This is a very tidy late 18th century violin, probably Mittenwald by a follower of Bartholomaus Karner, showing all the typical features of South German construction. It has very rounded “Dutch Barn” shoulders, a one-piece bottom rib with inset saddle, inside mould construction with classic Mittenwald inner blocks, and a lovely soft red varnish. The arching is modest and elegant and the f-holes are studied and well executed. At some point the scroll has been very neatly grafted – all in all this violin makes a fine impression, a far cry from the rather basic Mittenwald efforts routinely sold as “Klotz Family”. The pegbox appears to have been slimmed down for aesthetic reasons, but aside from that there are only minimal condition issues. There’s one minor repaired crack on the extreme right edge of the lower table, and a small historic post patch in the table – though I can’t actually detect a crack I suppose it must be there. The varnish is well worn but very attractive.
Sound-wise this violin has a lot of character – it’s slightly dark and sugary with excellent sustain, it feels very smooth but also lively, quick in response, and consistent throughout the register. If you’re looking for a violin that’s primarily muscular then move on … but if you’re looking for a sophisticated yet friendly sound for chamber music or any kind of lyrical repertoire, this one has real beauty of tone. In particular the higher reaches of the E are full and sweet. This would also be a great choice for a
talented student – very flexible and encouraging to play.
Length of Back 36cm, stop 132/195mm, total length 59.4cm
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