About Jan Shelley
Restoration and Repair
Instrument Rental
Violins For Sale
Cellos For Sale
Violas For Sale

  About Jan Shelley

I have been involved with classical music from a very early age. My grandfather played first violin in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and my father led the RLPO for over ten years. I started to play the violin at the age of five, but later transferred to the double bass, playing in the Clwyd County Youth Orchestra.

I realized early on that I was actually more interested in the way the violin was made rather than playing it and I decided that I wanted to be a professional violin maker. I studied for three years at Newark School of Violin Making, under Glen Collins (the nephew of William Luff) and graduated with Merit. Following graduation I worked in a number of violin establishments, learning restoration and repair techniques, bow rehairing and the setting up and adjustment of fine instruments. At Ealing Strings in London I worked with luthiers who had worked in the Hill workshops, and learned valuable skills based on the methods they used. I moved to Germany for a number of years, and worked at Winterling’s in Hamburg and at Francke’s in Stuttgart. Here I was exposed to the European traditions of restoration and worked under Christine Vasterling, a past pupil of Max Moller. I was able to gain first hand experience of fine classic instruments, and talking with high calibre musicians, to learn what they wanted they wanted to get from their instruments.

Early in my violin making studies I became aware of the shortcomings of commercially available varnishes and so I started to make my own, based on traditional recipes. I fuse my own Baltic amber and make my own madder lakes, combining these into a varnish of exceptional quality and clarity. The results can be seen in the photos of some of my instruments in The Gallery. I have carried on research over the years, and have had some very rewarding results after studying with Geary Baese in America.

I returned to England and set up my own Workshop in Liverpool in 1989, where I work on making new instruments and restoration and repair. I have incorporated what I have learned in 25 years of violin making, and I am now able to craft fine toned instruments of high aesthetic appeal.

6 Sandheys Terrace
L22 7RR

0151 928 9698


Please note I endeavor to check my mails regularly,
but if you have anything more than a general enquiry please phone me.

Home About Jan Shelley Restoration and Repair Instrument Rental Links

Violins For Sale Cellos For Sale Violas For Sale