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Michael Bodak violin


pahdah_hound
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I purchased a violin by Michael Bodak dated 1919 in Detroit(on the label) and branded internally 1924 . It is also branded internally in at least 3 places(with the name Michael Bodak) and came with a 20X30 framed certificate of Gold Medal Award for 'quality of handmade violins' from the Sesquicentennial World's Fair in Philadelphia 1926. I had a minor table crack repaired and set it up and my luthier feels that it is a very well made violin that sounds wonderful. Does anybody know anything about this maker and his reputation?

Thanks!

Jesse

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Meng Violins has been kind enough to host some photos until I can figure out how to post them on my own web site. I am planning on arriving in the 21st century sometime soon.

If anyone has any comments about this Bodak violin I would certainly love to hear them. I think its pretty nice but I don't know much. Try this link,

http://www.mengviolins.com/jesse/

I also posted a couple of the BB Button violin that is really rather crude I think.

Jesse

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  • 7 years later...

I purchased a violin by Michael Bodak dated 1919 in Detroit(on the label) and branded internally 1924 . It is also branded internally in at least 3 places(with the name Michael Bodak) and came with a 20X30 framed certificate of Gold Medal Award for 'quality of handmade violins' from the Sesquicentennial World's Fair in Philadelphia 1926. I had a minor table crack repaired and set it up and my luthier feels that it is a very well made violin that sounds wonderful. Does anybody know anything about this maker and his reputation?

Thanks!

Jesse

I sold a few violins at Wunderlichs in the early 2000s[not sure the exact year]]..His shop was upstairs in a badly decaying area on East Warren.. Curt Wunderlich's son Rolf was operating it and still crafting violins..- He told me at the time he would be closing the shop shortly thereafter-- btw . the 2 violins I sold were both Michael Bodak models:[ both from 1919] One was from his own hand,the other he labled as "made over by Michael Bodak'[something like that]--Rolf Wunderlich told me Mr. Bodak would only have made over instruments he deemed worthy of his time!--- Rolf played both violins for me and I was very impressed- He took me on a tour of the fine instruments he had crafted and collected --The man was a complete gentleman! He noticed I needed a $5 part for the instrument,but later found it in the case and CALLED me to tell me he would not charge for it- What an ethical and honest man indeed! It was a pleasure dealing with Rolf! As for Michael Bodak...he was my grandfather's best friend and someone my father knew as a young man-- I was told by my father, that at one time my grandfather's attic was full of Bodak violins--- Michael Bodak had a small shop inside his home a few blocks from Gratiot and Van Dyke in Detroit--He had a couple sons,one tragically killed on a Detroit sidewalk-- Michael Bodak died in 1941 or 1942---- I have been to his gravesite in Mount Olivet cemetery in Detroit -- His granite stone has a Violin etched into it and it reads "Artist Violin Maker"--- Michael Bodak was of Hungarian descent,and according to my father,a fine and polished gentleman of class and distinction! As my fellow maestonetters know,it was a different world and class of people back then--If you know people looking for info on Mr Bodak, please mention this to them. Many of his instrments were of very fine quality

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  • 1 month later...

Hello!!

My great grandfather was Michael Bodak. THANK YOU for your kind words about him and for remembering him and his violin making. I grew up in Warren Michigan but unfortunately it was several years after he passed away. I've never been to his grave site, but hope to some day.

I sold a few violins at Wunderlichs in the early 2000s[not sure the exact year]]..His shop was upstairs in a badly decaying area on East Warren.. Curt Wunderlich's son Rolf was operating it and still crafting violins..- He told me at the time he would be closing the shop shortly thereafter-- btw . the 2 violins I sold were both Michael Bodak models:[ both from 1919] One was from his own hand,the other he labled as "made over by Michael Bodak'[something like that]--Rolf Wunderlich told me Mr. Bodak would only have made over instruments he deemed worthy of his time!--- Rolf played both violins for me and I was very impressed- He took me on a tour of the fine instruments he had crafted and collected --The man was a complete gentleman! He noticed I needed a $5 part for the instrument,but later found it in the case and CALLED me to tell me he would not charge for it- What an ethical and honest man indeed! It was a pleasure dealing with Rolf! As for Michael Bodak...he was my grandfather's best friend and someone my father knew as a young man-- I was told by my father, that at one time my grandfather's attic was full of Bodak violins--- Michael Bodak had a small shop inside his home a few blocks from Gratiot and Van Dyke in Detroit--He had a couple sons,one tragically killed on a Detroit sidewalk-- Michael Bodak died in 1941 or 1942---- I have been to his gravesite in Mount Olivet cemetery in Detroit -- His granite stone has a Violin etched into it and it reads "Artist Violin Maker"--- Michael Bodak was of Hungarian descent,and according to my father,a fine and polished gentleman of class and distinction! As my fellow maestonetters know,it was a different world and class of people back then--If you know people looking for info on Mr Bodak, please mention this to them. Many of his instrments were of very fine quality

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Hello - I am hoping to find some photos of Michael Bodak - who was my great grandfather. Would you have to have any? If so, would you let me know? I can be reached at: 661/713-9946 - many thanks, Janine

I sold a few violins at Wunderlichs in the early 2000s[not sure the exact year]]..His shop was upstairs in a badly decaying area on East Warren.. Curt Wunderlich's son Rolf was operating it and still crafting violins..- He told me at the time he would be closing the shop shortly thereafter-- btw . the 2 violins I sold were both Michael Bodak models:[ both from 1919] One was from his own hand,the other he labled as "made over by Michael Bodak'[something like that]--Rolf Wunderlich told me Mr. Bodak would only have made over instruments he deemed worthy of his time!--- Rolf played both violins for me and I was very impressed- He took me on a tour of the fine instruments he had crafted and collected --The man was a complete gentleman! He noticed I needed a $5 part for the instrument,but later found it in the case and CALLED me to tell me he would not charge for it- What an ethical and honest man indeed! It was a pleasure dealing with Rolf! As for Michael Bodak...he was my grandfather's best friend and someone my father knew as a young man-- I was told by my father, that at one time my grandfather's attic was full of Bodak violins--- Michael Bodak had a small shop inside his home a few blocks from Gratiot and Van Dyke in Detroit--He had a couple sons,one tragically killed on a Detroit sidewalk-- Michael Bodak died in 1941 or 1942---- I have been to his gravesite in Mount Olivet cemetery in Detroit -- His granite stone has a Violin etched into it and it reads "Artist Violin Maker"--- Michael Bodak was of Hungarian descent,and according to my father,a fine and polished gentleman of class and distinction! As my fellow maestonetters know,it was a different world and class of people back then--If you know people looking for info on Mr Bodak, please mention this to them. Many of his instrments were of very fine quality

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  • 5 years later...

Thanks for writing, J-9.

I am amazed at the number of times over the years where a post will catch the attention of a family member.  I think a lot more people check in to Maestronet than we imagine.  Pretty neat if you think about it.

As for "amateur," it's one of those words we don't always use properly.  An amateur can do fine work.  I hope we can see some of your GG father's work. 

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 years later...
On 1/20/2017 at 12:31 PM, Anitakins said:

I am currently looking at a Bodak violin seriously. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

I have 2 Violins made by my Hungarian Great-Grandfather Michael Bodak from Detroit, Michigan.   There is a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty with his name on it that I saw in 2005! My Grandfather, his son was Michael Gene Bodak, my mother is Carol Gene Bodak Loveland, his only child and his Birth Certificate from Detroit states that his mother was Shoshone Indian.  I am hoping after reading the posts regarding Michael Bodak Violin Maker and sharing my family information, that I have finally found information I’ve been looking for over many years since my family members have all passed.  My name is Linda Loveland and we all grew up in Pocatello, Idaho until my parents, Carol and Jim Loveland moved us to SLC, Utah in 1964 and later divorced.  I’ve lived in San Diego since 1973.  Hopefully someone reading this can confirm that this is my great grandfather.  Please contact me at 619-339-1307 with any information if you have it as my current family would be so great full as well.  Thank you!

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2 hours ago, Linda Loveland said:

....Hopefully someone...can confirm that this is my great grandfather....

I think chances are very good that it's him, because I doubt that there were many violin makers named Michael Bodak in Detroit.

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19 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

I think chances are very good that it's him, because I doubt that there were many violin makers named Michael Bodak in Detroit.

I saw the post below from aikiwat in 2011:  

As for Michael Bodak...he was my grandfather's best friend and someone my father knew as a young man-- I was told by my father, that at one time my grandfather's attic was full of Bodak violins--- Michael Bodak had a small shop inside his home a few blocks from Gratiot and Van Dyke in Detroit--He had a couple sons,one tragically killed on a Detroit sidewalk-- 

This confirms it is my G Grandfather as my Grandfather, one of 2 sons (my mom kept in touch with his brother who she called Uncle “Gay” short for maybe Gaylord). Backstory:  My Grandfather was a famous traveling rodeo rider named Drift Jones at one point and my grandmother, Ada Mae, his wife and my 5 year old mom stayed with her parents in Pocatello while my grandfather was out on the rodeo circuit.  Ada Mae eventually divorced him and remarried.  She told me later in life when I shared many pictures of them together, that she always loved him and never stopped loving him (they were both absolutely gorgeous).  My mom had all of the pictures that Uncle Gay took of them mostly outdoors and he was an amazing photographer, along with many photos of my grandpa Drift rodeo riding and many, many photos of him with the Shoshone tribes people in Pocatello,  including famous Chiefs who signed those photos with loving comments.  When he visited us each year, many of the local tribe families would show up to visit him at our house bringing dozens of homemade pumpkin nut cookies (and I have and make their recipe even today). My step-grandfather was so jealous of my mom looking like my extremely handsome grandfather that he made her sit separately at a table for meals and other abuses for some time while growing up. My mom and dad were married at 16 and 17 years old to get her away from that environment plus they were in love.  My mom and her 2 sisters shared many sad heartbreaking stories like this that they remembered with me later in life. My mom started drinking after my parents divorced, her Mom and stepdad took her away to Phoenix to help her quit drinking (they thought).  So  he was murdered two weeks before “Grandpa Drift” (he had us call him) was coming to Phoenix to pick up my mom and then drive to Salt Lake City to pick up me and my 2 brothers and sister up when we were living with my Dad and his new wife, and he was going take us all to live on a ranch on the Shoshone Indian Reservation in Idaho to get healed—so sad to me even today!  When my mom lost him, she was heartbroken and started drinking more.  She quit when I moved in with her in 1969 and eventually got her to stop drinking.  This is still so sad to me even today!  I'm hoping to connect with my family members if there are any and someone posted on this site that Michael Bodak violin maker is their G Grandfather so I hope they're still around so I can somehow contact them!  My mother gave me the 2 violins, a child’s size and an an adult size which I played on for 3 years in junior high school 5 days a week which began my musical adventures and performances I’ve done.  But my mother was a virtuoso violinist and played amazingly and her mother made her perform growing up she was so good.  Thanks for reading and reaching out to me-it means so much!  If someone reading this wants to contact me, please do!  I’m at ldloveland@yahoo.com.

 

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