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Harry Stoutenburgh Violins

Stephen  Fine

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A student showed up for her lesson yesterday with six violins from various shops for us to try.

NB- her current violin has a few Perfection Pegs which have started to fail.  According to Perfection Pegs, they've never suffered a failure, but this is the second of my students' instruments that has started to slip after a few years.  Rather than replace the pegs, we've decided to upgrade her whole situation.

Among the violins was a curious looking fiddle from the 1950s by Harry Stoutenburgh, "Pupil of Sacconi".  I found a cool little newspaper clip online that talks about how Stoutenburgh was self-taught until Sacconi was in his neighborhood looking for a fishing guide.  After showing Simone a few of his favorite spots for trout, Harry showed the master one of his violins and somehow, out of that, finagled 5 years of quasi-apprenticeship, at the end of which Sacconi gave him permission to label his instruments as "Pupil of Sacconi".

It doesn't matter too much, since, in this price range we are just comparing sound, but I was curious if anyone here could tell me anything about Harry Stoutenburgh and his violins.

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When I was young I used to visit a violin maker near Woodstock NY (yes, THE Woodstock) by the name of Stoutenburgh, which must be the one you are discussing.   I see by googling that his address was West Hurley, which makes sense.   I recall he lived on Stoutenburgh Lane, visible in google maps.  I drove past there recently and the little house where he worked is gone.   I am currently making a violin with maple he cut in 1958, the last pieces of a bunch I picked up years ago from another old maker in the area.  I'd be interested to see pictures of the Harry Stoutenburgh violin.

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