Location: London, England
Dates: fl c. 1712 - 1720
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Author: John Dilworth
PARKER, Daniel Worked circa. 1712-1720 London UK. Outstanding English maker of the early 18th century and the first to take up the Stradivari model. Presumed to have been a pupil of B. Norman. Later employed by J. Hare: several examples of his work have been found with Hare’s label. No reliable record of his circumstances has yet been found. His interest in the Stradivari model may have been sparked by the presence in London in this period of the Cremonese violinist Gaspare Visconti who was personally acquainted with Stradivari. Parker’s work is based on a ‘long pattern’ model of c.1690, although with rather full arching. Workmanship is not thoroughly well-finished, but is very fine and fu
In the second part of a new series exploring masterpieces of the string concerto repertoire, Julian Haylock looks into the careful, considered genesis of one of the most sparkling, spontaneous concertos ever written Mendelssohn’s dazzlingly inventive E minor Violin Concerto defies convention at nearly every turn. Far from being a mere stepping-stone for performers scaling the...
Author: William Meredith Morris
The information which is usually given respecting this maker is mis- leading, and most writers content themselves with repeating early errors in almost the same words. Hart, Haweis, and Miss Stainer give his period as being 1740-85, and Fleming as 1715-85. As a matter of fact they are all wrong. There are- undoubtedly genuine examples of his work bearing the dates 1712, 1719, 1726, and 1732 still in existence. The earliest which I have seen is dated 1712, a specimen which has been pronounced genuine by the Messrs. Hart, and also by the Messrs. Hill. It is on the long Strad model, slightly modified, and with a rather doubtful scroll. Mr. Richard Hilton, of Derby House, Matlock Bridge, is the owner of this interesting instrument, and for the illustrations (see opposite) of this earliest known example of Parker I have to tender him my sincere thanks. It has been surmised that Parker was the pupil of Pamphilon, or of Urquhart, or of both, but on what ground it is difficult to understand, as there is not the remotest resemblance between his work and that of either of these. It is not necessary to suppose that he was a pupil of anybody, for he was a born artist, and endowed with natural mechanical skill. Given an artistic mind and an aptitude for tools, and a man may by hard work and perseverance develop into a first-class luthier without undergoing the usual routine of long apprenticeship. Parker's instruments are typical examples of British work of the classical period. They embody the strong points of those who may be considered to be above him, as well as some of the weak points of those who were below him. He was a good maker, but only a moderately good copyist. His fiddles will never pass as Italians, because they are too thoroughly British in character. Strongly built, honest, and unpretending in demeanour, they should prove to be objects of uncommon interest to the connoisseur. Parker copied (or tried to copy) Stainer, Stradivari, and N. Amati. The workmanship is much the same throughout ; free, firm, and rugged, with little or no feminine gracefulness smiling from its lines. The varnish is of excellent quality, tender, and of various reddish shades, sometimes a little thick and dull. His tone has much the same characteristics as that of Banks. Comparatively few of this maker's instruments bear his label. He was a man who lived in the future, and who sacrificed immediate reputation as much as the exigencies of time and tide would allow him. He evidently did not worry about fame, and was content to dispose of his ware to the trade. Had he worked his plates thinner, and thought it worth his while to copy the reigning god (Stainer) more closely, he doubtless would have attracted universal patronage. But Daniel was of a philosophical turn of mind, and gave to the world the milk of wisdom rather than the sweets of fancy. What is considered to be the finest Parker violin in existence is owned by Clarkson Close, Esq., of Dagmar Lodge, Leeds. This is also on the long Strad lines (see illustration), with red amber oil varnish, and a magnificent scroll. This example is considered by the Messrs. Hill to belong to the year 1700, or thereabouts. I would urge that in point of detail and general effect it resembles much more the instruments made in 1726 than it does those made in 1712 and 1715. Parker made his best instruments from about 1720 to 1727. The tone of this instrument is bright, clear, and powerful.
Author: Cecie Stainer
A maker in London about 1714-85. He was a very clever workman, possibly a pupil of Urquhart or Pamphilon, but made a step in advance, improving the pattern of his instruments, making them more similar to those of Amati. He used red varnish, a disagreeable colour, rather thickly laid on ; the wood was excellent, often handsomely figured ; the varnish rather transparent and soft; the tone clear and powerful. He made largely for the trade, consequently his instruments are often sold under other names ; no viola or violoncello of his has ever been seen, only violins are known. About 1793 they were valued at five guineas each ; about 1805 they realised as much as fifteen guineas each.
Author: Willibald Leo Lütgendorff
Vielleicht ein Schüler von Urquhart oder Pamphilon. Er machte fast ausschliesslich Violinen und kommt darin den Italienern sehr nahe. Namentlich darf sein feiner, schöner, nur manchmal zu dicker Öllack von leuchtendrother Farbe seiner Geschmeidigkeit wegen hervorgehoben werden.
Author: George Hart
This is another maker of the English school, who was possessed of exceptional talent, and whose instruments are well worthy of attention from those in search of good Violins at a moderate cost. To Parker belongs, in conjunction with Benjamin Banks, the merit of breaking through the prejudice so long in favour of preference for the Stainer model. The dates of his instruments extend from the year 1740 to 1785. He left his Violins thick in wood, which has certainly enhanced their value now that time has ripened them. He used excellent material, which is often very handsome. The varnish is of a mellow quality, and fairly transparent. A large number of these Violins have been passing under other makers' names, and have been but little noticed.