John Devereux is one of the earliest violin makers known to have been working in Australia. He had a significant reputation and output from the 1860s to 1880s and was a contemporary of Australia's other great maker of this period William Dow, also of Melbourne. Born in England in 1810, it is thought that Devereux arrived in Australia in about 1854 from London where he had been working in the workshop of violin maker Bernhard Simon Fendt (1800-1852). He settled in Melbourne and operated a violin making business there until his death in 1883. Apart from violas he is known to have made violins, 'cellos and double basses. He was apparently an accomplished double bass player and performed regularly at Government House in Melbourne. After a visit to Australia by HRH Prince Alfred, The Duke of Edinburgh in 1867, Devereux used the inscription on his labels, "Violin and bass maker to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh". This was apparently after Devereux had met the Prince who was an accomplished violinist.
The museum also holds two violins made by John Devereux dating from 1869 and 1871.
Curator, music & musical instruments