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Johann Christoph Leidolff Vienna 1736 Cello in original condition


jacobsaunders

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51 minutes ago, Mark Caudle said:

Yes and they weren't always small like the Hoffman models that are mostly used now. The Stradivari Saveuse is similar size to this one and has the hole for playing da spalla.

So I will assume you will have no problem providing us with historical paintings of cellos being played this way?

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On 9/28/2021 at 5:07 AM, Mark Caudle said:

Yes and they weren't always small like the Hoffman models that are mostly used now. The Stradivari Saveuse is similar size to this one and has the hole for playing da spalla.

I'd be EXTREMELY skeptical of any existing instruments that's attributed to JC Hoffmann.

The label chapter in the Hoffmann book by Fontana et al. should be enough to give anyone pause, never mind the state of various instruments attributed to Hoffmann, which don't even belong in the same century.

Also all existing instruments attributed to Hoffmann have been substantially modified, without original bits.

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18 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Didn’t check the article written by Lutgendorff but maybe he meant that altogether over the years he employed 10 journeymen. (Meaning not simultaneously

[…] und SOLL oft 10 Gesellen beschäftigt haben, wodurch es sich auch erklärt, dass sine Arbeiten neben denen Math. Thirs in Wien am häufigsten vorkommen.

Well , right, 10 people at a time.

However, Lütgendorff is constructing an explanation for the fact that there are so many instruments around. The word ‘SOLL’ indicates some doubts on the high number because it makes clear that this is from hearsay in Vienna. 

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On 9/27/2021 at 7:12 PM, jacobsaunders said:

. Lütgendorff gets a bit carried away, since he claims (without documenting it) that he employed as many as ten journeymen. This seems very unlightly, since the Viennese innung, writing to the government in 1770, document that, of a total of 11 violin makers in Vienna, they only employed 7 journeymen between them.

 

7 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

[…] und SOLL oft 10 Gesellen beschäftigt haben, wodurch es sich auch erklärt, dass sine Arbeiten neben denen Math. Thirs in Wien am häufigsten vorkommen.

Well , right, 10 people at a time.

However, Lütgendorff is constructing an explanation for the fact that there are so many instruments around. The word ‘SOLL’ indicates some doubts on the high number because it makes clear that this is from hearsay in Vienna. 

Yes, gets a bit "carried away!":)

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3 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

 

Yes, gets a bit "carried away!":)

Now I am getting a bit carried away:

i think I read somewhere that the families of ‘Leidolff’ and ‘Landolfi’ might be related. Is there any member of the Leidolff family who miracously disappeared from Viennese registers? 
 

Or, how have we to see business connections between Vienna and parts of Italy which were reigned by the Austrians?

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37 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Now I am getting a bit carried away:

i think I read somewhere that the families of ‘Leidolff’ and ‘Landolfi’ might be related. Is there any member of the Leidolff family who miracously disappeared from Viennese registers? 
 

Or, how have we to see business connections between Vienna and parts of Italy which were reigned by the Austrians?

Yes, I was trying hard not to get carried away. That is speculation which started because J.C. Leidolff’s father, Nicolas was recorded, upon his wedding in St. Stephns on 25.09.1672 to the (ethnic Füssen) vm widow Ott. as coming from “der Schweiz”, and since there was no 17th C. vm tradition there, one could wonder if “Schweiz” was a definate geographical place, or more “over there in those mountains”. Also the Füssen tradition of “italianising” German names. The reference in the Ö Musiklexicon reads:

L.s Herkunft aus der Schweiz macht die italienischen Einflüsse, die wiederholt in der Literatur angemerkt wurden, erklärlich. Dreschers Vermutung, dass er, bedingt durch das Fehlen einer Schweizer Geigenbautradition, in Italien gelernt hat und möglicherweise die in Mailand nachweisbaren „Landolfis“ derselben Familie entstammen, ist beizupflichten. Geigen von ihm sind selten; eine Viola da gamba von 1692 (zu einem Violoncello umgebaut) besitzt das Salzburger Museum Carolino Augusteum, einen Kontrabass (1693) mit geschnitztem Engelskopf die Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente in Wien (KHM).

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50 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

since there was no 17th C. vm tradition there, one could wonder if “Schweiz” was a definate geographical place, or more “over there in those mountains”. 

Of course there was a 17th century tradition, it was called “Alemannische Schule”. 
Maybe the research by Adelmann wasn’t known to the authors of the Lexikon?

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31 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

A "Bauerlichen" which you would hardly fit a Leidolff, who married a Füssen widow into

The Krouchdaler and Straub instruments with their rich decorations weren't exactly bäuerlich, or we had to start another discussion to define what's amateurish, peasant or professional.:)

I guess that in 1672 the Füssener violin making wasn't much different, even the early 18th century Johannes Ott you once posted had a rather archaic way of construction, close to the Allemannische Schule. So we cannot know if he married a violin maker's widow, or just a Lautenmacher's. This is all up to further research, also when the Leydolff's established their particular family style. At least there was a sort of tradition in the Schweiz during the period, older than in Mittenwald for example.

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7 minutes ago, Blank face said:

The Krouchdaler and Straub instruments with their rich decorations weren't exactly bäuerlich, or we had to start another discussion to define what's amateurish, peasant or professional.:)

I guess that in 1672 the Füssener violin making wasn't much different, even the early 18th century Johannes Ott you once posted had a rather archaic way of construction, close to the Allemannische Schule. So we cannot know if he married a violin maker's widow, or just a Lautenmacher's. This is all up to further research, also when the Leydolff's established their particular family style. At least there was a sort of tradition in the Schweiz durinf the period, older than in Mittenwald for example.

One could speculate endlessly. I was trying to explain to Andreas where the speculation he mentioned came from. My personal speculation, since he married a Füssen widow, might be that he was originally a Füssener, who was working somewhere (near Switzerland) as a journeyman, when he got summoned to Vienna to marry Mrs Ott

 

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On 9/29/2021 at 10:05 PM, Blank face said:

At least there was a sort of tradition in the Schweiz during the period, older than in Mittenwald for example.

Just no one seems to find it worthwhile to do a bit research on that area. :mellow:
 

I found it always strange that switzerland would be like an blank island in between countries busy in making stringed instruments. 

Older than Mittenwald? - interesting. Do we look on farmers with idle time in winter making instruments to kill time?

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1 hour ago, Andreas Preuss said:

 

Older than Mittenwald? 

If I may cite Wolfgang Zunterer’s essay on the Mittenwald museum web site:

Das derzeit früheste bekannte Instrument von Mathias Kloz mit Originalzettel und gut lesbarem Datum ist eine Viola von 1704.

Since the Mittenwalder tradition started with Mathias Klotz, Nicolaus Leidolff, who was one of the founders of the Viennese guild in 1696 would have been slightly earlier

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Regarding the allemanic school: I suspect music making wasn't thought highly of in Switzerland, as the lack of excelling composers from there in the 17th and 18th century seems to indicate. The lack of acoustically succesful instruments would only be another symptom of that. And yes, I would call them farmers instruments. Rich farmers, but farmers nonetheless. You have a great number of fantastic organs in the rural north of the netherland and north west of germany, due to the wealth of farmers in the 17th and 18th century, and their desire for pomp, but not for musical taste has assured that those instruments remained unscathed by later fashions and are largely intact in original disposition. I'd say the decorated violins from the allemanic school can be viewed in the same light.

 But I defer to anyone with actual knowledge of Swiss musical life of those days. I have none.

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6 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Just no one seems to find it worthwhile to do a bit research on that area. :mellow:
 

I found it always strange that switzerland would be like an blank island in between countries busy in making stringed instruments. 

Older than Mittenwald? - interesting. Do we look on farmers with idle time in winter making instruments to kill time?

There is the very detailled book by Olga Adelmann, maybe a bit old now, but compelling the research of several persons from some decades. She summarized that there was a comprehensible teacher-student relationship between some makers, also a relation to Füssen making (Straub family) and arguments a lot for a professional violin making tradition there - not by farmers, but developing from carpenter techniques (for example due to "professional" wood joints etc.)

The idea of "farmers making in winter time" might be an idea coming to mind easily, but obviously there was some more to it. We can also compare the Berlin collection https://www.simpk.de/museum/sammlung/sammlungsschwerpunkte/ to the contemporary Northalpine viola by Mathias Steiger Jacob was showing from the Stainer birthday thread https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/343116-jacob-stainers-birthday/page/2/ (below). The comparative evenness and connected style indicates a more or less stable professionality.

The oldest instrument she cites is a lost 1667 Tenor violin by Joseph Meyer of Geroldshofstetten, also she pictures many other violins and violin family instruments dating from the second half of the 17th century, so definitely significant older than Mittenwald making.

The last line of this school were the Straubs in Röthenbach and other Black Forest villages, in the 19th century making relative simple instruments, but nonetheless professional (though DB might not agree).

This doesn't mean that Niklas Leydolff had anything to do with this school (nor excludes it), but to say that there wasn't a Switzerland violin making during the 17th century is falsified meanwhile.

1_4519_4713_4880_5181_5675_Alemannische.jpg

IMG_0418.jpg

 

Edited by Blank face
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In Nicolaus Leidolf's time those in his profession would have been referred to as "Lautenmacher" and not "Geigenmacher." The earliest documented German-language references I've found to "Geigenmacher" came from mining towns like Dürrnberg/Hallein and other Pinzgau villages (makers such as Waßner, Steiger, etc.).

In such villages you'd find specific surnames/clans coming out of the woodwork.  Often that's how genealogists figure out they've hit the "motherlode."

Leidolf (in all its spelling variations) no longer exists in the Register of Swiss Surnames (https://hls-dhs-dss.ch/famn/?lg=e).  So unless the Leidolf clan got expelled I'd be rather skeptical that they ever established there.  There are Leidolfs in present-day Austria and Germany though.

I would think Nicolas Leidolf was a journeyman at Ott, which made him an ideal successor to inherit the shop.  I think it would be unlikely he was "summoned."

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1 hour ago, Hempel said:

In Nicolaus Leidolf's time those in his profession would have been referred to as "Lautenmacher" and not "Geigenmacher." The earliest documented German-language references I've found to "Geigenmacher" came from mining towns like Dürrnberg/Hallein and other Pinzgau villages (makers such as Waßner, Steiger, etc.).

 

I wouldn’t make much of that, after all, no end of people nowadays call themselves “luthier”, although they only ever make violins (if anything)

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8 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

I wouldn’t make much of that, after all, no end of people nowadays call themselves “luthier”, although they only ever make violins (if anything)

I would recommend the article written by Emil Karl Blümml, "Beitrage zur Geschichte der Lautenmacher in Wien" published in 1920.  Section 1 of that article is titled: "Die Altwiener Lauttenmacherinnung (1696)"

In that article he goes over the rules of the guild, including section 6, "no more than two journeymen per master simultaneously," and section 7, rules by which widows could procure journeymen.

But apropos the profession, this 1696 city ordinance, titled "Ordnung der burgerl: Lauttenmacher alhier" made no reference of the word "Geigenmacher,"  only "Lauttenmacher."  Blümml provides a transcription of the first part of this city ordinance.  (The original city ordinance is in the Viennese City Archive.)

The point I'm trying to make here is that cosmopolitan instrument makers of this period could not afford to specialize only in bowed-string instruments.  In large cities such as Vienna this specialization only came later.  "Lauten- und Geigenmacher" may be a mouthful, so perhaps they just used "Lautenmacher" as a shorthand to refer to themselves.

Makers in small villages probably only had a market for instruments used in dance, so the (loud!) bowed-string instruments were the natural choice for them, and these makers referred to themselves as "Geigenmacher."

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11 hours ago, Blank face said:

This doesn't mean that Niklas Leydolff had anything to do with this school (nor excludes it), but to say that there wasn't a Switzerland violin making during the 17th century is falsified meanwhile.

Adelmanns research is focused on the Black Forest area. As close as it might be to switzerland it is not a part of Switzerland. 
 

Are there any names of violin makers known who worked in Switzerland before 1800?  
 

(just curious)

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42 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:


 

Are there any names of violin makers known who worked in Switzerland before 1800?  
 

The Swiss vm. assn. have a short essay on that subject on their home page SVGB-Lexikon: SCHWEIZ (geigenbauer.ch) (the answer to your question, no, not really). When I was at the Geigenbauschule there, there was a museum upstairs of “old” Swiss violins. The only obviously very good one, was a Firorini, made in Zürich during the first world war. Mind you, I was a teenager at the time, and might have missed something

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3 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Adelmanns research is focused on the Black Forest area. As close as it might be to switzerland it is not a part of Switzerland. 
 

Are there any names of violin makers known who worked in Switzerland before 1800?  
 

(just curious)

I suppose you didn’t read it, or too long ago? A big part is about Switzerland makers, for example Hans Krouchdaler of Bern. Furthermore is mentioned his son Ulrich and a Hanns Ruod Schaffer as makers in the Bern region. These might be the oldest known Swiss makers. You should ask people from Bern if they don’t feel as Switzerlandish.B)

238515D7-C6FF-4A83-B390-25D1AE59954D.jpeg

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6 hours ago, Blank face said:

I suppose you didn’t read it, or too long ago? A big part is about Switzerland makers, for example Hans Krouchdaler of Bern. Furthermore is mentioned his son Ulrich and a Hanns Ruod Schaffer as makers in the Bern region. These might be the oldest known Swiss makers. You should ask people from Bern if they don’t feel as Switzerlandish.B)

238515D7-C6FF-4A83-B390-25D1AE59954D.jpeg

Indeed, it has been a few years that I read the book. I wished I had more time to read those violin making history books.

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