Great Grandad was a glass blower, but in his spare time, also a fantastic carpenter. He built this lovely 3/4 violin, and also played it in his small band.
He died in 1900, at the very young age of 39, from bladder cancer. It's thought that his career had something to do with it, as at that time, there were no health and safety concerns in this type of industry.
He left behind a widow and three young girls, after an earlier tragedy had taken another one of them from diptheria. This family has seen its share of grief.
The structure of this little stringed instrument is wood - some of it with ebony, a highly endangered wood harvested in Africa. Now, you can't even get ebony that is strictly black.
Now, it is all dappled or striped with grey, which used to be culled, but is the only type you can currently get.
That's what happens when you strip the forest of all and any useful trees, only to waste most of it to get only the best.
In my youth (at around 12 years old) in my wisdom, I tried to refurbish the violin case, which involved deconstructing it. At which point, all the little screws for the hinges, the key and a few other things, got mislaid.
Fortunately, the chin rest, as well as the two bows, and all the other bits and pieces that are part of the instrument, are still present - the only things missing are the old block of resin to treat the horsehair bow, and the little black velvet pillow to rest your chin on.
I've now found someone (50 years on) to take on the task of refurbishing it and restringing the violin itself. They will also appraise the worth of the violin - to see what kind of insurance it should have. It is over 120 years old.
What's the end goal, you ask? I have never played any musical instrument, except for self teaching the guitar, which I played a few songs on. Never in public, mind you!
The goal for this violin is to 1) film someone else playing it, so I can share a video of what it sounds like to my family, and 2) learn how to play it myself, so I can learn 'Against The Grain' by Garth Brooks. Ambitious, I know.
Other artists that have amazing violin players is the group Southern Raised. I will never be of that stellar height, having little to no talent, but I'll try my best to do this little violin justice.
At the very least, it will be treated with a lot more respect and care.