Alfred Walter Heaps, Violin, Australia, 1890
Alfred Walter Heaps initially studied violin making with his father, John Knowles Heaps, in Leeds, England, later working for around five years for Handel Pickard. In the mid 1870’s, he emigrated to Australia, settling in Sydney, and bringing with him a substantial stock of violin making wood. He obviously put this to good use as he quickly gained a fine reputation as a maker and repairer in that city.
This violin is a testimony to that fine reputation; it is beautifully neat in it’s construction, both inside and out, with an outline and edgework that harks back to his English origin. The varnish is of a deep reddish-brown over a golden ground. There is a hand written note on the inside stating this to be the 4th violin made in Australia. It bears it’s original label dated 1890 in Sydney, with an additional ‘Sold By’ label of A. E. Smith & Co.
We have a real soft spot for this lovely instrument, being not only a truly collectable, culturally important piece of Australian history, but a great sounding violin in its own right. It has our ‘Master’ set-up with Evah Pirazzi strings and would be ideally suited to the advanced student, dedicated amateur player or young professional.