(1718 – 1783)
One of the most successful and prolific English violin makers of the 18th century, Richard Duke established his workshop in central London around 1743. Over the course of its existence the enterprise grew to encompass multiple locations within the city and employed numerous makers of instruments and bows, including William Napier ...Read More and John Betts, who bought the shop from Duke's daughter Anne after his death in 1783.
The shop was extremely prolific, and following the practice of the time sold instruments of varying quality and price suited to different types of customers. Stainer and Amati copies are most common, and while violins and violas were produced in great numbers, cellos are quite rare. Most of his instruments bear a brand beneath the button on the back, as do many inferior 19th century German copies of his work.
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