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Hello everyone,

 

For some time I have been playing on a nice 1946 Anton Wilfer violin made during his stay in Mittenwald. Because I'm interested in the history of my instrument('s maker), I was wondering if some of you could help me out answering the following questions:

 

Is there any information available on Wilfer's career other than in Brompton's Book of Violin & Bow Makers? It seems that Wilfer's later shop was renowned in the Montréal area. Is my violin (see link to pictures below) a typical example of his craftsmanship? Does his work fit in a specific school? Is this violin modelled after a specific maker (Guarnerius perhaps)?

 

Many thanks!

 

Sebastiaan

 

Images:

https://plus.google.com/photos/101761443817249546316/albums/6034926713765105169?authkey=CKaRyPGozcm39QE

Edited by sebastiaanmaes
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  • 8 months later...

Nice fiddle. I do wonder about violins like this that are dated in the early-mid 40's.  

 

Something tells me that they were otherwise occupied (no pun intended!) in 1946 with survival and recovery.

 

Also, in the picture of the label, it look like a shadow can be seen on the right side of the label. If it isn't some sort of artifact from the picture/lighting, I would wonder if it isn't a shadow of the label that was either there before the one visible now, or was under this label and is now removed. It's not uncommon to see Germanic violins with one label on top of another.

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@uncle duke

Thanks! 

 

@duane88

It never crossed my mind that they would forge the label of such an unfamiliar maker. The effect on the photo is largely due to a photographic artifact, but I must admit that there is a small stain that could be suspicious. Also, the inside of the violin is rather clean apart from some dust (is this normal for a nearly 70-year-old instrument?).

On the other hand, the violin was bought from a reputable dealer and the varnish at the upper treble side has almost completely worn off by playing in higher positions and under the fingerboard the varnish has completely roughened (so it cannot be relatively new). 

 

I found some pictures of a 1967 Wilfer violin played by a certain Erskine Morris and posted them here (original source). Its corners are a bit more pronounced and the varnish is more opaque but they definitely bear some resemblance.

 

I'm not well versed in the post-war violin production of Mittenwald but I found this newspaper interview with maker Gilles Blouin that states that there is at least another violin known to be made by Wilfer in 1946 in Mittenwald. 

 

Thanks again!

Edited by sebastiaanmaes
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Is there any information available on Wilfer's career other than in Brompton's Book of Violin & Bow Makers

After WWII most violin makers from Schönbach and the surrounding area, with familiar names from there, like Wilfer, Lang or Bitterer etc., who were ethnic “Sudetendeutsche” were “ethnicaly cleansed” from the area, often under horrible circumstances. Many, even most, were first resettled in Mittenwald, which caused some considerable tensions, which you can read about in an extreemly interesting contempoary article in the “New Yorker” here:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1956/02/18/a-spray-gun-for-the-varnish

That some of these emigrated further (in your Wilfers case) to Canada, or elswhere, or others moved to the new violin makers settlement built a few years later at Bubenreuth, seems unsurprising, since the customer base of these makers was largely lost, and the Mittenwalder makers wouldn’t have been to keen on having their customers poached.

A small amount of information on Wilfer can also be found from Canadian sources:

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/anton-wilfer-emc/

I wouldn’t waste my time with Bromptons “Book”, since I doubt if John has ever conciously looked at one.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello everyone,

 

For some time I have been playing on a nice 1946 Anton Wilfer violin made during his stay in Mittenwald. Because I'm interested in the history of my instrument('s maker), I was wondering if some of you could help me out answering the following questions:

 

Is there any information available on Wilfer's career other than in Brompton's Book of Violin & Bow Makers? It seems that Wilfer's later shop was renowned in the Montréal area. Is my violin (see link to pictures below) a typical example of his craftsmanship? Does his work fit in a specific school? Is this violin modelled after a specific maker (Guarnerius perhaps)?

 

Many thanks!

 

Sebastiaan

 

Images:

https://plus.google.com/photos/101761443817249546316/albums/6034926713765105169?authkey=CKaRyPGozcm39QE

What would you like to know about your Anton Wilfer violin?  This was my wife's Grandfather, we took over the shop "Anton WIlfer & Company Limited" before closing it and moving to the United States.

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  • 6 months later...
On Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 5:59 AM, sebastiaanmaes said:

@uncle duke

Thanks! 

 

@duane88

It never crossed my mind that they would forge the label of such an unfamiliar maker. The effect on the photo is largely due to a photographic artifact, but I must admit that there is a small stain that could be suspicious. Also, the inside of the violin is rather clean apart from some dust (is this normal for a nearly 70-year-old instrument?).

On the other hand, the violin was bought from a reputable dealer and the varnish at the upper treble side has almost completely worn off by playing in higher positions and under the fingerboard the varnish has completely roughened (so it cannot be relatively new). 

 

I found some pictures of a 1967 Wilfer violin played by a certain Erskine Morris and posted them here (original source). Its corners are a bit more pronounced and the varnish is more opaque but they definitely bear some resemblance.

 

I'm not well versed in the post-war violin production of Mittenwald but I found this newspaper interview with maker Gilles Blouin that states that there is at least another violin known to be made by Wilfer in 1946 in Mittenwald. 

 

Thanks again!

What a coincidence! I too have an anton wilfer violin that's made in 1946.

Edited by CLguitarist
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On ‎11‎/‎27‎/‎2016 at 5:51 PM, RandellM said:

What would you like to know about your Anton Wilfer violin?  This was my wife's Grandfather, we took over the shop "Anton WIlfer & Company Limited" before closing it and moving to the United States.

I, for one, am very interested in knowing more about the German makers of the 20th century. There were some pretty talented makers whose histories were some what over shadowed by other events.

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  • 8 months later...

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