Newton Violins is a family business now in its second generation of luthiers, violin making and restoration goes right back to the 1800’s when their ancestors where making in London’s east End.
When David Newton joined Potters Music Shop (Croydon) in the early 1960′s he dedicated much of his time to developing the shops orchestral strings department. Having spent his early twenties training as a bow maker under the tutorledge of Percival Bryant1 and Arthur Bultitude2 (see footnotes) his passion for violin repair and restoration, as well as bow making, led, in the mid 70′s to the opening of a dedicated shop in Merstham where David operated a workshop. He drew clients from all over the UK who sought out his knowledge of repair and violin history.
When David bought out Potters in the 1980′s he moved not just the workshops but the entire store to the current site in Merstham. When his daughter Emma joined the staff permanently in the early 90′s the shop was re-named Newtons. Emma worked along side her father for over 25 years before he retired, learning on the job, and developing her natural talent for repair and restoration work. Her interest in all things string led her to develop her own ideas on modernising the violin - she started making electric violins, and with the help and guidance of her father created a number of interesting shapes and styles, experimenting with custom paint finishes and patterns.
In 1999 Emma launched The Rainbow Violin Company the worlds first ever brand of brightly coloured student violin outfits, which were hand finished in the Merstham workshops. The award winning company was created to make violin learning fun for children, but actually ended up selling many full size violins to professional trios and quartets who wanted to "stand out from the crowd". These included making a quartet of white violins for the Westlife 2002 stadium tour, and a special gold violin for the Charlie Daniels Museum in Nashville.
Our own brand MAX JORGE has become the recommended brand for local teachers and boasts 8 models starting with the Graduate at £255, and following with various options to take you on through all the grades. We individually select a number of one off hand made violins from a handful of small workshops in China which range in price from £300 – £2000. Antique violins start from just £500 up to £10,000 and our on-site workshops enable us to carry out all types of restoration projects large & small. Every instrument purchased from stock can be adjusted to your requirements.
"Just a quick Email to thank you for doing such a fabulous job of restoring my violin. The quality and finish of the varnish colour matching exceeded my wildest expectations so I am absolutely delighted with the end result. It is impossible to tell now that the varnish in the bridge area once looked as though it had been sanded with a cheese grater! The new fingerboard is great and feels very comfortable to play on. It was good to be able to try out the restored violin in the shop, to check the 'set up'. I have a much less busy week this week, so will enjoy putting the violin through its paces. I don't currently have any other violins for repair, but will head for Merstham if I need anything else doing in future." Peter - Hayes
1BRYANT, Percival Wilfred - Born 1902, died 1994 Ovingdean, Sussex UK. Worked for George Withers in Leicester Square, London 1920-1932. Established at Ovingdean 1939. Fine reputation as a bow maker; one of the few distinguished English makers of the 20th century to have not trained at Hills.
2BULTITUDE,Arthur Richard (1908–1990) MBE was an English musical instrument bow maker, who spent much of his life working as a craftsman for the firm of W.E. Hill & Sons. Bultitude was introduced to the Hill shop by William Napier (father of Frank Napier another exceptional Hill bow maker). Bultitude developed a close relationship with William Charles Retford, one of the foremost Hill makers after James Tubbs. Arthur R. Bultitude worked for the Hill shop from 1922 until 1961 when he left and opened his own workshop.