SibeDad

Lang Violin

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Hello, 

I am new to the violin and this is my first post so please bare with me. I was lucky enough to inherit a violin from my Father in 1992.  He had two of the 39 violins made by Maximilian Lang from Raymore, Saskatchewan, Canada.  My brother, who plays violin, was given both for playing and safe keeping.  I, at the age of 63, have decided I would like to learn to play, so my violin, #36, was returned to me last week.  My brother has #35.   I was wondering if there are any other holders of Lang violins on this forum?

There is an inscription on the inside of #36 that reads, "This violin(the 36th) was completed on March 11th, 1978 by Maximilian Lang at the age 90 years and 10 months in Raymore, Sask."   She is a beautiful instrument and I hope I will be able to do her justice as I learn to play.

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This violin is original other than the tailpiece, my brother changed it for one with fine tuners. The original  had a tuner on the 'E" string only.

 

Edited by SibeDad

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Hi

 

My Grandfather was Maximilian Lang, my sister still has one of his, the rest are around the world.  From what my father had told me he had also made a cello. I am glad you had posted it on the web.  He was such a craftsman. Thank you again!

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Max was my grandfather. My dad , Edward is his only living child. He will be turning 99 this August. I did have one given to me when I was a teenager but I was foolish in my early 20’s and sold it. Something I regret to this day. 

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Hi Everyone,I also have a violin made by Maximilian Lang, My violin must  have been one of his first ones he created as this is the only label that is inside dated 1936, it is not numbered.If anyone has any info on it let me know, Thank you

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On 4/29/2019 at 2:19 PM, wnk said:

My violin must  have been one of his first ones he created as this is the only label that is inside dated 1936,

Yes, that would have to be one of his very early creations, as he built his first in 1934 after being approached in a dream, as recollected by Maximilian  in a 1978 newspaper article,  by violinist Fritz Kreisler a couple of nights after seeing him play a concert in Regina, Saskatchewan.

We are lucky people to have one of these treasures.

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Max was my grandfather, and I knew him very well. My father, the eldest of his children, was given his first, #1. Not sure off the top of my head, but I would say 1934, at the earliest. My wife and I bought #13 in 1974, a beautiful cherry-stain model, single piece back, with a slightly deeper belly--perhaps halfway between an Amati and a Strad copy. My wife has played her "Max" on stage for years, then it rested, needing repairs. We had it brought up to snuff three years ago by a fine craftsman in Kitchener, Ontario (Not far from where Max had almost re-settled, in 1919).

In all fairness, his instruments were uneven in quality. Some were outstanding, others less so. He sold at least one of his instruments in the 1960s for $3,000, which would be likely around $15K in today's dollars. Several have been played in symphonies, mostly in Regina, Sask., but elsewhere as well. 

Max likely modelled his first instruments on a von Trapp violin, owned by his father, Ferdinand, an accomplished violinist in his day (he had "orchestras" --bands--in Europe in the late 1800s, as well as in Canada, into the 1920s). This von Trapp was made in 1892,  or 1891, in Wildheim, Bohemia, which is near where the Lang family emigrated--to eastern Europe--in 1835-40. My wife played it last summer and it is a very good instrument, and in excellent shape. It is now owned by one of Max's nephews, a guitarist of some renown, who lives in Calgary, Alberta. Can't seem to find pics of the von Trapp quickly, but a bunch of others attached, below.

First one is Max's #1; then Max playing with Mary (she's on #13); her Max, next four shots; Mary playing it at Shelburn, ONtario, 1977; some of Max's other violins, ca 1975; more of Max #1

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On 5/1/2019 at 1:00 PM, SibeDad said:

Yes, that would have to be one of his very early creations, as he built his first in 1934 after being approached in a dream, as recollected by Maximilian  in a 1978 newspaper article,  by violinist Fritz Kreisler a couple of nights after seeing him play a concert in Regina, Saskatchewan.

We are lucky people to have one of these treasures.

Do you have any idea of it's value?

 

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18 hours ago, wnk said:

Do you have any idea of it's value?

I nor my brother have ever had our Lang's appraised for value.  However, I was quite taken aback by the this article, see attached, from the Saskatoon Star  Phoenix from 2007; where Ed,  one of Max's sons, states he was offered a large amount for #9; that was the violin that took 1st place at the Canadian National Exposition in 1939.

To me the value is not important; the memories of the joy and pride these violins brought to my Father are what is most important to me.  I am trying to learn to play, as I do play guitar, but the violin is a whole different beast I am finding.

Lang Family SP2007.pdf

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On 5/2/2019 at 10:39 AM, Jim Lang said:

Can't seem to find pics of the von Trapp quickly, but a bunch of others attached, below.

Thank you Jim, for this added history and pictures.

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Yes, I know that dream story very well, and recounted and dramatized it in my recent novel based on our family history, Felizienthal (https://felizienthalbook.com )

The value of his instruments is best determined by an expert appraiser, but in general, the historical/sentimental value is likely higher than the instrument's sound. That said, because it has an exceptionally-good sound, we value Mary's #13 at around $10,000.

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4 hours ago, wnk said:

why is the one I have not numbered it only has a date 1936.

I am unable to answer that, maybe one of his grandchildren may know, however 1936 was a long time ago.  Possibly in Max's earlier years he did not feel placing the number was significant.  Mine [#36] is numbered on the far left of the dated label as well as the separate inscription label mentioned in my original post.

What is the history of your violin?  Did you purchase it or was it handed down to you and where do you currently reside?

Edited by SibeDad

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