Andreas Preuss

Quittenbachtal in winter: workplace of the Hopf family.

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Here are some pictures of the Quittenbachtal in winter taken 20 years ago. (Strange thing is the Tal (valley) is up in the mountains.) This is the place where the Hopf family had their farm. Unfortunately the house is not there any more. Back then thw historian of Markneukirchen violin makers, Mr. Zoebisch, could only tell me that according stories from hearsay it was close to some plum trees still standing there. 

Supposedly the Hopfs started violin making because there was no farm work in winter quite similar to Italian makers in the Marches (Celani and others). So the pictured landscape somehow illustrates how it looked like 200years ago. The first picture shows an old farmhouse which gives an impression how the house of the Hopf family might have looked like.

Interesting thing I heard from Mr. Zoebisch as well was that he looked for the birth record of David Hopf and didn't find any. There are however some members by the name of Christian David.

Another thing worth mentioning is that there are two different brand stamps by David Hopf all made with single letter stamps.

DAVID HOPF

and

dAVId HOPF

It took me a while to understand that the second stamp had the lowercase d because they must have lost the uppercase D. They solved the problem by reversing the  uppercase P to make the lowercase d.

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Looks - well, it looks as much like Voss or any other mountainous village in Europe. 

Being snowed in all winter is a good motivation for handcrafts, there as here.

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8 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Another thing worth mentioning is that there are two different brand stamps by David Hopf all made with single letter stamps.

DAVID HOPF

and

dAVId HOPF

It took me a while to understand that the second stamp had the lowercase d because they must have lost the uppercase D. They solved the problem by reversing the  uppercase P to make the lowercase d. 

I have seen, now on two occasions, a stamp of individual characters, reading "DAVId HOPF". Maybe a middle period, when they had lost only one capital D. :lol:

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1 hour ago, Guido said:

I have seen, now on two occasions, a stamp of individual characters, reading "DAVId HOPF". Maybe a middle period, when they had lost only one capital D. :lol:

You destroyed my beautiful theory!:unsure:

Would be interesting to line up some pictures. If it was made on purpose it could be that it was made by 3 different people.

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On 1/12/2019 at 1:27 PM, Andreas Preuss said:

You destroyed my beautiful theory!:unsure:

Would be interesting to line up some pictures. If it was made on purpose it could be that it was made by 3 different people.

We had some here

and a lot of thoughts about the wide spread Hopf family.

Beside the millions of later Hopf branded Dutzendarbeiten it seems to be one of the most and easiest forged brands, so I won't spend too much time making theories about them. Possibly many members of the family weren't even able to write and read to recognize a difference.:D

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Those photos look so much like northern Appalachia...particularly where I grew up in northern NJ, eastern PA, and the Catskills of NY.

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12 minutes ago, lpr5184 said:

Those photos look so much like northern Appalachia...particularly where I grew up in northern NJ, eastern PA, and the Catskills of NY.

I was thinking the same thing. Could be Snyder county Pa, easy to see why so many people from that part of Europe were comfortable settlung there

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1 hour ago, lpr5184 said:

Those photos look so much like northern Appalachia...particularly where I grew up in northern NJ, eastern PA, and the Catskills of NY.

Interesting. Are the houses there similar as well?

 

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One should bear in mind that there were some 40 violin makers called Hopf, and that the "Hopf Model" became an article in ist own right. Zobisch illustrates a "Hopf" stamp from the inventory of the wholesaler G.A. Pfretschner on page 105 of his book on the Hopf Family. They would have used it to dob thousands of "Dutzendware". All together, wanting to sort all the Hopf in violins to individual makers is certainly about as futile a persuit as one could imagine.

 

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16 hours ago, lpr5184 said:

I see many similarities.

Doesn't mean much - I see many similarities with Norwegian houses too. 

image.png.57a3d4babf5751b7ebec96e4c97909ae.png

 

Pretty much a random place, Central Norway.

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29 minutes ago, Felefar said:

Doesn't mean much - I see many similarities with Norwegian houses too. 

image.png.57a3d4babf5751b7ebec96e4c97909ae.png

 

Pretty much a random place, Central Norway.

Only fjords are missing in Quittenbachtal.

I have many good memories from Norway when my family went there on vacation during the summer.

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On ‎1‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 3:19 AM, Felefar said:

Doesn't mean much - I see many similarities with Norwegian houses too. 

image.png.57a3d4babf5751b7ebec96e4c97909ae.png

 

Pretty much a random place, Central Norway.

I see your point of view and it was my first thought about the question. My first comment really was about the mountains posted and the rolling hills and hollers,...not the architecture...compared to the high alpine mountains of the western US, Camada and Alaska...and the Alps.

The Appalachian mountain chain is unique and has certain aspects about it, easily recognizable to those who live there...North and South... 

Maybe the the Norway Fjords are similar...I never had the pleasure of visiting Norway. I have spent much time as a commercial fisherman on the Bering Sea, and have seen and walked on some very remote islands and inland places in Alaska.

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Oddly enough, the Appalachian mountains are the other side of the Norwegian mountains. Geologically speaking they are both part of the ancient Caledonian Mountains, far back in the Ordovician æra.

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4 hours ago, Felefar said:

Oddly enough, the Appalachian mountains are the other side of the Norwegian mountains. Geologically speaking they are both part of the ancient Caledonian Mountains, far back in the Ordovician æra.

Interesting...Thanks!

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