute best value for money. Exactly on the day Chris and Cecile promised, I received an absolutely gorgeous violin. I literally couldn't´ believe my eyes how beautiful the fiddle was. Then I started playing and the sound was wonderful, right from the start a clear round sound, very easy to play on all the strings. The violin was fitted with an unbelievable bridge (my friends in Portugal are sending their violins to them for new bridges all the time!) which makes all the difference and all my requirements in terms of thickness of the neck, weight. everything was just as I wanted.

In short, Cardiff Violins are on to a winner with this range of Baroque violins and, if you are as specific as I am, you WILL NOT get better customer care anywhere else in the UK

Nicholas Thompson, Gloucestershire

As a student, I was borrowing the University's Baroque violin and bow, which was of fairly basic quality. As I progressed, I wanted to purchase my own, looking for something of great quality. After giving up many days for travelling and trying out over 17 different Baroque violins, I came to the conclusion, with a second opinion from my teacher, that this wonderful 18th century Scottish violin was 'the one'.

I would like to thank Cardiff Violins, in particular, Chris and Cécile, for such a friendly and helpful service. My parents and I received a very warm welcome and were given some expert advice on what to look for in the instrument and information on prices. I was given time and space to try out the violins they had on offer, and assistance was there when required.

What particularly impressed me was the after-sales customer service. Having just bought a very recently, beautifully made bow from the famous French maker, Monique Poullot, I encountered a slight problem with it, and Chris explained to me how to overcome it, and it has been absolutely fine since. Even after that, I received numerous phone calls ensuring that everything was in working order and to my satisfaction.

Once again, I would like to thank Cardiff Violins for their excellent service, and that I am extremely content with my purchases!

Simon Rees

I bought a newly-made Baroque-style violin from a Chinese maker by eBay, and received it packed neatly and with the sound-post and bridge down. It looked smart, with a nice shape and good varnish, so I brought it to Chris King at Cardiff Violins and asked the simple question: ‘Is this a baroque violin?’ ‘It will be when I’ve finished with it,’ Chris said and made some critical comments about the set of the neck, the shape of the bridge and other matters he felt he could rectify. ‘How much do you think that will cost?’ I asked, and Chris told me to expect to pay about as much as I had spent on the violin. In the end, his bill came to around £350, which was what I had paid the maker, and the instrument was a great deal closer to my expectations of a baroque violin, and I have been playing ever since with great pleasure, although no expertise whatsoever… I continue to come to Chris’s shop to buy strings, rosin and other accessories, and always enjoy the opportunity to try out instruments in the practice room, and chat to Chris and Cecile about matters violinistic and musicological. Cardiff Violins, in its picturesque arcade setting, is a wonderful place to learn more about the whole violin family of instruments, and acts as the hub of a network of contacts among musicians throughout Wales and the West Country.

Tim Notts, Australia

The Baroque violin is doing well as our "trainer" instrument. We used it for a classical concert at A430 in August (2nd violin on recording), it was played for a Purcell concert last month and being used for a JS Bach event on Nov 17. The players seem happy with it and has a nice tone that fits in well with the other strings. 


Below are examples of Baroque instruments for illustrative purposes only.  Our stock changes regularly, so please call 02920 227761 for more information.  Click thumbnails to enlarge.