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Andrew Victor

Does anyone "know" my cello: Carl Sandner, Mittenwald ~1960

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I'm asking about the Carl Sandner ("Stradivari copie") cello I bought from Studio City Music in 1964. Paul Toenniges was still the owner but the sale was made by a young man named Hans Benning, recent bridegroom at the time ,of Paul's daughter, and now the "old man" at the shop. The list price at the time was $500 (I was given a substantial "teacher discount"). Although the label is signed in ink by Carl Sandner, there is no date. 

Henley's "Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers" lists Carl Sandner among the many names over the years from that family and mentions his making in 1960 and shows a (facsimile) undated/unsigned label.

I took that cello along with me around 1998-2000 when I visited Frank Passa while I was looking for a cello that I preferred (after Passa had "stroked" and retired from his shop in San Francisco and moved to Santa Rosa). I tried an ancient cello Frank had (with a big knot in the back), but it had the same problems as mine (he still had lots of stock there in his house). Frank said my "Sandner" was "his best model." I had struggled with this cello for many years, (untold numbers of string combinations, new tailpieces, new endpins, new bows, various wolf suppressors). About 50 years after I bought it I finally got it to where I wanted (short of a few hundred thousand dollars more cello) with a Krentz wolf eliminator .

I wonder here if anyone is familiar with this cello maker/model and what they might be selling for these days. I'm not planning to sell it - but you never know. I know that many currently made Sandner instruments are being sold as student instruments, in competition with Asian products.

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I don't know if this will help, but....  the shop catalogs compiled in Vol. 2 of Ehrhardt's Identification and Price Guide lists a couple violins by Carl Sandner in 1965, along with a picture of Carl and the violin labels.  The catalog attributes the violins to "Mittenwald / Karwendel Mountains," but notes that he comes from Schonbach and is related to that line of makers.   This Carl is probably the same guy listed in Jalovec as a 20th century maker named Karl Sandner.  Good luck!

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I had a Carl Sandner viola of about the same vintage--a factory instrument, I think, along the lines of the Roths of that era. I liked it well-enough--it earned me the principal spot in the All Southern (Cal) orchestra. But I fought with it, too--terrible set-up, which I did not know at the time.  

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