Anyone heard of the violin maker Domenico Busan?

April 13, 2006 at 04:37 AM · Hi, i'm new to this site!

I recently brought back to germany(i study in the Cologne musikhochschule) a violin named Domenico Busan from a rigorous search @ Morels, ny.

The search consisted of 12 violins incl. a strad,a del gesu,pressenda, grancino,lupot,2 great vuillaumes, domenico busan etc.(i had access to these fiddles because my teacher, Kyung-Wha is very close with the Morels)

To acquire the best sound possible, i played with mischa elman's tourte which my teacher took home later to try it out. Out of all these instruments, me n my teacher agreed on the Busan.

It has been in the wurlitzer collection and has the wurlitzer papers and its in a good condition, but i have no idea about this instrument. my teacher never heard of this violin and no one seems to really know about it.

i would like to know what is the maximum price for this(because i would like to know if i'm getting ripped off or not..) and some basic information about this maker because simply googling around the internet didn't produce any results..i'd appreciate for some helpful info.


Replies (15)

April 13, 2006 at 10:37 AM · This is just a couple of very basic facts……

Domenico Busan was born circa 1720 in Tarviso, settled in Venice around 1736 and died there circa 1780.

He is considered a fine maker even if his work is not as sort after as some of his more illustrious Venetian colleagues, his basses are supposed to be particularly good (I’ve only ever seen one bass by him….so this is just going on what I have been told)


April 13, 2006 at 12:57 PM · I'm not sure - but I think Michael Tree had a Busan viola. Anyone know this for sure?

April 13, 2006 at 05:41 PM · Hi,

I don't know too much about this maker, but seem to remember, from my limited knowledge, that he is well known as great maker of double-basses. His violins seem quite rare. I don't know about prices.


April 13, 2006 at 08:55 PM · I've seen seven or eight Busan instruments. Usually they're a bit "funky" in construction, with an ungraceful arch (especially in the middle) and relatively plain wood, but consistently have a really excellent sound. He's not an obscure maker in terms of the number of violins available, but because they aren't glamorous, they don't attract much attention.

April 13, 2006 at 09:01 PM · thanks for your input. the archings in the middle is lower than my n.gagliano though..

and soundwise, it can't be matched. so it's not an well-known maker eh. do you have any idea about the busan instruments you saw, michael?

April 13, 2006 at 09:27 PM · It's been quite a while since I was involved in selling one, so I don't have any idea of what a contemporary price would be.

April 14, 2006 at 05:04 PM · Michael Tree indeed owns and plays on a Domenico Busan viola, 1750.

Bruno Giuranna also plays on a Domenico Busan viola, dated 1780.

In the excellent book Les Violons: Venetian Instruments, Paintings and Drawings, Mr. Giuranna is highly laudatory of the beautiful sound of his viola.

I think it would very difficult for anyone to give you an accurate retail price guideline for this maker, due to the paucity of his work available at any given time in the market. Much will depend upon the provenance, condition, and ultimately, the merit of this specific example of his opus.


June 13, 2010 at 07:17 PM ·

 Hi Baek Kim. Can you email me some photos of your Busan...I have few photos too which I could send to you as well. Would like to compare them.

June 14, 2010 at 01:32 AM ·

Yes, Michael Tree owns the Busan viola that belonged to Boris Kroyt, but he told me he is now playing a Iizuka viola, in  the last two concerts of the Guarneri Quartet I've seen he played the Iizuka viola.

June 15, 2010 at 03:48 AM ·

 To Michael:

Of the Busan instruments you've seen (I think know several of the ones you're speaking of myself), have you seen a violin you're sure of?  I've seen 'celli and violas, and I believe the Venice exhibition booklet had nice photos of a bass, but I can't recall seeing a violin.  I came across reference to one in a book published in Tokyo at some point, but have not seen the plates.

To Baek Kim:

You mentioned the violin in question was with Wurlitzer...  Do you happen to know the year it was there (the date of the opinion/certificate)?  As I mentioned, I can't recall seeing a Busan violin I was comfortable with, and would like to.


June 15, 2010 at 09:58 AM ·

I had a very fine D.Busan violin for sale late last year (Scroll not original) with J&A Beare papers.

Very fine sound, interesting violin! Around $170 000US.



June 15, 2010 at 11:54 AM ·

 I'd imagine it would be rather interesting.  Got some photos, Sean?

January 14, 2013 at 11:39 PM · Hello everyone,

I just red you chat here. I am also in a possesion of a very intersting violin with a label " Dominicus Busan"and would like to ask if someone can tell me if there is some good luthier(in europe) who knows well the Busans work. I would like to get a " zertifikat" for my instrument. The violin looks realy " funky" a bit "rustico" as well. It is not a fine peace of work but it s very fresh and original. It is obvious tha the maker was a great artist,

If someone is interested of exchanging fotos, please let me know it.

Best regards

January 15, 2013 at 09:58 AM · Yes, post some photos. Charles Beare in London can certificate the instrument.

January 15, 2013 at 03:48 PM · Eric Blot and Bruce Carlson both in Cremona, Italy are also among the worlds top experts on Italian violins.

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