Briggs Violins offer a wonderful range of handmade instruments that are made from selected high-quality European woods and inspired by instruments of Antonio Stradivari, Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri, Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, Nicolo Amati, and Giovanni Paolo Maggini.
Briggs use the finest solid spruce tops from the same geographical area of Northern Italy – where the likes of Stradivari and Guarneri sourced their wood from centuries before – because the conditions in the region favour the growth of tight and straight grain spruce that is perfect for violin making.
For the backs and ribs, Briggs use the finest quality Acer platanoides maple from Bosnia in the Balkans. Their hand selected ‘Bosnian maple’ [also known as ‘Norway maple’] is a very high-grade maple which is light, strong and is proven for it’s wonderful resonance and sound quality, which is no doubt why the world famous Gagliano family of luthiers used it in their instruments of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Although Briggs never disclose the ‘exact’ modifications they have made to an early 1704 Italian varnsh recipe, Briggs varnish is durable, dries beautifully – to give a wonderful transparent colour – and alows the instrument to sing. The finish is a secret combination of shellac, frankincense, sandarac, turpentine, gum elemi, etc. The making of the varnish is an art and takes several weeks to finish.
At all times, the Briggs luthier is thinking about what effects the varnish will have on the vibrational properties – in respect to damping and stiffness – of the instrument firstly, and the aesthetic appearance of the instrument secondly.
David’s involvement with Briggs began in 2021 – although its planning goes back to to 2013 – and he wholly owns it.