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John Juzek Violin


GoldenPlate

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how do you like them apples pahdah, hes obviously making a rather false statement about the authenticity of the label, which draws the whole instrument into question, is it even a juzek?

not to mention the date appears to be written in with a felt tip pen, not a fountain pen

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We've discussed John Juzek so often ....

John Juzek violins only exist in the USA to my knowledge - it stands to reason that they were labelled in the USA, I think that's all anyone needs to know.

As Jacob has pointed out, this violin was labelled after Czechoslovakia came into existence, post 1919, definitely not in 1894 or whatever - Juzek is a US importer's trade name and the violins are trade violins, some good, some bad, mostly bad.

ps. I'm sure the label is "authentic", but it's also highly misleading!

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martin youre sure the label is authentic, even though the paper looks brand new, the ink on the handwritten date isnt faded at all, it appears to be done with a felt pen invented in 1919??? plus it comes from the hound where these characteristics pop up all the time.......

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++++++++++++

Only $2,100 US. The price is not out of line. Pricing is not an exact science because the condition and other features of the violin

make it inaccurate.

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I'm not so familiar with the Juzek label, but it looks like a very average Bohemian violin, which is what I assume all Juzeks are. I've never understood the fuss about these instruments - the "master art series" is very sweet. I have noticed that US buyers love memorable names and spurious model designations - whoever came up with the Juzek "brand" had a good understanding of his market!

I find the claim that it's without repairs rather strange. The neck graft is a repair, as is the piece of ebony by the tailpin, evidence of "shrinking rib syndrome". There appears to be an opening between the belly and the bottom right rib ....

The tonal description is classic Jesse, I'm amazed he can bear to part with it!

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The Juzek family "history" has disappeared from the Metropolitan Music Co. website and with it a couple links thereto that you might find in old MN posts. For future reference, here's what I saved from a good account (maybe originally on a bass web site and now appearing at http://audiotools.com/en_mi_links_mb.html ):

"Metropolitan Music Company

USA based company that is primarily a retailer and distributor of classical string instruments and parts but also sells products under its onw brands including violins, violas and cellos using the John Juzek name, woodworking tools using the Ibex moniker, violin rests under the Resonans label and mutes under the Ultra stensil. The company also handles the NA distribution of Wilfer and has in the past sold products under other names including bows using the E. Dupree and F.N. Voirin labels.

Metropolitan Music was originally founded in 1920 by Robert Juzek (1894 - 1975) in New York as a violin importer and jobber and then called Czechoslovak Music Co. Early on he started to import instruments sourced from his brother Janek Juzek that was based in Prague in the then newly founded Czechoslovakian Republic, the instruments were labelled with the anglicised John Juzek name, "made in Czechoslovakia" and marked with "violinmaker in Prague" but that is in essence a meaningless label. While Mr. Juzek might have made some instruments from scratch in Prague it should be noted that he was apparently not an apprenticed master violin maker and none of the Juzek branded instruments were ever sold in Europe as you would expect if that was the case.

In his day the company was notorious for misrepresenting instruments bought finished or as white instruments from sundry European makers as being made in their own CZ workshops and for back dating their Juzek branded violins, violas and cellos to give the company an illusion of history, dates can go as far back as 1900 and possibly earlier but no instruments with the name were made before 1920 and the company newer really had a workshop in Europe, this practice however was fairly common at the time in the USA and still is to a degree, to put it into perspective for John Juzek to have been making master level instruments in 1901, he would have had to start his apprenticeship at age 1 or 2.

Note that this says nothing about the quality of the earlier instruments, they ranged from starter violins that are currently worth next to nothing to high quality master instruments that are quite sought after. The early instruments may have been made in Prague, or elsewhere in Bohemia or even Germany, but the bulk of their products came from the German workshops in Schönbach in Northern Bohemia (now Luby) and indeed in their first catalogue the company lists their instruments as being made in Schönbach even though the labels said Prague, but even the instruments made in Germany came with the made in Czechoslovakia/Prag label, which was technically legal in the USA if they were lacquered in CZ. After WWII Robert Juzek for the most part stopped purchasing from his brother and started dealing with manufacturers in Germany directly although he continued to use the John Juzek brand as he owned the trademark rights anyway. Their basses on the other were mostly made by Heinrich Lang/Benedikt Lang and Wilfer after 1935 or so, after WWII mostly Wilfer except for the plywood models supplied by Lang but in the 20's like their other instruments could have been made by just about anyone."

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...I find the claim that it's without repairs rather strange. The neck graft is a repair, as is the piece of ebony by the tailpin, evidence of "shrinking rib syndrome"...

There's nothing strange about the neckgraft and ebony insert at all. They are not repairs; the violin was originally made with them. John Juzek Master Arts were typically made with neck grafts and ebony button crowns to try to give them the look of old violins with these features. I can't recall seeing the ebony insert on Master Arts before, but I have seen original ones on other types on antiqued violins such as the Schweitzer types, so I'm not surprised to see one here.

As with many of the violins Mr. Hound sells, I set this one up, and I saw nothing suspicious about the violin or the label. I've seen dozens of John Juzek Master Arts, and I've owned a few. I'm sure that it is a genuine one with its original label, in near-mint condition, made in the 1920s despite the date on the label. This one is not as nice as some that I've seen, but it's still pretty nice for a commercial trade violin. The pegs, end pin and tailpiece appear to all be original, because they have the typical brass Master Art inlays, although the brass shield has fallen out of the tailpiece.

And, yes, I know that "John Juzek" is a trade name used on instruments imported by the Metropolitan Music Company -- not a real maker.

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The Juzek family "history" has disappeared from the Metropolitan Music Co. website and with it a couple links thereto that you might find in old MN posts. For future reference, here's what I saved from a good account (maybe originally on a bass web site and now appearing at http://audiotools.com/en_mi_links_mb.html ):

"Metropolitan Music Company

USA based company that is primarily a retailer and distributor of classical string instruments and parts but also sells products under its onw brands including violins, violas and cellos using the John Juzek name, woodworking tools using the Ibex moniker, violin rests under the Resonans label and mutes under the Ultra stensil. The company also handles the NA distribution of Wilfer and has in the past sold products under other names including bows using the E. Dupree and F.N. Voirin labels.

Metropolitan Music was originally founded in 1920 by Robert Juzek (1894 - 1975) in New York as a violin importer and jobber and then called Czechoslovak Music Co. Early on he started to import instruments sourced from his brother Janek Juzek that was based in Prague in the then newly founded Czechoslovakian Republic, the instruments were labelled with the anglicised John Juzek name, "made in Czechoslovakia" and marked with "violinmaker in Prague" but that is in essence a meaningless label. While Mr. Juzek might have made some instruments from scratch in Prague it should be noted that he was apparently not an apprenticed master violin maker and none of the Juzek branded instruments were ever sold in Europe as you would expect if that was the case.

In his day the company was notorious for misrepresenting instruments bought finished or as white instruments from sundry European makers as being made in their own CZ workshops and for back dating their Juzek branded violins, violas and cellos to give the company an illusion of history, dates can go as far back as 1900 and possibly earlier but no instruments with the name were made before 1920 and the company newer really had a workshop in Europe, this practice however was fairly common at the time in the USA and still is to a degree, to put it into perspective for John Juzek to have been making master level instruments in 1901, he would have had to start his apprenticeship at age 1 or 2.

Note that this says nothing about the quality of the earlier instruments, they ranged from starter violins that are currently worth next to nothing to high quality master instruments that are quite sought after. The early instruments may have been made in Prague, or elsewhere in Bohemia or even Germany, but the bulk of their products came from the German workshops in Schönbach in Northern Bohemia (now Luby) and indeed in their first catalogue the company lists their instruments as being made in Schönbach even though the labels said Prague, but even the instruments made in Germany came with the made in Czechoslovakia/Prag label, which was technically legal in the USA if they were lacquered in CZ. After WWII Robert Juzek for the most part stopped purchasing from his brother and started dealing with manufacturers in Germany directly although he continued to use the John Juzek brand as he owned the trademark rights anyway. Their basses on the other were mostly made by Heinrich Lang/Benedikt Lang and Wilfer after 1935 or so, after WWII mostly Wilfer except for the plywood models supplied by Lang but in the 20's like their other instruments could have been made by just about anyone."

+

Dear Richard,

I would just like to thank you for you’re interesting and revealing exposé re. “Jusek” fiddles. which I have copied and filed for future reference. This “Brand” of violin is quite unknown in Europe, except for American auction catalogues and is an occasional source of confusion and enquiry.

To summarize: they were “Trade” (or “Dutzendware”) from Schonbach, imported and labelled up in various grades in America by the “Metropolitan Music Company” from 1920 onwards.

Since “caspase” directs a question to me personally (post #3) “Are you saying Pahdah Hound is making a false statement regarding this violin?”, the answer must be “yes, I’m making a straight forward statement of fact” since the label is at the very least 25 years post-dated and the violin could be from anyone in Schönbach pre WWII, furthermore the label has been inserted in America by persons unknown (to me) pre-2012.

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Why didn't Brad say anything about this?

++++++++++++++++

So, it was sold at $2900. The price is determined by one buyer, not by a whole lot of people as you think.

I do not want to dispute that. Who wants to challenge a fact.

I know an orchestra person who paid $250k for a violin. In a causal conversation, he mentioned the name of the maker that I missed.

I did not dare to ask " I beg your pardon" . It was well known to him that was only thing counted. The fact that he plays on stage is good enough for me.

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Forgive me for being a pedant, but the listing states that the label is authentic, not that the violin was made in 1894. The violin is accurately described as a 20th century violin .... however, it's also described as over 100 years old, which it isn't.

Brad, I've also seen grafts, ebony crowns and tailpin inserts which are original, but I've always read them as indications of a trade fiddle which is embarrassed about its origins!

Richard, I'm also very grateful for this account of the Juzek name - I'd worked it all out by looking at the fiddles, but it's good to see it documented so exhaustively.

For a similar analysis of the hundreds of trade names which are constantly cited by unscrupulous sellers as evidence of a particular French maker, have a look at Mirecourt trade names. It makes pretty shocking reading!

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For a similar analysis of the hundreds of trade names which are constantly cited by unscrupulous sellers as evidence of a particular French maker, have a look at Mirecourt trade names. It makes pretty shocking reading!

For further pedantry, and because I like to play fair, I think it is only reasonable to add that while some sellers may deliberately cite trade names as if they were the actual makers, others do so out of ignorance with no intention to deceive.

It is also worth pointing out that not all the names in the above list were ever used as trade names, and of those that were, is it not true that many were originally actual makers?

Andrew

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This is a list of trade names, in other words these were ALL used to label violins made by people other than those named on the label.

Some of these trade names allude to makers who did once make violins (like Honore Derazey), but the vast majority are made-up names, even if Henley was deceived into thinking these people existed - Barnabetti for instance or Geronimo Grandini.

Roland Terrier is the world authority on this subject.

I agree that there's a good deal of ignorance about this feature of the French trade, but most dealers know chapter and verse. The most commonly mis-represented names in my experience are Francois Breton and Didier Nicolas - pretty much everyone seems to claim that theirs is the real deal and not a 1900 Mirecourt!

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I'll leave the debate about trade instruments alone... except to say that it seems to me that most buyers in this range seem more comfortable purchasing a violin with a story, true or not. Actually, I'd say that's true in many ranges. :)

I usually don't pay much attention to these, but when I clicked on the link, I noticed the violin had a white shield below the button. Looks like the same, or a very similar, shield that was used on the "Andreas Morelli" imports in the '20s. Wonder if it originates from the same supplier.

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I was thinking of the ones where the name was only continued by the son as a 'house' name, as in the case of CH. J-B Collin-Mezin. Did the son sometimes use his father's label without the 'fils'?

Andrew

+++++++++++++++

There are two lions to protectthe shield on the label. The most number of lions on one label I have ever seen. Agree ?

small detail makes big bucks. haha

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so brad,"this is not as nice as some that you have seen"; you directly contradict mr hound who claims "i doubt that a better john juzek master art violin exists" in his description.

It appears that you have some personal problem with Mr. Hound , Lyndon.

Frankly it sounds like you are jealous of him or his success as a violin seller on Ebay.

Any violin dealer, including even novice dealers can easily deduce that this violin is indeed an original, properly labelled John Juzek Master Art violin.

Your comments always seem to fall into one or both of two catergories; either very naieve or mean spirited and jealous.

Perhaps your time would be better spent beating the bushes or developing contacts like Mr Hound has done .

If you changed your tact you might begin to acquire these nice saleable , medium to high quality violins that Mr Hound seems to regularly come up with.

As to the other posters who obviously haven't seen Juzek Master Art's , I and other violin dealers and enthusiasts feel that the Juzek Master Art violins quite possibly were made by the E H Roth firm in Markneukirchen Germany, and varnished in Czechlovakia or maybe even in the USA by Metropolitan Music.

This Master Art is clearly a very nice original example in near mint condition from around 1920 and it sold for a very nice wholesale price!

The average retail shop price for this violin would be $7000 to $7500.

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I'll leave the debate about trade instruments alone... except to say that it seems to me that most buyers in this range seem more comfortable purchasing a violin with a story, true or not. Actually, I'd say that's true in many ranges. :)

In every price range I would say - the more expensive the violin, the better the story required!

The best story would be that Paganini played it .....

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I and other violin dealers and enthusiasts feel that the Juzek Master Art violins quite possibly were made by the E H Roth firm in Markneukirchen Germany

You FEEL these may have been made by EH Roth ....??

This is exactly what I was talking about.

In spite of the fact that the historical record states otherwise, and that the Roth workshops in the 1920s were making violins leagues ahead of these Juzeks, you are happy to hint at an untruth in order to realize a price which these instruments simply don't justify. That's exactly the same as saying that Geronimo Barnabetti was an Italian working with JTL.

This is a manky Schoenbach violin with a silly shield in the back, mutton dressed as lamb!

You can be as enthusiastic as you want about selling them, but please stick to the facts.

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You FEEL these may have been made by EH Roth ....??

This is exactly what I was talking about.

In spite of the fact that the historical record states otherwise, and that the Roth workshops in the 1920s were making violins leagues ahead of these Juzeks, you are happy to hint at an untruth in order to realize a price which these instruments simply don't justify. That's exactly the same as saying that Geronimo Barnabetti was an Italian working with JTL.

This is a manky Schoenbach violin with a silly shield in the back, mutton dressed as lamb!

You can be as enthusiastic as you want about selling them, but please stick to the facts.

It seems that we have found Scotland's answer to Lyndon.

Jealous and mean spirited responses, name calling, verbal equilivents of sticking out your tongue, All from completely clueless bloggers!

If you look closely at Juzek Master Arts, they are virtual copies of E H Roth violins with different varnish.

That is a fact! And none of this has anything at all to do with JTL trade names!

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