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Alois Engleder

I have already mentioned in my thread about Joseph Fischer of Regensburg that four Engleder brothers, Andreas, Joseph, Ludwig and Alois all learnt violin-making at their uncle’s, Joseph Fischer of Regensburg’s, shop. Andreas subsequently had the major 19th C. violin shop in Munich, Joseph worked in Kelheim and Ludwig in Bamberg. Since I can illustrate a fine example of Alois Engleder’s work, I would like to dedicate him his own thread.

Alois Engleder’s work is decidedly of a generation later that that of his uncle, and from a stylistic point of view, I have always thought of him as someone who most probably worked with Johann Baptist Schweitzer in Budapest. When I say Schweizter, I should stress - the real one that worked in Hungary, and worked as a journeyman for Geisenhof in Vienna, nothing to do with the late 19th. C. Saxon Dutzendarbeit with the fake labels from the year 1813, several years before Schweitzer even moved to Hungary.

We know from the Hungarian violin making researcher, Dr. Erdelyi

and also from Lütgendorff that the violin maker Eduard Bartek, who later worked for Nemessanyi, Thomas Zach and Gabriel Lemböck was a pupil of Engleder, also that Anna Bartek was Nemessanyi‘s wife. We also learn that Bela Szepessy started his violin making life with Engleder, and subsequently went to Nemessyani, then five years working with Zach in Vienna, then with the Munich Engleder, before settling in London, So one big happy family I suppose.

The cello is in near mint condition, the only blemish being by the bottom block, where the previous owner accidentally stabbed it with the spike of his other cello, going right through the rib. The one piece back is cut exactly on the slab. The 10,6 to 10,2cm ribs seem to be of the same wood, except cut on the quarter. The ribs are made around an inside mould, the pine linings let into the pine blocks with a point. The belly is of two pieces. The cello reminds one of Schweitzer’s so called “Seraphin” model. The cello retains it’s original“Stechstachel” (one to put in, rather than screw out) and has an original “Viennese” Staufer style adjustable neck, in refreshingly undisturbed condition, which I will address in a subsequent post.

The label, presumably handwritten to imitate print reads Aloys Engleder/fecit Budae 1847. Budapest didn’t exist until 1873, when the towns of Buda and Obuda (German “Ofen”) west of the Danube, joined with Pest, east of the Danube.


is E


Engleder Celloscroll profile bass.jpg


Engleder scroll profile discant.jpg



Engleder Label.jpg

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The cello comes in its original wooden case, which is a very snug fit. One learns that 19th C cellist must have employed a serf to lug the cello around, since is is incredibly heavy. Also that a 19th C cellist made do with one bow. I was considering replacing the old (original?) “Stechstachel” (stick in spike) with a modern one, but couldn’t, since I realised that if I did, it wouldn’t fit in it’s case any more


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The original neck is built using Staufers patent adjustable neck system. These were incredibly popular in Vienna from the early 19th C. and still has it’s fans now. Indeed, since I have lived in or around Vienna since the mid-80’s. I have had to make two such mechanics in cello neck grafts for customers. It is the ultimate monkey puzzle, all sorts of mistakes waiting to be made, and very difficult to work out how to get the neck in straight. One needs help as a common or garden violin maker with the metalwork. Last time I had a retired tractor mechanic (sadly since passed away) who had all sorts of lathes and thread cutters and the like. All of these necks seem to have a slightly different mechanic, albeit the same plan, so I suppose the 19th C. colleagues all made use of metalworking friends, rather than ordering it somewhere. I will try to post a wide range of pictures, in the hope that it’s self explanitory.


Engleder neck II.jpg

Engleder neckiii.jpg


Engleder neck v.jpg

Engleder neckvi.jpg

Engleder neck vii.jpg

Engleder neck viii.jpg

Engleder neck ix.jpg

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The (original?) fingerboard is of pine, and has been veneered, as was the Anton Fischer fingerboard here The veneer seems to be of pearwood painted black, although it hard to tell through the black paint


Engleder fingerboard II.jpg

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I am very grateful for these listings: original information is always a benefit, and we get some side information as well.

Do you mind sharing how much this cello is selling for? It’s all original, in excellent condition, and its authenticity is beyond doubt.

Edited by PhilipKT
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4 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

The original neck is built using Staufers patent adjustable neck system. These were incredibly popular in Vienna from the early 19th C. and still has it’s fans now.

Stauffer used the same system at his guitars, and thereafter it was the usual way to attach the neck to Viennese guitars (especially Schrammelgitarren) wide into the 20th century. In Markneukirchen they made archtop guitars using this system. I'm even asking myself if the bolt on necks at most electric guitars are inspired by this (though they are screwed from the bottom), because Leo Fender also copied the Stauffer guitar headplate.

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Well Leo might have been influenced by Martin guitars as he was a student of Stauffer. Some of the early Martins are very stauffer inspired. Not to say he wasn't inspired by stauffer directly, but he certainly would have had more access to early Martin guitars than stauffer. 

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12 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:


i am seeing no apparant glue surfaces on the neck itself.

 Is the whole thing simply held in by the screw alone?

Does one "set" the neck with the pitch overly high and then back it down to give adjustment in either direction?

Pretty interesting and  amazing to find this in original condition.

There is no glue involved at all. The neck is held to the body by the screw, and by the pressure between neck root and (small) belly cut out

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I agree - very cool. Something new to learn! :)

It does look mint - awesome for that age.

Good thing you can vouch for it. If it had come up in a "please ID" post, I'm certain someone would have insisted it was Chinese! :P

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34 minutes ago, bungling_amateur said:

Does the adjustable neck work? Does it have advantages and disadvantages over a glued joint? (thinking that it presumably has disadvantages otherwise it would still be commonly used?)

The adjustable neck works perfectly and was used by all 19th C Viennese violin makers, from Martin Stoss onwards. Also by many 20th C. ones. As I said above, I have made two myself on neck grafts for old celli at the insistence of the owners. The advertised advantage is that one may adjust the neck angle with the key. No “Summer Bridge/Winter Bridge” fidgeting A more prosaic advantage is that should one have to shoot the fingerboard, one can screw the neck out, and clamp it in the bench, although with the Engleder, I would rather run a mile than plane a veneered fingerboard. The disadvantage is that when they get worn out or loose, they are a nightmare to repair. The illustrated Engleder is in perfect original condition, a perfect fit, and not wobbly at all, although even there I had to chalk fit the end grain surface of the neck root to the mortice, to get the neck straight. When I first came to Vienna, I thought that the button being part of the neck root, and not part of the back would be a tonal disadvantage, but I have changed my mind on that out of experience decades ago.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As I said above, the 19th C versions of the Staufer neck mechanic are all slightly different, if the same in principal, evidently made a la carte by various metal-working friends of the respective violin-makers, which cost me about 4 weeks last time, getting a tractor mechanic to understand and make me one.

A gentleman who had been reading the thread, emailed me to tell me that it was “still” manufactured

facinated, I looked for it in vain on the Rubner website, only to find some pretty butch looking older blokes doing some metal bashing

so I wrote a letter (mail) and asked specifically, and got a pretty monosyllabic answer, which might disturb some people, but I don't mind when the only syllable is „yes“.

So I ordered two, at an astonishing price of €12,50 each.

They came the day after next, and are perfect for anyone who should wish to make such a neck. They come in a plastic bag, entirely devoid of any sort of instructions, so one will have to work the woodwork out oneself. This leaves ample room to get egg on your face. Far be it for me to issue instructions, but anyone who might be willing to accept a super tip from me:

Do the woodwork until it is absolutely entirely perfectly finished, THEN drill the hole




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  • 6 months later...

When I wrote a thread about Alois Engleder of Budapest last year, I claimed that he was in the sphere of influence/social group of Johann Baptist Schweitzer in what later became Budapest. A very kind colleague sent me some pictures of a lovely Schweitzer Cello from 1832 today, which is also in a very clean state of preservation. It also has it’s undisturbed patent adjustable neck. I find that the Cello underlines what I said above, about their personal conections. The neck mechanic is very similar, although they are always a bit different in details, but please compare. It also gives me the opportunity to demonstrate why I get ratty when the ubiquitous Saxon boxes with the “Schweitzer 1813” labels (before he even moved there!) routinely get described on Maestronet as “Schweitzer violins”. I will probably have to link to this thread the next time that happens.

Schweitzer Gal front.JPG

Schweitzer Gal back.JPG

Schweitzer Gal side.JPG

Schweitzer Gal neck mortice.JPG

Schweitzer Gall neck mortice III.JPG

Schweitzer Gal top block.JPG

Schweitzer Gal neck root.JPG

Schweitzer Gal neck root II.JPG

Schweitzr Gall screw II.JPG

Schwitzer Gal Button.JPG

Scweitzer Gal corner block.JPG

Schweitzer Gal label.JPG

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43 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I will probably have to link to this thread the next time that happens.

Please don't, I'm confident everyone here understands the "Schweitzer" thing.

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