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The Gordons of Stoneyford,Co.Antrim-Violin Makers -by Michael Costello

Home | The restoration of the"Canadian"Gordon -Feb.`07 | The repatriation of the "Canadian"Gordon-August `06 | Hugh Gordon`s House | The Last Resting Place of Hugh Gordon ... | Information from the Simpson Family of Magheragall | Instrument details | The Reminiscences of Mr.James Crawford of Stoneyford | The moulds and templates of Hugh Gordon. | Fiddle music in Co.Antrim in the 1830`s

Instrument details

violin by Hugh Gordon Jun.
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A list of known Gordon Instruments,by both father and son.

Hugh Gordon,Labelled `Made by Hugh Gordon`Golden Varnish, branded Gordon.Unsold at Sotheby`s sale,November 1983.
 
Hugh Gordon,Labelled `Made by Hugh Gordon`Golden Varnish,Branded Gordon.Sold at Sotheby`s sale April 1984 for 99 pounds.
 
Hugh Gordon,Labelled 1865,golden-brown varnish.sold at Phillips,London april 1989 for 360 pounds.
 
Hugh Gordon,labelled`repaired by Hugh Gordon, son of the maker`.Dated 1850.Branded Gordon.Varnish orange-brown.Sold at Phillips,London,Oct.1990.for 253 pounds.
 
Hugh Gordon,Labelled,branded BRA(Belfast Royal Academy)Varnish orange-red.Sold at Bongartz,Germany Nov. 1994 for 1530 Dm(624 Pounds).
 
Hugh Gordon,Unlabelled,Branded Gordon,orange-Brown varnish,sold at Bongartz,Germany June 2001 for 2611 Dm(816 pounds).
 
Hugh Gordon violin,lot 222,Skinner`s ,Boston, 20/11/1994- (978dollars.)
 
Son of Hugh Gordon violin for sale 325 pounds-Strad Magazine Feb 1980.
 
Hugh Gordon violin for sale 625 pounds J.M.Lodge Strad Magazine June 1983.
 
Son of Hugh Gordon ,belonging to Mr. David Rice,Belfast,labelled``Hugh Gordon,Son of the late Hugh Gordon,Stoneyford,Violin Maker and repairer ,Belfast.``Also stamped Gordon.
 
Hugh Gordon Jnr.,1886,Labelled,owned by the author.
 
Small red violin stamped Gordon on the button,owned and sold by Frank Doherty of Belfast.
Hugh Gordon Snr.,Stamped Gordon,owned by author.circa 1850
 
Hugh Gordon,golden brown varnish,owned by Mr.Dennis Plowright.he described it thus;``My Gordon was very nicely made and sounded well.The woods were handsome and it was on an original model of normal size with flat edges.Purfling well inlaid and golden-brown varnish a bit on the thin side.``
 
Hugh Gordon Snr.,Stamped Gordon,owned by author.circa 1840.
Hugh Gordon Snr. Stamped Gordon labelled Nu. 24 1835-The Canadian Gordon.
Hugh Gordon -Labelled Nu.43  1856 owned by Ms.Philippa Bradley of Belfast.
 
 
 

Sale 2069 Lot 304

Irish Violin, Hugh Gordon, Belfast, mid-19th century, stamped GORDON at the button, the two-piece back of narrow curl, the ribs and scroll similar, the top of fine to medium grain, the varnish of an orange-brown color, length of back 14 1/8 in., 359 mm, with case. Provenance: Sold with letter stating descent within the Armstrong family from 1856.!
Estimate $1,200-1,600

The above violin was sold at 3 times its estimate at $3335 or 2319 pounds sterling.
6/05/2001.Skinners of Boston.
 
 

Comments on the work of Gordon.
``Well known about the North are violins by the philanthrophist Gordon,of Stoneyford,who made a good number.They possess a good strong English tone though the workmanship is rough.A son of this maker,we understand,still pursues the art of repairing``.(Greaven)Irish Violin Makers(some brief notes on) 1911.
 
Hugh Gordon,Stoneyford-``His work is variable in quality but the best of it is very neat.The model of his violins is an original one,the woods used(in the best instruments)is of good figure,generally small,the edges nearly flat,the scroll well carved,the varnish thin and weak but the tone good.Not always labelled but GORDON branded below the Button.``Dennis G.Plowright.Dictionary of British Violin and Bow Makers.1994
 
Hugh Gordon,Belfast-``Son of the above.Rather similar work to that of his father.Label``Made by Hugh Gordon/(Son of the late Hugh Gordon of Stoneyford)/Violin maker & repairer``Also stamped GORDON on the button``.Dennis G.Plowright.
 
Gordon,Hugh.Born at Stoneyford.Worked at Belfast 1825,died 1854.
Commonplace workmanship pervades the entire,essential knowledge of varnishing not attained.GORDON branded below button.Dated on ink in the interior.William Henley(Dictionary of violin and bowmakers.)

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The violin on this page is by Hugh Gordon Junior circa 1900 and belongs to Mr.D.Rice of Belfast.

All research on this site was carried out independently by Michael Costello between 1978 and 2005.All photos and information are the property of the author and may not be copied or reproduced without his permission.

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Please click here to visit the author`s poetry website- Dánta Dúnta