Its name is taken from the ownership by Sir William Huggins, a well-known English astronomer in the 1880s. This violin is slated to the Grand prize winner of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Belgium every four years.
Nippon Music Foundation
Sir William Huggins possesses the fellow to this violin, made in 1708. No direct traces of Amati influence are apparent either externally or in the tone; the different arching, absence of hollowing, lightness of the edges, all denote a structure in which tone has become the paramount consideration.
Antonio Stradivarius: His Life & Work, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1902
Cho-Liang Lin: "But I wanted a violin that was closer in quality to a Stradivari called the ‘Soil’ which had been loaned to me for a year before I bought the Dushkin. I had the image in mind that I would get something like the ‘Soil’ and when I tried the Huggins, it reminded me of the Soil. It’s from the same year—1708—and it has a very similar back, with an almost identical varnish. It’s a very ravishing-looking violin. The sound was the problem. The 1708 Huggins Strad had been sitting in a bank vault for 30-odd years before I got it. It took a while for that violin to sound good, but it only developed so much and wouldn’t go further. I tried different adjustments like a new bridge, a new sound post, and working on the angle of the neck, but it never quite satisfied my expectations. In the meantime, I played concerts and recordings but never felt quite comfortable with it."