Joseph Curtin’s Instruments

Exquisite voice. Extreme projection. Joseph Curtin builds instruments to meet your needs in the most demanding musical contexts — from auditions and competitions to solo recitals and concertos. If you are currently looking, violins and violas are sometimes available for immediate purchase. Otherwise, an instrument can be built for you on commission. Curtin’s body of work includes museum-quality replicas of Old Italian instruments, personal models based on those of Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesu, and innovative instruments reflecting 21st century design and aesthetics. To hear recordings of Joseph Curtin violins and violas, go to the Client Audio section of this site. To see photographs, visit the gallery.

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The base price for a Joseph Curtin violin or viola is currently $46,000. A one-piece back, extra antiquing, and other custom work may add to the cost. The price of earlier work is determined on a case-by-case basis. Less expensive options include Ultralight violins and violas. When available, instruments can be sent to you for trial anywhere within the continental United States. We ask that you pay the cost of outbound shipping by FedEx Standard Overnight service. We will pay the return – or if you decide to keep the instrument, we will deduct shipping costs from the sales price. Instruments are insured by us in transit and while in your possession.  Contact us if you’d like to try an instrument or visit the studio. Note that we sell and service only instruments by Joseph Curtin or  Curtin & Alf.

Practically speaking, commissioning may be the best way to find an instrument that suits your particular needs. Our process is simple and without risk. First, a conversation with Joseph Curtin lets him know in detail what you are looking for. A $1000 down payment then secures the price and a delivery date. The balance is due upon completion of the instrument. Should you for any reason be unhappy with the instrument, return it within sixty days of delivery, and you will receive a full refund within a further sixty days.

Along with the sixty-day return policy, Joseph Curtin offers a free follow-up adjustment and a long-term commitment to ensuring the instrument achieves its maximum tonal potential. The follow-up adjustment covers any work needed to bring the instrument into top playing condition. Also covered is the cost of shipping back to you (anywhere in the continental United States), Not covered is repair to any wear or damage incurred while the instrument was in your possession. Should you ever decide to sell your Joseph Curtin instrument, we will take it back on a consignment basis. We ask a 20% commission plus the cost of any work needed to bring the instrument into best possible condition.

Joseph Curtin is committed to the long-term welfare of his instruments, and is happy to help with tonal adjustments, long-term maintenance, and repairs. It is not always possible to do this at short notice, so before sending an instrument, please contact us to arrange a time. Joseph Curtin does not work on instruments other than his own or those made by Curtin & Alf.

We provide free insurance appraisals for our instruments in digital form as .pdf files, which can then be forwarded to your insurance agent. To account for appreciation, it is worth updating coverage every few years. Before shipping your instrument, check that your policy covers loss or damage during shipment. Not all policies do! If you are receiving an instrument from us on trial, our insurance policy covers it all the way through, so no additional insurance from FedEx is needed. (Please leave the “declared value” box on the air bill blank.)

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