T.A Timms was my Father ‘Thomas’ after whom I named the business from its inception in 1997. He was delighted to have the business in his name, and took a keen interest and gave helpful advice and assistance where he could up until his death in 2002. It was my Father who gave me the practical gene, as he’d himself been apprenticed to a Coach Builder from the age of 14 when he'd first left school.
I (Desmond) attended the Purcell School as a Cellist, then much later in life met and became friends with the famous Case Maker Michael Gordge through my work then as a Director of a London firm of Violin Dealers. 'Mick' (who’d originally been apprenticed to W.E. Hill & Sons) gave me a mid-life apprenticeship and taught me all aspects of Case Making, and there along with the other employees of M.A. Gordge in Bletchley, I worked there very happily for some nine years or so.
In 1996 I decided to start my own Case Making business, and this commenced in 1997 (whilst for the first two years still somehow holding down a full time job with a software company) with my Wife Rachel making inner blankets and canvas covers for our Cases – just as she does today.
We now supply our Cases directly to Players only. The decision to cease supplying through retail outlets was originally so that we actually had our invoices paid in some sort of timely fashion, and to stop Dealers in America breaking agreements and others ordering Cases they didn't even have the funds to pay for. However, as a bonus over the years this has given us vital direct Client contact, the pleasure of seeing and handling some truly wonderful Instruments, and meeting some remarkable Violinists (some very famous - others not so, but mostly all - 'remarkable') Violin Collectors too, many of whom have over the years become our friends.
The business today (after a very rocky start over twenty years ago) thrives, but due only to the patronage of its clients. This is never forgotten, and we endeavour to provide a personal and unashamedly high level of old fashioned and personal Customer Service. We remember that whether an international Soloist, or Student, a Violinists most loved possession is usually their Instrument. To be entrusted with keeping such a valued item safe in one of our cases is regarded as an honour.
T.A. TIMMS & SON.
Doing Business the Right Way
Our mission is to create Cases that will last the test of time and offer the protection an often valuable Instrument demands during a lifetime of professional use, just as the firms of W.E Hill, and M.A Gordge before us.
Sadly what most owners won't see is the care that goes into the construction of the wooden shell of the case, which is laminated from Birch veneers and pressed to shape. All joints and angles perfectly cut, then bonded together with epoxy resin producing a very strong and long lasting structure.
All fittings such as the solid hinges, and the hand-made brass locks, the hand stitched leather handles & shoulder-straps are made to the very highest quality.
The interiors are lined in 100% cotton velvet which is soft to the touch, colour-fast, and allows are to circulate about the Instrument. The bow twists are made from a 'soft' ABS, and are both adjustable, and easily replaceable. The bow tip holders are made from thin brass strip covered in velvet, and designed to 'deform' (rather than damage the bow) should a bow ever be taken out of the case in a hurry at too acute an angle! All cases come with a matching inner blanket, and in the instance of the Leather Case, a shaped instrument silk draw-string coverall.
Our single instrument cases can all be fitted with suspension and tail-piece buffer at no additional cost, or left with out for those who prefer the more traditional English Look.
Each canvas cover is bespoke to the individual case, again cotton based materials are used as is traditional in English Case making, the material both 'proofed & treated'. Canvas colours available are Brown, Black or Olive.
From start to finish your Case will be individually made by one craftsman throughout with loving care and attention to detail. That care is backed by our guarantee, and future care service on which we have based our reputation and a proud to stand by.
This is a Case I've been making in for over thirty years, firstly with Mr Gordge - then later in my own right. It was originally designed for Instruments of high value being used daily, and I've changed very it very little from that original concept. The model above is lined in 'Mouse & Mocha' Velvet, and has an optional 'Stretto' humidifier fitted.
As standard this model comes with a full size music pocket, subway strap, hand stitched full leather handle with matching shoulder-strap, hand made polished brass lock, and matching three layer hand finished velvet inner blanket.
LEATHER OBLONG CASE.
Our Leather cases are based around the English Model with slight changes to the way the shell is constructed. As well as 100% cotton velvet, suede lining (as here) is also an option.
The leather case is supplied with a lose fitting canvas cover, a matching handle, hand stitched leather shoulder-strap, three layer hand finished inner blanket, and additionally an instrument shaped silk draw-string coverall.
SHAPED VIOLIN CASE.
We doubt that it would be possibly to house a Violin and two Bows (often even a shoulder-rest too if one leaves out the under-neck compartment), into a smaller space - hence this model is very popular with those Players faces with Air Travel on any sort of regular basis.
A lovely and very strong little case which again comes with the three layer inner blanket, and hand finished leather shoulder strap.
DOUBLE VIOLIN CASE
Only 50mm wider and the same length as our oblong cases, the double case is the ideal solution when faced with the problems of having to transport two instruments at a time.
The Double Case is based on the English Model Oblong Case, and comes complete with the same features as it's older Brother. It is available either 'with' or 'without' the rather useless (but
traditional) storage pockets.
Leather & English Models
All Viola Cases are truly bespoke, and made to the outline and measurement of the instrument they are being made for. They can be lined in any one of our standard colour or special order velvet's. Suede lining is also an option.
Cognac or Black leather, Velvet or suede interior as its Violin Cousin, and with a lose fitting canvas cover.
ENGLISH MODEL VIOLA
Just as the English Model Violin, this case comes with a fitted canvas cover, three layer inner blanket, and a hand stitched leather shoulder strap.
DELIVERY AND CUSTOMISATION.
Delivery from time of order varies from time to time. Each case is made to client order by hand by Rachel & I with great care from start to finish. A general guide time would be 6-8 weeks from date of order. This is however only a guide time. We work long hours seven days a week as we have done for over twenty years now, and we've only the two sets of hands.
For delivery we use UPS Worldwide Service to all parts of the world, and we endeavour to track each and every delivery to your door - wherever on the Planet your door may be.
We offer three Standard colour velvet's (Moss Green, Burgundy or Royal Blue), however there are a range of about 60 other colours available at additional cost which we can order is especially. Suede also is an option. "Suspension" and/or tailpiece pad are also options at no additional cost. Hygrometer and/or Humidifier can also be incorporated if desired.
Generally - if there's any other feature you'r like incorporated in your case - just ask. As long as it's possible from a practical point of view, and won't cause possible damage to the Instrument, we'll assist if we possibly can. You'll also note from our Gallery, that we've made a few interesting "one-off" cases too in our time.
GUARANTEE / RETURNS.
Our cases are designed for lifetime of use, and we undertake to put to rights anything that is the result of faulty workmanship for the entire time that the original owner of the Case has custody. However, this does not cover natural 'wear & tear' or abuse.
We know most of our Cases are used by professional Musicians on a daily basis, and we are aware that they (like their owners) will need love and attention to bring them back to their original condition from time to time. We therefore offer restoration and repair services to our Cases throughout their lives. A fixed-cost quotation is offered before any such work is undertaken.
We hope that you'll not only 'like' your new case, but that you'll love it! However, if you don't like it - you can simply return it to us. This has to be within 14 days, and sent back in original packing, in unused and saleable condition. Please note that bespoke or personalised cases may only be return due to faulty workmanship.
REPLACEMENT GORDGE COVERS & RESTORATION. FULLY RESTORED GORDGE CASES.
Whilst we of course will make and supply replacement canvas cover for our own cases, we do not under any circumstance make replacement covers for any other make of case.
Despite the clear above statement we still receive requests to make covers for other makes of case. Please understand that it is a service we do not offer.
Why? (we're often asked) A Canvas Cover takes Rachel about nine hours to make, and we found in the past that whilst many folk will pay several hundred pound to have their Car serviced each year, most were not willing to pay well under £300.00 for a new canvas cover that would protect their instrument for many years.
GORDGE CASE RESTORATION.
Please note that we no longer offer a restoration service for Gordge Cases.
Why? Like Timms Cases, Gordge cases were never designed to come apart again in a hurry. In fact whilst Desmond worked for Mick Gordge, Mick would do almost anything to get out of relining a case (he'd even make the tea). Preparation is a horrible and time consuming job, and one can in fact make a new case in the same time frame.
FULLY RESTORED GORDGE CASES FOR SALE.
Very occasionally we have a Gordge Violin (only) case for sale from our collection. These when avilable, are always sold in a fully restored condition.
Do come & visit, but by appointment only please.
Mon - Fri: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Transportation from local mainline station can be arranged. "Out of hours" appointments also.
GET IN TOUCH
T.A. Timms & Son, Buckinghamshire, England.
Telephone +44 (0)1908 696415
+44 (0)1908 696415