An eminent representative of the Scottish school of violin making, Stirrat was born in 1768 in Ayrshire. He lived in Glasgow from 1794, and established his shop in Edinburgh in 1811, where he worked until at least 1826. His first premises were at 210 High Street, but in 1816 he was to be found at Fleshmarket Close, returning to 105 High Street in 1823. At least one violin has been found labelled by Matthew Hardie and bearing Stirrat’s signature internally, but nothing else is known of any business relationship. His work is closely modelled on Stradivari, but the workmanship is a little loose, and the materials generally plain and of local origin.
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