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"Made in Germany"


Brian Snider
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The 'made in Germany' label suggests something made in the Shonbach/Markneuchien area and probably after 1921.

The 1890 Mckinley tarrif act was amended in 1914 so that all imports were required to say "Made in" in addition to including country of origin. It was further amended in 1921 so that all imports had to include the country of origin in English.

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The carved bar and roughly graduated top give evidence that it was made latest a short time after 1900, when the milling machine put an end to such making. That doesn't exclude that the label was inserted some decades later by a dealer.

Also the violin could be well have been made in Bohemia (Schönbach, later Luby/Czech.) and trafficked to the German Markneukirchen dealers. There's no way to tell this for sure.

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1 minute ago, mood2000 said:

until 1957, labelled them exactly as the master did. After that date, for legal reasons, the words "Copy of" were often included on the labels.

https://www.afvbm.org/found-stradivarius-violin/

 

copy of _ 1957 .jpg

Nonsense. There are millions of "Copy of" "model d'apres" etc. long before this year.

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4 hours ago, Blank face said:

The carved bar and roughly graduated top give evidence that it was made latest a short time after 1900, when the milling machine put an end to such making. That doesn't exclude that the label was inserted some decades later by a dealer.

Also the violin could be well have been made in Bohemia (Schönbach, later Luby/Czech.) and trafficked to the German Markneukirchen dealers. There's no way to tell this for sure.

Did all makers switch to machine carving as soon as it became available or did that change happen over a longer period of time? I have seen similar rough carved tables in violins bearing a 'Made in Czechoslovakia' label which I had assumed were made around 1920s at the earliest, because the state of 'Czechoslovakia' didn't exist before 1918?

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for legal reasons, the words "Copy of" were often included on the labels after 1957, it must written in English, that could be officially, before that year no one mentioned "copy of" in English unless an honest firms mentioned something similar to that, such as "Reproduction", "Style of", "Modèle d'après" and so on. instead of facsimile labels.

thanks guys :)

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5 hours ago, Bob K said:

Did all makers switch to machine carving as soon as it became available or did that change happen over a longer period of time? I have seen similar rough carved tables in violins bearing a 'Made in Czechoslovakia' label which I had assumed were made around 1920s at the earliest, because the state of 'Czechoslovakia' didn't exist before 1918?

It’s right that Czechoslovkia was founded in 1919 after the end of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. But I’m strongly assuming that these labels were inserted after many years of storage, what was common practice of the wholesalers, and the violins were made before WW1. Personally I never found a violin with a carved bar which I would stylistically put into the ongoing 20th century, no matter what the label says. This also applies to the OP violin.

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10 hours ago, Blank face said:

It’s right that Czechoslovkia was founded in 1919 after the end of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. But I’m strongly assuming that these labels were inserted after many years of storage, what was common practice of the wholesalers, and the violins were made before WW1. Personally I never found a violin with a carved bar which I would stylistically put into the ongoing 20th century, no matter what the label says. This also applies to the OP violin.

Thanks, Blank Face. I thought that a few people might have hung on to the 'old way' of doing things but they probably wouldn't have been able to compete for long against machine manufacture.

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On 1/16/2022 at 10:39 AM, Bob K said:

Thanks, Blank Face. I thought that a few people might have hung on to the 'old way' of doing things but they probably wouldn't have been able to compete for long against machine manufacture.

It wasn't the way that they could decide on their own how to work, but were employed by or depending of the wholesaler who paid them. So the work was executed in the way as it was profitable,

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The John F Stratton Company goes on at some length in their 1872 catalog about the advantages of the plate carving machines they use in their Leipzig factory, and how cheaply they can produce violins of a variety of arching patterns. They sold violins FOB in New York, from $4.00 to $200.00, along with wind instruments of a wide variety. I have never seen a violin labeled  Stratton, but my mentor, Earsel Atchley, the guy who collaborated on the books with Roy Ehrhardt, claimed that a large portion of the halfway decent, cheap violin you see in the US from that time come from Leipzig, due to Stratton's massive production in the 1870s through the 1890s. None of them were made in the Schoenbach style, apparently, being truly "factory" violins rather than cottage work. The catalog is pretty fascinating, and reveals a lot of historical information. Gives rather a different perspective on the market, direct from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

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I missed a bit on the last post. Upon re-reading the catalog, it seems Stratton was wholesaling violins for as low as $1 per dozen in 1872. Must have made it hard on the Markneukirchen Verleger. They claimed that one girl on a carving machine could do the work of six men. There are reprints of their catalog available online for whomever cares to look. Leipzig is often overlooked as a a center for musical instrument making, but there must have been a reason Stratton and Ludwig Bausch decided to set up there.  I'll look into it as time allows.

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58 minutes ago, Michael Richwine said:

The John F Stratton Company goes on at some length in their 1872 catalog...............

Very interesting........ I have found a slightly later version of this catalog online (after 1876 at the earliest as there is a reference to a medal awarded at an 1876 exhibition) : https://urresearch.rochester.edu/fileDownloadForInstitutionalItem.action;jsessionid=8D8CFDE26C96910B0E63C5D21FCBBDAB?itemId=13245&itemFileId=30667

This could suggest a major source of all those late C19th trade violins with the Hopf/Paganini/Ole Bull etc. type stamps on the back and maybe also some of those bearing 'Fecit Saxony' labels?

 

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1 hour ago, Michael Richwine said:

The John F Stratton Company goes on at some length in their 1872 catalog about the advantages of the plate carving machines they use in their Leipzig factory, and how cheaply they can produce violins of a variety of arching patterns. They sold violins FOB in New York, from $4.00 to $200.00, along with wind instruments of a wide variety. I have never seen a violin labeled  Stratton, but my mentor, Earsel Atchley, the guy who collaborated on the books with Roy Ehrhardt, claimed that a large portion of the halfway decent, cheap violin you see in the US from that time come from Leipzig, due to Stratton's massive production in the 1870s through the 1890s. None of them were made in the Schoenbach style, apparently, being truly "factory" violins rather than cottage work. The catalog is pretty fascinating, and reveals a lot of historical information. Gives rather a different perspective on the market, direct from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

That would be a little curious, since the engineer Wilhelm Thau developed his milling machine at the start of the 20thC, and established a public limited company to exploit the same on an industrial scale in 1906. Also I would dispute the existence of any violin-making factory in Leipzig, and would caution about believing any marketing blurb from some American dealers catalogues

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17 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

That would be a little curious, since the engineer Wilhelm Thau developed his milling machine at the start of the 20thC, and established a public limited company to exploit the same on an industrial scale in 1906. Also I would dispute the existence of any violin-making factory in Leipzig, and would caution about believing any marketing blurb from some American dealers catalogues

Why would they provide false information and images of a factory?

According to an article in 'the Strad', The Aktiengesellschaft factory in Markneukirchen, equipped with Thau’s carving machines produced their first unfinished violin bodies and components arriving on the market in October 1907.  They give an extract from an article that appeared in April 2011 entitled: ’Markneukirchen: The rise and fall of Germany’s first violin factory’.

However, the article also states that 'His machine was not the first used to carve violins, but it was certainly the quickest of its time. It employed a drum to mount eight pieces of work, which were rotated at the same rate as a cylinder mounted with patterns. As the drum turned, a cutter (turning at 6000rpm) travelled along a screw, making the same cut on each of the eight pieces'.

This is much more complex than the process descibed in the Stratton Catalogue which was still apparently a one off carving technique but using powered tools.

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52 minutes ago, Bob K said:

Why would they provide false information and images of a factory?

Because fake news and alternative facts aren't an invention of the 21st century.;)

One could also wonder why so many Mirecourt violins were branded "A Paris", or 18th century makers claimed to be pupils of Stradivari etc. That's all marketing. Factually I never found a Leipzig (Dresden, also many Berlin) labelled violin which was different from the Markneukirchen/Schönbach. Therefore it would be usefull to see pictures of these Stratton violins, if they aren't simply basic Schönbach made.

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12 minutes ago, Fiddler45 said:

Also, if it were between WWII and the 90s wouldn't it say "West/East Germany"?

It could, but in fact both claimed to be the "true and only".;)

West/East Germany" weren't official names. There were Bundesrepublik and Deutsche Demokratische Republik (you can guess which was which), West and East G. would have been sort of denigrations.

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6 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Because fake news and alternative facts aren't an invention of the 21st century.;)

One could also wonder why so many Mirecourt violins were branded "A Paris", or 18th century makers claimed to be pupils of Stradivari etc. That's all marketing. Factually I never found a Leipzig (Dresden, also many Berlin) labelled violin which was different from the Markneukirchen/Schönbach. Therefore it would be usefull to see pictures of these Stratton violins, if they aren't simply basic Schönbach made.

It seems like they went to great lengths then:

Die Geigen-Fabrik von John F. Stratton in Gohlis bei Leipzig. Sehr schönes Sammelblatt mit 7 Abbildungen. Zeigt: 1. Äußere Ansicht. 2. Saal der Maschinen zur Fabrikation der einzelnen Teile. 3. Saal der Hals-, Griffbrett-, und Saitenhalter Schneidemaschinen. 4. Saal der Maschinen zum Schneiden des Bodens und der Decke. 5. Zusammensetzung der Teile. 6. Boden und Deckenschneidemaschine (Vorderansicht). 7. Lackiersaal.  Musikinstrumentenbau,

Published by Holzstich nach E. Kirchhoff, aus dem Jahr., 1873

Die Geigen-Fabrik von John F. Stratton in Gohlis bei Leipzig.jpg

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