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E.H. Roth violins gradations


yaumnik
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Hi all, 

My first post in a while. :-)

I recently learned that E.H. Roth I had a different gradation for European market than the North American market. For North America, one can easily find this information from a Wiki article on E.H. Roth: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Heinrich_Roth#Gradations. From this article, it's known that Roth had 11 grades of various models (mostly Strad and del Gesu) from (Roman numerals) I-R to XI-R.

I am calling out on MN experts to help me with the European gradations which I heard were up to 15 different grades if not more. Can anyone help/share this info and also how to correlate North American grades to European ones?

Thank you in advance!

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2 hours ago, yaumnik said:

From this article, it's known that Roth had 11 grades of various models (mostly Strad and del Gesu) from (Roman numerals) I-R to XI-R.

That article is missing 3 grades shown the 1924 Roth catalog: 120R, 130R, and 140R. I do not know if these were also marketed in Europe.

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10 hours ago, yaumnik said:

Hi all, 

My first post in a while. :-)

I recently learned that E.H. Roth I had a different gradation for European market than the North American market. For North America, one can easily find this information from a Wiki article on E.H. Roth: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Heinrich_Roth#Gradations. From this article, it's known that Roth had 11 grades of various models (mostly Strad and del Gesu) from (Roman numerals) I-R to XI-R.

I am calling out on MN experts to help me with the European gradations which I heard were up to 15 different grades if not more. Can anyone help/share this info and also how to correlate North American grades to European ones?

Thank you in advance!

EHRs (at least the ones so-labeled or branded) weren't ever sold new in Europe. (They might have been given away to artists in exchange for endorsements.)  They were soley aimed for the North American (US and Canada) market.  So I'm afraid you've been misinformed.

Ysaye endorsed EHR violins (meaning EHR adverts quoted him) but keep in mind this was due to his stint as director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

I've only been able to find one single instance where EHR advertised in Europe (Germany) prior to WWII.

Incidentally US interned and then deported Austrian conductor Ernst Kunwald (due to anti-German/Central Powers sentiment) and had to import a Belgian to essentially "reform" Cincinnati.

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/03/11/anti-german-hysteria-city-during-wwi/98895422/

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We see quite a lot of 1920s EH Roth violins in the UK, often looking as if they haven't been played since the 1920s, so I would assume they were available for purchase in the UK even if there are no adverts to be found. Probably the firm itself would be able to give you some export data of you're interested in looking into this.

In the UK, I've never seen any reference to these  model designations (X1R etc ...) which are clearly a feature of the American sales effort. We classify the instruments by the alleged year of manufacture ie. Stradivari 1700. The later the year the more expensive the model.

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From Kurt Kauert, Vogtländisch-Westböhmischer Geigenbau, p.73, picture in possession of the author withot exact year, but obviously prewar. Looks like an advertisement in German language.<_<

Otherwise I've observed the same as Martin, that the ones I'm seeing don't have any model codes, only their usual firm brand and label.

IMG_7676.JPG

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1 hour ago, Blank face said:

From Kurt Kauert, Vogtländisch-Westböhmischer Geigenbau, p.73, picture in possession of the author withot exact year, but obviously prewar. Looks like an advertisement in German language.<_<

Otherwise I've observed the same as Martin, that the ones I'm seeing don't have any model codes, only their usual firm brand and label.

IMG_7676.JPG

That EHR advertisement you posted was (mostly for) plucked string instruments [(D'Orso) "Zupfinstrumente"].  EHR plucked string instruments were aimed at a different (European) market than their bowed stringed instruments.  A bit ironic in the Otto Windisch advert, in the low right corner, they state "Engros % Export" (wholesale export).

You should be able to identify any agents EHR had in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.  It's not as if (to use an example) the GEWA lorry drives up to a dealer and that's the end of GEWA's marketing efforts.  They've got to drive end consumer demand as well as the sales channel (dealers).  In the US their agent was Simson,and later EHR II himself.  EHR marketing was shockingly absent, you'd hardly be able to find it if you tried.  

You only need to look at the trade magazines, especially the German ones c. 1920, to understand EHR faced fierce competition.  Ads from competitors were fierce.

The single instance EHR advert I mentioned before was specifically for violins (bowed strings), with a testimonial letter written by Ysaye, translated into German.  EHR only ran that advert in only one issue because he wanted his own editorial published. Complaining about corrupt violin tone competition judges who awarded him a silver medal, despite the fact the judges had no opportunity at all to play his instruments, since they were locked in a display case. 

 

ehr_ysaye.png.eb4d4b2de417cfef9a003729a7eac7ac.png

 

ehr_genf.thumb.png.a1dc009b499dc66b05296d0b1ccbe3c9.png

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

"Allerfeinste Streichinstrumente" plainly stated

Plainly stated with zero context.  If the advert BF posted appeared in a trade journal geared towards plucked strings, that context would certainly make a difference.  And how long did EHR ads run?

Ad I posted ran for a SINGLE issue.

In Germany you had hyper-inflation right after WWI, a cold which the rest of Europe caught after Germany sneezed.  The Germans wanted hard currency, last thing on their minds was selling in Europe, which is why you'd see Engros/Export in virtually all ads, not just Windisch.  The Brits also had a European blockade during WWI, so they'd hardly be in a charitable mood towards the "Jerrys" after WWI (or after WWII, for that matter). 

Name some EHR agents, show some EHR ads in The Strad or any other British magazine and you'd have some EVIDENCE. 

 

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One might be well advised to make liberal use of the conjunctive in such cases. Markneukichen always had good economic ties with America (for instance the American consulate there), but they have always taken anybodies money. Other firms had representatives in places like St. Petersburg etc., so one might believe that the yanks have a monopoly on sliced bread, but others eat too

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18 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

One might be well advised to make liberal use of the conjunctive in such cases. Markneukichen always had good economic ties with America (for instance the American consulate there), but they have always taken anybodies money. Other firms had representatives in places like St. Petersburg etc., so one might believe that the yanks have a monopoly on sliced bread, but others eat too

Other German firms had agents in St. Petersburg only buttresses my point.  What's so special about UK that EHR apparently had no agents or adverts?

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18 minutes ago, yaumnik said:

Excellent discussion. I just wish that experts here would shed some light on my original question. :-)

If you search Maestronet you will find quite a lot of posts which answer this directly - I even remember an annotated catalogue from the Roth firm which showed how the system worked.

But you can get a lot of information from the current Roth brochure http://www.roth-violins.de/index_eng.htm

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3 minutes ago, martin swan said:

If you search Maestronet you will find quite a lot of posts which answer this directly - I even remember an annotated catalogue from the Roth firm which showed how the system worked.

But you can get a lot of information from the current Roth brochure http://www.roth-violins.de/index_eng.htm

I even asked Wilhelm Roth. Haven't gotten it so far.

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5 hours ago, Hempel said:

That EHR advertisement you posted was (mostly for) plucked string instruments [(D'Orso) "Zupfinstrumente"].  EHR plucked string instruments were aimed at a different (European) market than their bowed stringed instruments.  A bit ironic in the Otto Windisch advert, in the low right corner, they state "Engros % Export" (wholesale export).

Like Martin swtated before, the ad lists at the first place "Allerfeinste Streichinstrumente" - most higly refined bowed instruments - followed by plucked instruments, parts, strings, wood and in the last place down below everything else the different trade marks.

It's very clear that they offered violins in Germany at that time, that was the point to prove. One should also note that their "most higly refined" were very expensive and also made in small numbers (meaning thousands, not ten thousands) compared with other firms, so that they didn't need a lot of agencies, a few travelling salesmen, as it was usual at the period, were enough.

Lke EHR Roth wrote "My reputation as maker is widely known in the world" in your pictured ad, and as the Roth website is telling

"Their business was highly successful and the instruments of Ernst Heinrich Roth were much sought after in Germany and throughout Europe." 

it can  be no doubt by this sources that they regulary sold in Germany, too. Again, this was the only point to be proven.

I frankly admit that I'm no expert in EHR instruments nor ever was interested in researching their business or distribution system and am therefore unable to answer the OP question after gradation differences between Europe and America, at least not more than it was written above.

As a sidenote, one should mind that the Roth firm advertised themselves, according to all other competitors, as a Fabrik/factory. Makers of fine and single made instruments called themselves usually "Kunstgeigenbauer", artistry makers, even in Markneukirchen.

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36 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Download the brochure and look at page 2

for example 1X-R/64 is a Guarnerius 1736

OK, so for the sake of trying to get somewhere in this discussion :D I'll share the photos I just made.  Also, Mr. Wilhelm Roth let me know that from the archives, it is a Roth and it's a XI-R/72. However, talking to local experts, the label font/appearance + lack of serial number on the stamp + comparison to local XR available violins, the local experts said that this violin was made for the European market, not US. And supposedly, there was a different gradation system/scale for Europe than US market. US market scale was IR for the lowest grade and XIR (aka special commisions) for the top grade.

So, can anyone share the info on the European gradation?

20220723_125400.jpg

20220723_125645.jpg

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20220723_125934.jpg

20220723_125948.jpg

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Does the violin have a serial number anywhere?

The fact that is has "Germany" stamped on the label suggests rather that it was made for export to an English language country. If we are to believe Hempel that can only mean the US, but I would rather assume it includes the UK.

The label is one I've only seen in violins from around WWII, so I would rather doubt the 1927 date. However, it's undeniably a Guarneri model and quite nicely made so I would accept that it's a Roth.

What I have taken away from many dozens of debates about Roth violins is that the labelling/branding/numbering is highly inconsistent, and that the current Roth partners don't really understand their own archives. They are also in the invidious position of having to defend the rather dubious historic salesmanship tactics of their American partners.

 

 

 

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