Albert Mertes/E. Reinhold Schmidt Violin circa 1900
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Albert V. Mertes
We have a fine Guarneri model replica violin made by Ernst Reinhold Schmidt and is an excellent example of Markneukirchen workmanship. E. R. Schmidt was born in 1857 and died in 1928. Schmidt founded his company in 1880 and his son joined him in 1920. E.R. Schmidt was a successful company in Markneukirchen and was a significant influence on the Markneukirchen area and why their quality was internationally aspired to. In 1892 Schmidt was awarded gold medals at the Vienna Exhibition and again in Leipzig in 1913. The Schmidt instruments earned their success because of the luthier’s good training, experience in making, their talent as masters of their craft, and the principle of only making a good-to-great instruments. The woods chosen for our instrument are over the top nice. The spruce top plate is premium, with the grain being straight and broadening at the flanks. The one-piece back has a gorgeous flame being very broad in spots with matching maple ribs. The flame descends from right to left. The scroll is exquisite, with much hand work, and the purfling knife work is something to study. The instrument has an oil varnish which has a great deal of patina, natural wear, and red/brown and amber/brown color. The color is rich, with depth and is transparent. The violin has the original markings E.R.S. and the Master Art label above it from the Albert Mertes violin shop, Cincinnati, OH. This violin was imported into our country by the Cincinnati shop and sold some time in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. The instrument is in an excellent state of preservation.
Corpus 360.0 mm., Major Width 205.5 mm., Minor Width 168.5 mm., Rib Height 30.0-31.0 mm.
The sound is full of overtones and rich in all the voices. I love the power of the bottom end and open ringing that the violin has in the treble. This instrument has depth of sound, a sweet tone, and will make a great violin for a serious player.