Edinburgh-born Matthew Hardie was an important and influential violin maker, who has been called the 'Scottish Stradivari'. His instruments were praised for both their beauty and quality of tone. Towards the end of his life, Hardie's business was undercut by cheaper factory imports and he spent some time in a debtor's jail. He died in a poorhouse. His skills, however, were passed onto family members, in what was to become a dynasty of violin makers.