1850s John Devereux Violin

Over the summer we had the privilege of restoring and then transporting to Brisbane a very special violin made by John Devereux, the forefather of Australian violin-making.

This is very rare ‘English Devereux’ violin made in London shortly before Devereux emigrated to Melbourne at the time of the gold rush in 1854.















Devereux had exceptional training in London from Bernard Simon Fendt, one of the most celebrated British makers of the 19th Century. However, unlike Fendt, Devereux wasn’t interested in being known as a copyist and developed his own signature style, loosely based on Stradivari.

This is one of the best instruments Devereux ever made. Confident and bold yet versatile, this violin produces a powerful sound with dark overtones. It has quite deeply channelled edgework and an attractive chestnut varnish.  It still bears the original label and is signed on the inner back.

After the first Crystal Palace Great Exhibition in 1851, there was a crave for exhibitions across the states of Australia and Devereux, the first trained violin maker in the country, won medals in all of them.

In 1868 Devereux was appointed as the Duke of Edinburgh’s instrument maker in the colony (the royal appointment was nearly cut short when the Duke was shot in Sydney by O’Farrell but luckily the Duke and Devereux’s commission lived on).


This special instrument is now available for sale from Yuri Dechenko in Brisbane on yuri@colourstrings.com.au