The striking appearance and the rich varnish on the back was likened to the brilliant and changing
colours of the graceful dolphin. It was named by George Hart, a violin dealer of London, who owned the violin in the late 1880’s, and since then, the violin has been called by the name of ‘Dolphin’.
It was purchased by the well-known amateur player Mr. C. G. Meir in 1862 from Jean Baptiste Vuillame (1798-1875) of Paris. In 1868, he sold the violin to George Hart. It was later sold to a well-known collector Mr. John Adam, which, among his other collections, in 1881-1882, he disposed of to David Laurie, the foremost international dealer of the day. In 1882, the violin was sold to Mr. Richard Bennett of Bolton, a collector as well as an amateur who dispersed his collection of instruments about 1890. In 1892, via W. E. Hill & Sons, the violin passed into the hands of an excellent amateur player, Mrs. Stothert, who retained it until 1915. In 1915, W. E. Hill & Sons re-purchased the violin and it returned to its previous owner, Mr. Bennett. He disposed of his collection including ‘Dolphin’ in 1926, and it then passed into the hands of Mr. George Kemp, Director of the well-known firm of biscuit manufacturers of that name. In 1950, it passed into the hands of the violin virtuoso, Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987). Since 1970, the violin had been carefully possessed by Mr. Cho Ming Sin, a Hong Konger residing in England. In February 2000, Nippon Music Foundation acquired the instrument from Mr. Cho Ming Sin.