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xania

Are there any female violin makers?

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There is some speculation about del Gesu's wife, Katarina. A past Strad article even postulated that some of the heads on del Gesu instruments are her work.

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I heard of a violinmaker Olga Adelmann who was said to be the first German violin maker (master). She was a pupil of Otto Möckel who was a well reputated violin maker in Berlin(died 1937). He wrote a book on violin making in 1930.

Olga was an admirer of S. F. Sacconi and pushed him to write down his experiences. Thank God, he did ...

Here is some data about Olga from http://www.stringsmagazine.com/issues/stri...ketReport.shtml

This past May [2000], Olga Adelmann, the first woman to become a master

violin maker in her own right, passed away in Berlin. Born in 1913, Adelmann studied with Otto Möckel from 1934 until his death in 1937, and received

her master’s diploma in 1940.

Since 1957, Adelmann worked at her Alemannic School of violin making

and published a monograph in German entitled "The Alemannic School: Archaic Violin Building in the Southern Black Forest and Switzerland" (Berlin,

1989; second edition with Annet Otterstedt, Berlin, 1998).

Adelmann often lent her instruments to players, and one of them sold

an Amati model of Adelmann’s to an American officer shortly after the

war. The sale was made without her knowledge, and Adelmann never saw the

violin again—a sorrow that would haunt her the rest of her life. Dr. Annet

Otterstedt requests that any information as to the whereabouts of this

particular violin be sent via e-mail to otterstedt@sim.spk-berlin.de.

The label reads "Olga Adelmann, Berlin, 1940."

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There's a thread somewhere in the archives--if it hasn't been lost--about this. There were several names. Carleen Hutchins and Rena Weisshaar come to mind, among contemporaries.

Historical names are another problem. Women would not have been members of the craft guilds in the eighteenth century. I'd be delighted to hear of a counterexample.

Mark_W

P.S., Fubbi, have you included a way of querying your DB for female names? Might be interesting.

M_W

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In Australia - Kitty Smith (Daughter of A.E. Smith, who is a very good maker). Kittiy won a medal in one of the violin making competitions in Europe. I got this information from a Strad magazine.

Cheers,

Allegro

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Is Firenze the same as Florence??--interesting, I just posted about her in another thread..Apparently, Perlman actually uses her instrument regularly..

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Add to the list Sigrun Seifert (works together with Joseph Grubaugh) and Gabrielle Kundert. One of the violinists in my quartet has a very fine Kundert viola, and I understand she has a waiting list for instruments. Grubaugh and Seifert have won multiple VSA awards.

- Mike Stein

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Well I must admit that I've learnt a lot from this thread!

I honestly had never heard of any female violin makers.

Thank you all for the info.

Who knows, in a few years when I have a bit more time, I might even attempt to learn the skill myself-no easy task, I know....

xan

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Hey, speaking of female violin makers, does anyone know who the hands are in the photos in Johnson & Courtnall's "The Art of Violin Making"? Just curious.

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2002 at 6:12 PM, Jeffrey Holmes said:

A few more contemporary female makers: Marilyn Wallin, Wendy Moes, Mararette Shipman, Marit Danielson...

Georgina Walker.

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Historically seen Jenny Bailly is the first maker who comes to my mind. Then there was the daughter of a Hungarian violin maker. Her name is Thereza Toth. If I remember correctly she stopped making because she married a wealthy Italian.

However in violin making we look probably on the same thing as artists, painters, musicians etc. It was long time not allowed or socially correct for women to work as an artist. Likewise many anonymous art works were made by women. And who knows, maybe there have been female violin makers in the 18th century who were simply not allowed to sign their work?

Times have changed and we see an increasing percentage of female violin makers. 

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