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Violin Q & A: Violin by John Ericson

Violin Q & A: Violin by John Ericson

by George Manno

Originally published in American Lutherie #10, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000


We have an old violin that just came into our shop. It is handmade and has a label that states it was made by John Ericson, Hammond, Indiana, in 1929. We cannot find this maker’s name listed in any of our reference books. We have Henley’s & Woodcock’s. Since you live in the Midwest, do you know of such a maker?

Thomas Wenberg’s book, entitled The Violin Makers of the United States, lists the aforementioned maker on page 93. He was born in 1893 in Sweden, and trained with Walter Goss in Boston. Over 400 instruments bear his label. A dealer in New York told me that he recently sold a viola made by Mr. Ericson for $9,500. He died in 1975. Also, I knew Mr. Ericson personally. The instrument should be branded “ERICSON” on the back of the scroll.