"We recall a violin of special tonal merit made in 1709 - Lady Halle's, formerly Ernst's. And who that has heard Lady Halle play will not bear this statement out? The ripe, woody, and yet sparkling quality, its perfect responsiveness and equality on all the strings, and the ever-swelling sonority, all contribute to delight the cultivated listener."
Antonio Stradivarius: His Life & Work, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), London
"In an earlier chapter, I referred to the first Straduarius violin that had ever come before me, and which had been shewn me by
Ernst on the occasion of his first visit to Leeds early in the 'fifties. In order to shew how the lives of these famous fiddles may be
traced, I give the following interesting account. Approaching one hundred years ago, two very fine specimens of Straduarius workmanship came into the possession of Mr. A. Fountaine, of Narford Hall, in Sussex. These two violins he kept in a double case, where they rested, side by side, for many years. Mr. Fountaine, a great enthusiast, was in the habit of inviting musical house-parties from London for the week-ends.
Among those who were most frequently invited was Ernst, and, as a great privilege, he was permitted to lead the quartet party
or to play his solo contributions on one of these superb fiddles the one usually designated by Mr. Fountaine as his "second best ;" the other instrument never being permitted to be used for playing purposes, but being lifted from the case merely for admiring glances. One memorable Sunday, Ernst played so exquisitely on the "Strad." lent him by his host, that Mr. Fountaine said he must use it regularly as his solo instrument, and straightway made the artist a gift of it. This was the violin shewn me by Ernst in 1852, and which he used till the day of his death. After passing through several hands, it was the one selected, twenty years later, by Madame Norman-Neruda, who was requiring such an instrument for her own concert performances. "
Some Early Musical Recollections of G. Haddock, George Haddock, Some Early Musical Recollections of G. Haddock, London