The Voller brothers were skilful makers who remained largely anonymous during their careers, making ingenious copies of master instruments sold by various dealers in Europe and America.
William was born in London in 1854 and worked as a violist and painter before developing an interest in making through contact with Frederick Chanot in about 1881. He then worked for George Hart up until around 1899, but from 1889 was also supplying a dealer named George Duncan, who sold the instruments in Italy. A significant point in the career of the brothers was the so-called Balfour Strad, an instrument made by them and offered for sale at auction in 1901 as a genuine Stradivari. William died in 1933.
Alfred was a cellist, born in 1856, who served in the Royal navy up to 1881, when he became involved with William as a violin maker. Although a few instruments exist with the original label of ‘William and Charles Voller’, no mention of Alfred has so far been found in any label or inscription, and his role in the business is unclear.
Charles was born in 1865 and was a violinist before joining his brothers. He died in Paignton in 1949.
19 October 2018 - Dilworth, John
The name Voller can provoke both excitement and trepidation. The English brothers William, Alfred and Charles have a well-deserved reputation as ingenious copyists, and are the very last words the owner of a treasured old Italian instrument might wish to... Read more
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