Guarnerius Pattern Markneukirchen Violin, circa 1900 – Great Sound!
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Cremonae anno 17—
We are offering an older German made Guarneri model violin. This is a trade instrument we call a sleeper from the turn of the 20th century. Mr. Judd uses the term sleeper because the instrument sounds great but has no actual maker’s name inside the instrument. This instrument has seasoned European spruce and maple that is a knockout. German violins are not considered to be as valuable as Italian or French violins. They get a bad rap mostly because of the huge number of instruments made over the years. It’s fair to say that this violin should not be painted with the same brush as many trade instruments that have come out of the Vogtland, though it does have an Italian name Latinized on the label. This violin is a gem for the player looking for a glorious look and sound. The varnish has patina and natural wear consistent with varnish techniques used at the turn of the 20th century. It is an oil varnish with stunning deep amber/brown and orange/brown coats all built on an amber base. The violin is made with the correct specs in its plate thickness and arching and feels great in the hands. We have put much time into the restoration: repairing a saddle crack, adding a new spruce corner and two new edges on the top plate, all new ebony pegs, nut, cambering the fingerboard, cutting a new soundpost, and a 200-year-old maple Despiau bridge. This trade violin is better than nice, a joy to work on during restoration, and it has been exciting to get the violin back into playing shape.
Corpus 357.0 mm., Major Width 206.0 mm., Minor Width 168.0 mm., Rib Height 30.0 mm.
The sound leans to the darker side but very expressive, almost gutsy with a woody character. The sound of the violin has a nice combination of strength, clarity, and color. Being a bassist, I like gutsy, powerful instruments that have performance. This one has it. The response off the strings is beautiful and did I say it has power? There is plenty of brilliance on the treble strings and a shimmering tone. This instrument is for the player looking for a great sound and is not concerned with having to have a maker’s name inside. The past 35 years have taught me that instruments that are sleepers move out of the shop very fast. Remember, it’s all about the sound.