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William Luff

Born in 1904 in Essex, Luff was trained as a violinist but developed an interest in making through Frank Howard, a teacher of violin and bow making in London from 1919. He then made an apprenticeship at the shop of Dykes & Son in Charing Cross Road with Max Millant. After National Service in the R.A.F. during the Second World War, he joined J. & A. Beare in Wardour Street, before opening his own business in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, in 1955. After the death of his early mentor Frank Howard, he took over his teaching position at the North London College and also taught at Ealing, where he encountered Maurice Bouette who, along with Luff’s nephew Glenn Collins, went on to found the Newark School of Violin Making, presently one of the most highly-regarded schools of lutherie in the world. He retired to Worthing in Sussex in 1969, but continued working until his death in 1993. His style became very refined and characteristic, producing well-observed copies of Stradivari and Guarneri instruments with a lightly aged finish, and shaded varnish.

William Luff

(London, b 1904; d 1993)

Born in 1904 in Essex, Luff was trained as a violinist but developed an interest in making through Frank Howard, a teacher of violin and bow making in London from 1919. He then made an apprenticeship at the shop of Dykes & Son in Charing Cross Road with Max Millant. After National Service in the R.A.F. during the Second World War, he joined J. & A. Beare in Wardour Street, before opening his own business in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, in 1955. After the death of his early mentor Frank Howard, he took over his teaching position at the North... Read more