Louis Lowendall Violin, Berlin circa 1900


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Louis Lowendall Wreath Logo
Fecit Berlin. Anno 1900.

Louis Lowendall (1836-1912) was into violins at a young age. His father encouraged this love for the violin. He became interested in construction and the woods used. At 13 he was enrolled in school at Konigsberg High School, northern Prussia, to enhance his musical studies. At 19 he also became proficient at the cello. He further studied violin and bow making with Bausch and Heinrich Knopf. In 1855 he opened a music retail shop in Berlin where he sold many instruments and bows. He did well as a businessman and is not known as a violin maker. He owned the company and employed very good craftsmen to work for him, having various levels of trade instruments and bows made with his name or brands on the instruments. After six years he left for America where he befriended George Gemunder, a violin maker in New York City. The Gemunder firm purchased many of his instruments and tone woods. Lowendall spent much time traveling, dividing his time between America and England, gaining contacts and developing relationships while he sold his instruments. He opened a second larger shop, the Star Works Company, in Berlin in 1889 specifically to import instruments and bows to the West. We have one of those violins. It’s a Guarneri model gem with a signed label inside. The label is titled “Glory,” made in the Berlin workshop in 1900. The violin is in very good condition without even an old wing split. The button has a branded wreath with the cursive capital L inside and below the button on the back plate in a slight arch “BERLIN” is stamped. We have meticulously gone over the entire violin, cutting a new nut, new set of pegs, Despiau grade B bridge, sound post, end button, chin rest, and tailpiece.

Corpus 355.0 mm., Major Width 207.0 mm., Minor Width 168.5 mm., Rib Height 29.5 mm.

The sound is warm and inviting, full of nuance and strength. I noticed the response to be instant, quick, and clean. The instrument does not lack power and will carry in a large hall. The treble side is not too bright, very sweet, and the violin leans to the darker side of sound. I also fell in love with the maturity of the sound on the D & G side. I didn’t want to put the violin down. The violin has a beautiful depth of sound and chocolate tonal colors. The overtones pop and a player will love all the voices. This is an instrument to take out on trial if you’re looking for the entire package: sound and looks. German craftsmanship, choice woods, and the sound all wrapped up in a 120 plus year package, Wow!