Ian Watchorn

Ian Watchorn
ph. 0423 155 522

Ian Watchorn began his professional career as a maker & repairer of instruments in Sydney, Australia in 1976, moving to Canberra in 1979.

1982, received grants from Australia Council and NSW Premiers Department to study musical instrument conservation at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, Germany under Friedemann Hellwig and John Henry van der Meer.

1984, accepted the post of conservator at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, and was later acting senior conservator there before returning to Australia in 1987.

1987 – 1990, worked on the conservation and collection development for the musical instrument collection at the Power House Museum, Sydney, and later as curator of the same collection.

From 1990, working privately as maker, conservator & consultant in Melbourne, Australia, working for for the following institutions, collectors and performers:

  • Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, Germany
  • Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
  • Stiftselsen Musikkulturens Främjande, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Museo Civico, Bologna Italy
  • Power House Museum, Sydney Australia
  • Max Möller & Zoon, Violin Experts, Amsterdam Holland
  • Studio for Early Music, University of Melbourne
  • LaTrobe University, Melbourne
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Western Australia
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Australian Government Department of Communications & the Arts
  • Wieland Kuijken, Belgium
  • Peter Lissauer, London Baroque Soloists
  • Thomas Albert, Musikalischer Compagney, Berlin
  • Hajo Bäss, Musica Antiqua, Cologne
  • Jonothan Rubin, Geneva
  • Anita Mitterer, Concentus Musicus, Vienna
  • Michael Sand, San Francisco Baroque Orchestra
  • William Bower, New Zealand
  • Richard Webb, Academy of Ancient Music, London
  • Dorothea Jappe, Basel
  • Australian Brandenburg Orchestra
  • Daniel Yeadon, Sydney
  • John Hurlston, Melbourne
  • John Gault, Bendigo
  • Lucinda Moon, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra
  • Tommy Anderssen, Sydney
  • Miriam Morris, Melbourne
  • Adrian Walter, Darwin
  • Otago University, New Zealand
  • Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne
  • Geoffrey Morris, Melbourne
  • Samantha Cohen, Melbourne
  • Rosemary Hodgson, Melbourne
  • Prof. John Griffiths, Melbourne

CONTACT DETAILS: M: 0423 155 522; E: ian@ianwatchorn.com.au

New Instruments

1. Period Bowed Instruments:

  • Violin family, 16th – early19th centuries
  • Viola da Gamba: Pardessus, treble, tenor, bass, consort bass, 7-string viols
  • Viola d’amore instruments
  • Baryton, Lirone, Arpeggione, etc.

2. Period bows:

  • 17th – early 19th century; clip-in, screw mounted, snakewood/pernambuco, etc.Violin, viola, cello, bass/violone, viola da gamba, etc.

3. Period Plucked Instruments:

  • Lute: 6-13 course, models from 1540 – 1760 -English, French, German and Netherlands configurations.
  • Theorbo: Tiorbino, archlute, solo and continuo French and Italian thoerbos, Angelique, etc.
  • Renaissance & Baroque Guitar: 4, 5 course, Vihuela, etc.
  • Early Romantic guitars: 6-course & 6-string in Spanish, French, English and Viennese styles.
  • PRICELIST: LAID OUT AS PER CURRENT SITE – See new prices below:

    Viola da Gamba

    Bent top,pierced scroll,single purfling Carvedtop Decorated scroll Carved head
    Pardessus/Treble $7500 +$250 +$500 +$400
    Tenor $9500 +$300 +$500 +$550
    Division Bass $13500 +$450 +$900 +$600
    7 Str/consort Bass $15,500 +$600 +$1000 +$700

    Violin Family and other Bowed Instruments

    Violin $10,000
    Viola $12,000
    Viola d'Amore $13,500
    Piccolo Cello $15,500
    Cello $17,500

    Baroque Bows for Violin Family and Viola da Gamba

    Snakewood stick and fittings, clip in frog $2100
    Screw Mechanism +$350
    Fluted Stick +$350
    Mamoth Ivory Frog and Button +$350

    Lutes and Theorbos

    Pernambuco stick, ebony fittings, lapping and faceplates according to style - English, French, German, Italian $2450

    Baroque Bows for Violin Family and Viola da Gamba

    5 - 7 Course Lutes

    Treble/alto from $6500
    a"/g" lute from $6700
    Tenor from $8000
    Bass from $10,500
    Great Bass from $13,500

    10 - 13 Course Lutes

    10 - 11 Course $8500
    12 - 13 Course from $9500

    Theorbos 11 - 14 Course

    Luito Attiorbato-Tiorbina (55-58 cm playing stringlength) from $10,000
    Archlute (61-65 cm playing stringlength) from $11,500
    German Theorbo(13-14 course in D-minor tuning)from $13,500
    French (solo) Theorbo(75-78 cm playing stringlength)from $13,500
    Large Continuo Theorbo(82-88 cm playing stringlength)from $15,500

    Early Guitars

    1: Josef and Juan Pagés, Cadiz, 1790 - 1830

    6-course, with pegs$7500
    6-string, with pegs$7000

    Louis Panormo, London, 1819 - 1845

    6-string, with pegs$7500
    6-string, with machines$9500

    René François Lacôte, Paris, 1820 -1860

    6-string, with pegs$7500
    6-string, with machines$9500

    Johann Georg Stauffer, Vienna, 1815 - 1840

    6-string, with pegs$7500
    6-string, with machines$9500

    Carlo or Gaetano Guadagnini, Turin, 1800 - 1840

    6-string, maple fruitwood, with pegs$7500

    Terms of Business

    These prices are intended as a guide. There is a large range of materials, designs, cases and options, which are discussed in detail when ordering. A final price and delivery time is provided with the quote. Quotes are valid for 30 days. Delivery time is fixed at confirmation of order. Payment schedule: 20% of quoted price on confirmation; 20% when work begins; 60% on completion.

    Prices for new instruments are in $AUS.


    • Conservation & restoration services are available to public institutions, private collectors of musical instruments, performers, teachers, musicologists & researchers
    • Conservation & restoration of plucked and bowed strings, keyboards before 1830, historical woodwind and selected non-european instruments.

    Consultancy and Collection Management Services:

    • Collection acquisition, management, curatorial services, policy and planning, exhibition development, planning and management for both public and private collections, permanent and travelling exhibitions.
    • Valuation, identification and appraisal of antique and historical stringed & keyboard instruments.
    • Research: Technical and historical organology, cataloging, historical design & performance practice for stringed instruments.
    • Lecturing, theoretical & practical teaching of making and design, conservation, curatorial practice, history and organology.


    A number of published articles and restoration reports are available on request. Below is a selection of themes covered:

    • Baroque Renaissance - A Matter of Style: The Strad, March 1985.
    • Das Populäre Instrument - Historical Development of the Guitar; Holz Aktuell, Vol.5, 1986.
    • The Baroque Lute and Its Construction: Studien Zur Aufführungspraxis, Michaelstein, Germany, 1986.
    • Examination and Treatment of Corrosion in Brass Instruments, Michaelstein, Germany, 1985.
    • The Construction of the French Viola da Gamba: Australian Association of Musical Instrument Makers, 1987.
    • The Guitar in the 19th Century - Technology & Technique; Catalogue of the exhibition of the Hurlston Collection at: 4th Darwin International Guitar Festival, 1999
    • An Invitation to the 19th Century Guitar: Supplement to Gendai Guitar Magazine, 2000/No 420 (In Japanese)
    • European Revolution: Acoustic Guitar, Feb 2002; String Letter Publishing, San Rafael, CA, USA
    • Inventing the Modern Guitar - Johann Georg Stauffer and the Viennese School of Guitar Making: Lecture Series, 5th Darwin International Guitar Festival, Music School, Northern Territory University 2002.
    • Jakob Stainer's Influence in England and the Baroque Revival In Australia: Ian Watchorn, 2003 - 1st Australian violin Maker's Conference, Guildford, Vic 2003
    • Historical Information about Viol Bridges; VdGSA Newsletter 2001
    • In the Belly of the Viol; VdGSA Newsletter 2000
    • Jakob Stainer's Viol Instruments; Chelys, VdGSA Journal, 2004
    • An Enharmonic Guitar by René François Lacôte, Paris, Ca. 1850’ Description & Restoration Report: Ian Watchorn, Melbourne, 1990.
    • Reconstructing the French Viol Bow; in: The Conservation, Reastoration and Repair of Stringed Instruments and their Bows; IPCI Canada 2008.
    • The Viol in Winter: VdGSA Newsletter 2002
    • Viol Stinging - Some General guidelines: VdGSA Newsletter 2005

    Sample Restoration Reports:

    • Guitar by Louis Panormo 1833
    • Early 18th Century Violoncello Piccolo
    • Mid-17th Century English Bass Viol
    • Guitar D'Amore, Thomasz Zach 1850-1856
    • Guitar by Louis Panormo Ca. 1828
    • Guitar - Lagnani model Terz -by Letz
    • Violin by Matthias Hornsteiner, Mittenwald, 1795
    • Legnani style Guitar Attrib: C.F. Goram, Markneukirchen, ca. 1840
    • Lute by Joachim Tielke, Hamburg 1706
    ph. 0423 155 522

    Ian Watchorn - Site by: OReillyIT - 2024