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German violin ID


Joao Marcos

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Hi, I have a violin whose age and other relevant information I'd like to identify. If possible, I'd like to know whether it is likely to have been manufactured with heavy machinery or manual labor. 

I suppose the bass bar to be glued in. For that, I bent a paper clip, inserted it into the F-hole and tried to feel the joint of the bass bar to the belly plate. I'm rather positive that it is a 90º perpendicular corner, as opposed to a curved ascent, which - I suppose - would indicate a carved bass bar. If this doesn't sound reliable a method at all, please ignore this paragraph altogether. 

I am a beginner violin student (2 years in the learning), I bought this violin from a friend of my teacher's, and it is the one I use daily for practice as a hobby. It serves me well and I've had other violin teachers play it and say it sounds rather impressive. IDing is merely for curiosity sake :)

Pics attached.

 

Thank you!

 

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6 hours ago, Joao Marcos said:

I very much appreciate the responses and informations and will definitely research on the german cottage industry! Thank you! :)

Should you wish to research about the "German" cottage industry, you might best start by reading the paper that Herr Weishart presented to the Violin Soc. of America on the subject. I reproduced that here:

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/19/2023 at 3:48 AM, jacobsaunders said:

It was made in the Markneukirchen/Schönbach cottage industry, end of 19th C. The bass bar will be carved, unless somebody replaced it

How can you tell it was made in the 19th century instead of 1920s? In my recent research I've come across information that according to imports law in the US, products that have the specific wording "Made in Germany" on labels are more likely to have been imported after 1921? Is it possible that this instrument was made in the 1890-ish, reopened, relabed and then exported to the US after 1921? I'd really appreciate hearing further from you on my instrument, if possible! :)

 

On 7/19/2023 at 9:41 AM, nathan slobodkin said:

On nicer Saxon instruments the carved bass bar can be indistinguishable from one that is glued in without a very close look

Is it possible to differentiate nicer instruments from the region from the ones of poor quality? I've read that the majority of Markneukirchen instruments were mass-produced with use of machines more than manual labor and therefore were of poor quality and even brought a bad name to violin-production in the region. Was there an intermediate source of instruments, between the machine-produced, poor quality instruments and the ones of excellent quality made individually by masters' hands and famous families? I've now become curious as to where my instrument would fit in this "spectrum" of quality of making. I paid the equivalent of about USD 650 for it. While, as I mentioned on my original post, I do enjoy it very much and I've heard from teachers that it sounds impressive, I'm now wondering if I paid a fair price for it. I'd appreciate any insight on that, if possible. 

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On 7/30/2023 at 4:15 AM, Joao Marcos said:

How can you tell it was made in the 19th century instead of 1920s? In my recent research I've come across information that according to imports law in the US, products that have the specific wording "Made in Germany" on labels are more likely to have been imported after 1921? Is it possible that this instrument was made in the 1890-ish, reopened, relabed and then exported to the US after 1921? I'd really appreciate hearing further from you on my instrument, if possible! :)

It isn’t as simple as that. They exported to everywhere in the world, not just to USA, and the labels were often inserted later by the importer. The carved bars died out at the beginning of the 20th C with the introduction of the Thau milling maschine. Otherwise yours is hard to date, since it seems re-varnished

On 7/30/2023 at 4:15 AM, Joao Marcos said:

I've now become curious as to where my instrument would fit in this "spectrum" of quality of making. 

near  the bottom

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