No. 491: The Infidel SOLD

The first of my final ten is now completed. I began building this instrument in the first week of September and I’m delighted with the result.

I chose to start with an Infidel, as the very first violin I ever made back in September 1992 was also cornerless. I did this because it occurred to me that it would be much simpler to construct, and as I had little or no clue what I was doing at the time, that seemed like a good idea. I jokingly called my cornerless creation an Infidel because to some degree it went against the tradition of violin making (or so I was constantly reminded by those who thought they knew a lot about it). Little did I know that the name would stick, and the distinctive shape would become strongly associated with – and help to build – the Tim Phillips ‘brand’. The Infidel has been one of my most popular models, and countless examples can be seen in action across the traditional music scene and beyond with professionals and amateurs alike
More information below the pictures.


This very special Infidel is built using a beautifully flamed Maple back from the Carpathian mountains in Romania, which I have been saving for years. The front is very well seasoned, hand-split Alpine Spruce, with exceptional grain characteristics that has also been set aside for this instrument. Uniquely, the purfling is made up of hundreds of black and white cubes which also adds to its individual character.

Infidels are generally quite mellow and of a more intimate nature than cornered violins. To increase this instrument’s power but not to compromise its natural characteristics, I have given it hardwood internal end blocks (instead of the normal softwood ones) and, where the ribs join at what would have been the corners, I have made slightly heavier joins than necessary to boost its treble response. The result is a superb sounding fiddle with plenty of carrying power that’s still soft and welcoming at heart. Hand brushed with traditional, tried and tested, oil varnish, this fiddle will only get better over the years to come. A classic, Tim Phillips Infidel for posterity.

Don’t forget it comes in a very good Pedi case complete with a commemorative carbon fibre bow.


Posted in The Last Ten