German Violin by Wolff Brothers, Kreuznach, 1893
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Class 5B N. 1917 1893
The Wolf Brothers were known in Germany s as “Gebruder Wolff”. In 1864 they established an instrument making factory (cottage industry) in Kreuznach, Prussia by Leopold and Ferdinand Wolff. Their workshops were renowned in Germany and the company branched out as wholesalers in London producing instruments for the British market from 1885- 1910. These violins were labelled in English in order to market their instruments to the many shops throughout England, hence the very small words “made abroad” at the top of the label with no reference to county of origin. Wolff Brother instruments were much sought after during this 25-30 period in the British Isles. Yes, they were very popular until the outbreak of the Great War. Even to this day many violin players and fiddlers find Wolff Brother instruments in English and Scottish auctions and tucked away in traditional older English homes set out for boot sales during the spring or summer months. Leopold’s son, Julius, took over the business in 1912 and a few years later lost his life in WWI. The firm made well-crafted instruments using exceptional tonewoods. Our instrument features a medium-to-fine grain spruce top and highly flamed maple back, ribs, neck, and scroll. In very good to excellent condition the violin sports an honest patina and some natural wear, which is a very good sign. The instrument is dated, numbered, and carries the Wolff Brothers insignia on the far right of the label. We have bushed the pegs, added a new fingerboard, ebony nut, having meticulously worked over this fine violin with our traditional setup.
The violin has a warm and clear sound and a resonant voice that is distinctly noticeable on the lower strings. The response is excellent, open, and beautiful on the bottom while the treble strings are sweet, rich, and lean slightly to the brighter side. The response is fast and the sound beautifully clean; it is simply fun to play. This violin will make a great instrument for the up-and-coming high school or college player and may also be a great fit for a serious fiddler.