A beautifully preserved example of the work of Heinrich Th. Heberlein from 1927, this is Markneukirchen violin-making at its best. The violin is illustrated in Bruce Babbitt’s book “Markneukirchen Violins And Bows”.

In the last ten years or so we have seen the prices of good 20th century German violins going up rapidly, and this is as it should be. If you compare a good Heberlein or Roth with a well made Italian violin of the period, it’s hard to see why the Italian should be worth five times more.

Heberlein violins, like Roths, were mainly workshop productions, and the range of qualities is large. This is a particularly good model – a 1727 Strad copy according to the label, with a rich antiqued oil varnish and excellent wood choice.

The condition is very good – the only issue to report is a repaired wing crack to the treble f-hole. There’s a bit of wear to the edges, but overall the violin is beautifully preserved.

As you would hope, this is a great sounding violin, bright and zingy with lots of woody overtones. It’s strong and solistic, not for the faint-hearted, and not the sort of violin you can hide behind.

Its essential voice is reedy and liquid, with complex overtones and great sustain – it retains this quality throughout the register. It has a remarkable dynamic range, and it responds immediately to changes of bow pressure, making it exciting and addictive to play.

A great instrument for a young aspiring soloist, also very well suited to high-octane traditional repertoire.

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