Guido

HOPF - yet again

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Guido   

I keep having an eye out for an old authentic Hopf violin.

Before I jump on anything I would like to educate myself a little more though.

The search functionon on this forum is not very helpful because in line with the 100,000+ trade Hopfs there is a large number of posts where someone says: "I got this Hopf. Is it real?" And the answer to these invariably short threads is: "Get out of here." In many cases I could give that answer myself, but some don't seem quite as clear to me.

I couldn't find a Hopf-related thread that provides much "learning value". So, if there exists such a thread, I'd be grateful for a link.

What I gather so far is: the old ones have a light golden oil varnish. Then there are typical signs of age, e.g. neck modernisations.

Anything else one should know before taking a plunge on the basis of pictures?

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The common type of Hopf, that I have seen scores of, is characterized by square shoulders, through necks, laminated non-ebony fingerboards, roughly hewn (on the inside) tops with integral bass bars and the "HOPF" brand under the back button and inside.  I think that they're all real, in the sense that they were made in the workshop of, or distributed by, someone named Hopf or his business successors.  But being real Hopfs does not make them good instruments.

The Jalovec "Encyclopedia of Violin Makers" has 28 Hopf entries.  I am entirely unfamiliar with most of these makers, and their instruments may be quite different from what I described above.

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Guido   

Yes, I think there are about 50 Hopf family members listed somewhere else. Discerning them will not be practical.

Im also familiar with the flood of Hopf stamped trade instruments of generally low quality and no, I wouldn't call them "real" - seems to be more like a Stainer thing where every man and his dog had a stamp.

I am interested in the ones before saxon violin making got industrialised. The trouble is that it is a needle in a hay stack finding good info when searching "Hopf" on thee interwebs due to everyone getting exited with their Hopf stamped attic find.

I have seen referrals from Jacob Saunders to a couple of books but I was hoping to find good info w/o having to buy a book (and having it shipped to Australia).

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Guido   

As an example, I'm assuming the - to avoid calling them real - older artisan Hopfs were also build-on-the-back. But I haven't actually found that info anywhere...

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7 hours ago, Guido said:

.

I have seen referrals from Jacob Saunders to a couple of books but I was hoping to find good info w/o having to buy a book (and having it shipped to Australia).

Learning about any subject, without wanting to do ones homework, reminds me of my favourite Tom & Jerry cartoon, called “Johann Mouse”, where the cat learns to play the piano in 6 easy lessons, to coax the mouse out of it's mouse-hole

(starting at 2.07 here)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXqL2zfnUhQ

 

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Guido   
36 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Learning about any subject, without wanting to do ones homework, reminds me of my favourite Tom & Jerry cartoon, called “Johann Mouse”, where the cat learns to play the piano in 6 easy lessons, to coax the mouse out of it's mouse-hole

(starting at 2.07 here)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXqL2zfnUhQ

 

I'm in the process of ordering the book. It'll probably be four weeks before I get it.

Maybe an example to discuss in the meantime for now?

How about the one from our favourite ebay seller located in Portugal:

www.ebay.de/itm/RARE-OLD-1800-HOPF-VIOLIN-see-VIDEO-バイオリン-ANTIQUE-Violino-скрипка-小提琴-044/322579888281?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

(edit: the link doesn't work with the asian symbols. You'll need to copy-pase the whole thing into a new browser window)

The varnish is a little dark... Is this a "fine" Hopf?

What can be learned? Some of the ones claiming to be pre 1850 seem to have a saddle inlaid in the rib like this one. Is this relevant or meaningless?

Any other good or bad signs and clues to look for?

01.jpg

02.jpg

03.jpg

04.jpg

05.jpg

06.jpg

07.jpg

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3 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

 

The definitive book on the Hopf Family can be purchaced here, http://www.museum-markneukirchen.de/literatur.htm unless they are sold out

Which book are you referring to? Is there any specialized about Hopf, actually sold out, or the Zoebisch?

More Hopfs, very detailled are in the Seidl book, which is available from the author only, if he's still got some copies, and it would be less than $ 100 incl. shipping to Australia.

The "portuguese" looks like an average mid till 2nd half of the 19th Vogtland with a sort of self-made branding. Not the only one by far.

The most impressive proof of the qualities of real Hopf instruments was IMO a typical (unbranded) David Hopf certified as a Ventapane I found in the catalogue of a reputable auction house.

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GeorgeH   

Vintage Instruments in Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA has a David Hopf violin listed (with picture) under baroque violins:

http://www.vintage-instruments.com/navigate/catidx10.htm

"194. DAVID HOPF, Klingenthal, c.1790-1800, with his typically excentric corners & soundholes, a remarkably intact example of a transitional violin in original condition, original neck and neck angle, set-up with gut strings, string length-315mm, 356mm, (Our #27536)"

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One should realise, in the chapter “Hopf” that there were about 50 individuals with the surname “Hopf” , who are all recorded as violin makers. There are a couple of nice ones in the museum in Markneukirchen, not necessarily with very square shoulders at all. I realise that the Markneukirchen Museum is quite a long way away from Australia, although I have the personal experience that Australians have a habit of ringing up and saying “I will be in Europe next month, can I drop in”, whereas the Viennese ring and ask when I will be in town next.

 

Hopf developed from being a large family of violin makers, to become a spices of Dutzendarbet, which were supplied by all the wholesalers in their catalogues, not just G. A. Pfretschner, who's stamp that they dobbed the Dutzenarbeit with I showed above (the PDF will only open if you are logged in). There are tens of thousands of these, and everyone who owns one thinks he has a “David Hopf” which can get irritating. This is a phenomenon which isn't exclusive to Saxon. “Breton” for instance would have been a bloke making violins to start with, before JTL got there sticky fingers on the “Brand” Name.

 

To your illustrated Portuguese “Hopf”, it has all the traits of a “Dutzendarbeit” to me, not to mention a sound post crack requiring attention as well as traces of woodworm as well as the usual deficiencies, so that the most valuable part would probably be the postage stamp.

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mood2000   

 

12 hours ago, Guido said:

in line with the 100,000+ trade Hopfs there is a large number of posts where someone says: "I got this Hopf. Is it real?"

Keep in mind that there were over 20 different makers with the name Hopf also , 

a real Hopf , any of those makers instruments doesn't worth that value as you thought , so it is good for antique collectors .

Believe me some of other violins copy worth more than the original Hopf :) .

here are some links from a reputable Action Houses in the whole world listed a historical price   :

1. https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/price-history/?Maker_ID=1044 

2. http://www.amati.com/maker/hopf-carl-friedrich/ 

3. https://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2253/lots/83 

 

 

if you are looking for original Hopf for antique collection , made around 1850 , with a " Certificate of Authenticity " , you can find in ebay , and you can bargaining with the seller ,

because he provide "best offer option" , the price is $1742 , you can get maybe less than $1500  , here is the link :

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-OLD-1800-HOPF-VIOLIN-see-VIDEO-ANTIQUE-Violino-044-/322579888281?hash=item4b1b427899:g:sRQAAMXQNiRRnQGu 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Will L said:

There may be a few in this, if anyone chooses to point out a few authentic examples it might help:

images of hopf violins 

To make a long story short as possible:

Keeping in mind, that "Hopf" was an immense large family, working over three centuries untill today, in etremely different qualities and after also extremely different models, this question is impossible to answer.

The same with the urge, to have a "real" Hopf. The first question to follow would be "Which Hopf?"

Out of the 30, 40 or 50 makers named alike there can be sort out around 5 working around 1800 or till the mid of the 19th century, who's works are clearly documented in Museums and private collections, and not all of them look like the features usually associated with this name, nor did they all use brands.

Or the other way:Seidl shows two very different violins, both branded C'C'H, both old, both looking in some way Hopf-like. Which of them is the "real" Carl Christian Hopf? Furthermore I recently saw in an auction a third type with a genuine looking brand, but also different from the others (didn't buy it for the dreadful condition, regretting it later:wacko:).

Looking at the Google search photos quickly, one might be able to sort out the example's with the Pfretzschner stamp Jacob showed as later Dutzendarbeiten, the examples with clearly faked brands like the one mood2000 linked to, and the rest.........could be.

Saying "I'm looking for an authentic violin either by David August II, Friedrich Erdmann or Carl August Hopf" could be something more specific (though not easier to succeed).

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1 hour ago, mood2000 said:

 

Keep in mind that there were over 20 different makers with the name Hopf also , 

a real Hopf , any of those makers instruments doesn't worth that value as you thought , so it is good for antique collectors .

Believe me some of other violins copy worth more than the original Hopf :) .

here are some links from a reputable Action Houses in the whole world listed a historical price   :

1. https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/price-history/?Maker_ID=1044 

2. http://www.amati.com/maker/hopf-carl-friedrich/ 

3. https://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2253/lots/83 

 

 

if you are looking for original Hopf for antique collection , made around 1850 , with a " Certificate of Authenticity " , you can find in ebay , and you can bargaining with the seller ,

because he provide "best offer option" , the price is $1742 , you can get maybe less than $1500  , here is the link :

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-OLD-1800-HOPF-VIOLIN-see-VIDEO-ANTIQUE-Violino-044-/322579888281?hash=item4b1b427899:g:sRQAAMXQNiRRnQGu 

 

 

It seems you haven't read any of this thread before posting ...!

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deans   

If you're thinking of something from the 18th century, they seem to be rare. I keep an eye on the auctions and I cant remember the last time one came up that was attributed to a named "Hopf" from before 1800.

Here's a viola that was for sale. To my eye it could be from any maker from that era, like Hoyer etc.

http://www.benningviolins.com/Fine-Viola-Catalog-Fine-Violas-Sold-David-Christian-Hopf-viola.html

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mood2000   
57 minutes ago, martin swan said:

It seems you haven't read any of this thread before posting ...!

actually as "Guido" said : ....... there is a large number of posts where someone says: "I got this Hopf. Is it real?" ...... ,

so that i posted my answer . Anyway , regarding to how To determine if a " Hopf " violin is authentic or copy ?

here : 

1. https://www.reference.com/hobbies-games/can-tell-original-hopf-violin-copy-4ba7790f9750b9ab# 

2. https://www.justanswer.com/musical-instrument-appraisal/6a7r9-own-old-hopf-violin-given-mother-1932.html .

3. https://theviolinworld.wordpress.com/tag/hopf-violin/ 

 

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34 minutes ago, mood2000 said:

actually as "Guido" said : ....... there is a large number of posts where someone says: "I got this Hopf. Is it real?" ...... ,

so that i posted my answer . Anyway , regarding to how To determine if a " Hopf " violin is authentic or copy ?

here : 

1. https://www.reference.com/hobbies-games/can-tell-original-hopf-violin-copy-4ba7790f9750b9ab# 

2. https://www.justanswer.com/musical-instrument-appraisal/6a7r9-own-old-hopf-violin-given-mother-1932.html .

3. https://theviolinworld.wordpress.com/tag/hopf-violin/ 

 

bollocks

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45 minutes ago, mood2000 said:

actually as "Guido" said : ....... there is a large number of posts where someone says: "I got this Hopf. Is it real?" ...... ,

so that i posted my answer . Anyway , regarding to how To determine if a " Hopf " violin is authentic or copy ?

here : 

1. https://www.reference.com/hobbies-games/can-tell-original-hopf-violin-copy-4ba7790f9750b9ab# 

2. https://www.justanswer.com/musical-instrument-appraisal/6a7r9-own-old-hopf-violin-given-mother-1932.html .

3. https://theviolinworld.wordpress.com/tag/hopf-violin/ 

 

If you can find gold like this on the web, why bother with Maestronet?

 

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2 hours ago, deans said:

If you're thinking of something from the 18th century, they seem to be rare. I keep an eye on the auctions and I cant remember the last time one came up that was attributed to a named "Hopf" from before 1800.

Here's a viola that was for sale. To my eye it could be from any maker from that era, like Hoyer etc.

http://www.benningviolins.com/Fine-Viola-Catalog-Fine-Violas-Sold-David-Christian-Hopf-viola.html

Interestingly, this viola is identical with the violin I posted before in an earlier thread. I forgot who told me that this could be a very early Hopf family instrument, but obviously he wasn't alone;)

IMG_0736.jpg

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This one, though the brand doesn't look very convincing (a later attribution) is the David Hopf, Zwota type from the 1830-50 period. The scroll is typical, too.

30.04.2010 11-16-02_0002.jpg

30.04.2010 11-16-58_0003.jpg

30.04.2010 11-24-33_0011.jpg

30.04.2010 11-24-05_0010.jpg

30.04.2010 11-19-11_0006.jpg

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Guido   
9 hours ago, Blank face said:

Which book are you referring to? Is there any specialized about Hopf, actually sold out, or the Zoebisch?

More Hopfs, very detailled are in the Seidl book, which is available from the author only, if he's still got some copies, and it would be less than $ 100 incl. shipping to Australia.

Thanks Blank face. I thought Jacob was referring to the Zoebisch book (volume 1). That's what I'm trying to order (even tough I haven't had a reply yet).

What is the Seidl book you are referring to? Do you have a full name and where I can find the author?

9 hours ago, Blank face said:

The "portuguese" looks like an average mid till 2nd half of the 19th Vogtland with a sort of self-made branding. Not the only one by far.

I'll try to have a good at the stamps on some of the reference 'fine' Hopfs as I come across and see if I can lean anything.

This Portuguese Hopf has used the same stamp inside and on the back. So it's at least not individual letters. But yes, looks self-made.

9 hours ago, Blank face said:

The most impressive proof of the qualities of real Hopf instruments was IMO a typical (unbranded) David Hopf certified as a Ventapane I found in the catalogue of a reputable auction house.

 Wow. I thought one could spot the typical Hopf-model shape from a mile away. But in line with what Jacob said, some of the 'fine' examples don't seem to have very square shoulders at all.

Is it maybe a case of the trade violins exaggerating the model so everyone would be able to recognise them (much like the perverted trade fiddle Steiner model)?

9 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Vintage Instruments in Philadelphia Pennsylvania USA has a David Hopf violin listed (with picture) under baroque violins:

http://www.vintage-instruments.com/navigate/catidx10.htm

"194. DAVID HOPF, Klingenthal, c.1790-1800, with his typically excentric corners & soundholes, a remarkably intact example of a transitional violin in original condition, original neck and neck angle, set-up with gut strings, string length-315mm, 356mm, (Our #27536)"

Thanks, that's a great example. Unbelievable condition! I'll upload the photo here for easier reference.

5963fd370260f_DavidHopf1790-1800.jpg.5b338ddb021ac867ff81335782dc00d2.jpg

 

Should be easy to spot if one of these comes up on ebay :-)

9 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

There are a couple of nice ones in the museum in Markneukirchen, not necessarily with very square shoulders at all. I realise that the Markneukirchen Museum is quite a long way away from Australia, although I have the personal experience that Australians have a habit of ringing up and saying “I will be in Europe next month, can I drop in”, whereas the Viennese ring and ask when I will be in town next.

 Markneukirchen is surprisingly close to Australia when one has a wife from Saxony. I'll get there one day. In the meantime I'm sure I'll enjoy the book a lot.

9 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

There are tens of thousands of these, and everyone who owns one thinks he has a “David Hopf” which can get irritating.

I'm painfully aware as it also clogs up any internet search on the subject.

8 hours ago, Blank face said:

The same with the urge, to have a "real" Hopf. The first question to follow would be "Which Hopf?"

Out of the 30, 40 or 50 makers named alike there can be sort out around 5 working around 1800 or till the mid of the 19th century, who's works are clearly documented in Museums and private collections, and not all of them look like the features usually associated with this name, nor did they all use brands.

Saying "I'm looking for an authentic violin either by David August II, Friedrich Erdmann or Carl August Hopf" could be something more specific (though not easier to succeed).

Great post, thanks Blanc face. Yes, this is where it is headed, the handful (if that many) of recognised, outstanding members of the family. For my preference, the 'urge' also is for a violin that looks like a Hopf (model) though and is not mistaken for a fine Italian :-) 

6 hours ago, martin swan said:

If you can find gold like this on the web, why bother with Maestronet?

 

I'm trying to avoid the general territory but thought the worldpress article was an amusing read. In the Hopf section the three Hopf members singled out as a cut above the rest do not include David Hopf. Mmm.

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8 hours ago, Guido said:

Thanks Blank face. I thought Jacob was referring to the Zoebisch book (volume 1). That's what I'm trying to order (even tough I haven't had a reply yet).

What is the Seidl book you are referring to? Do you have a full name and where I can find the author?

I'll try to have a good at the stamps on some of the reference 'fine' Hopfs as I come across and see if I can lean anything.

This Portuguese Hopf has used the same stamp inside and on the back. So it's at least not individual letters. But yes, looks self-made.

 Wow. I thought one could spot the typical Hopf-model shape from a mile away. But in line with what Jacob said, some of the 'fine' examples don't seem to have very square shoulders at all.

Is it maybe a case of the trade violins exaggerating the model so everyone would be able to recognise them (much like the perverted trade fiddle Steiner model)?

Thanks, that's a great example. Unbelievable condition! I'll upload the photo here for easier reference.

5963fd370260f_DavidHopf1790-1800.jpg.5b338ddb021ac867ff81335782dc00d2.jpg

 

 

With this fiddle, though I would agree that it's an outstanding example, starts the confusion; in regards of my references and experiences it's more like the model of Friedrich Erdmann or Carl Christian Hopf than of one of the several David named makers (which are very different to each other). The reason for this confusion might be, that, as a stereotype, each good Hopf was ascribed to a legendary "David Hopf", although there were more than one of this name and fine instruments were made by other members of the family, too. Not to mention all the Vogtland instruments made by others but attributed to Hopf. often branded later, just to give them a well sounding name.

Sorry that I didn't give an adress to order the book, it was introduced thankworthy by Jacob Saunders and mentioned several times before.

klang@seidlgeigen.de

IMG_0288.PNG

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