Luminis Violin Varnish

“Luminis Violin Varnish” is a range of period-correct varnishes designed to bring a fresh and vibrant look to stringed instruments. All hand-made in the UK in individual batches in the medieval city of Canterbury. The varnishes are made specifically for violin-makers by Master-Varnish Maker Philippe Briand and are the result of years of restoring some of the best examples of Italian Violin Making that guided extended research and experimentation.


I only make linseed oil varnishes and only use raw materials that would have been available to a varnish maker in the 18th Century.

Focus is primarily on transparency and getting the right colour tone at the right intensity to help makers in their varnishing.

At the moment I have three main types of varnishes :

Clear ~ can be used to seal the ground, as a separation layer or as a vehicule for pigments in coloured coats

Golden ~ intense reddish Yellow, very transparent with some body, can be used as ultra thin layer just above the wood (similar to Auripetum in guilding), colour coat or colour additive to other varnishes

“Brescia” Brown ~ a darker varnish, deep reddish Brown, best used as colour layer or colour additive to other varnishes.