Devon LivingIssue #01
Introducing Paul Parsons of D E Vernon Violins, a charming business based in the South Hams, that’ll bring sweet music to your ears.
Nestled in the countryside, half a mile from one of the finest beaches in south Devon is the village of Slapton, itself an ancient settlement mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The Jewel in Slapton’s crown is the church of St James, established in the late 13th Century.
“I’ve spent a 35 year career looking after fine instruments that are not only an investment for the musician but in many cases are making a serious financial investment…”
It will come as no surprise therefore that among Slapton’s eclectic inhabitants is a business dedicated to the restoration of fine antiquities, in this case, violins. Paul Parsons, a violin restorer and dealer, and his wife Charlotte, relocated home and their business DE Vernon Violins to south Devon, giving up the frenetic lifestyle of Manchester’s city centre for a slower pace by the coast.
“Giving up the mantle of the north west’s oldest violin dealership was an easy decision,” Paul tells us. “After 35 years of dealing with many of the area’s finest musicians and their fine instruments and bows, moving to Slapton is allowing me to continue to refine my work and indeed choose the work I really want to do, without commercial pressures.”
Paul started work with the company in 1983, established by D E Vernon himself, back in 1964. Paul trained in repair and restoration techniques, then in a hugely busy commercial workshop environment and progressing such as to take over the company in 1989.
“I’ve spent a 35 year career looking after fine instruments that are not only an investment for the musician but in many cases are making a serious financial investment,” continues Paul. The laws of supply and demand have throughout violin history pushed prices upwards with many fine and especially old Italian instruments out of the reach of fine musicians. Paul has over recent years found and supplied fine instruments for a number of clients who specifically want investment quality items. Some investors loan instruments to aspiring young and talented musicians either directly or through specialist music teaching institutions, many of which themselves own fine collections. It would be fair to say that you do not have to be a musician to enjoy fine antique instruments. Slapton has an appeal of its own to the clients who visit the workshop and home of Paul and Charlotte Parsons to discuss restorations or buying fine instruments.
If you have an instrument that needs repair, if you’re looking to source a rare instrument, or simply you’re interested to discover more about Paul’s work, why not drop him a line now?
D E VERNON VIOLINS
Rock Cottage, Sands Road, Slapton,
South Hams TQ7 2QN
“I’ve spent a 35 year career looking after fine instruments that are not only an investment for the musician but in many cases are making a serious financial investment...”