Rudolph Wurlitzer Violin, Cincinnati Circa 1901- Great Sound! – SOLD SEPTEMBER 20, 2023 –


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(MB Logo) Rudolph Wurlitzer Co Maker
Cincinnati U. S. A.
Germine Balsam Fir No. 4740

The Wurlitzer family history goes back to Saxon instrument making traditions. Towns in the Vogtland regions such as Erlbach and Schöneck are where the Wurlitzer family had its roots and specialized and making all types of musical instruments. The making family can be traced back to the 16th century. In 1831 Franz Rudolph Wurlitzer, an instrument maker was born in Schöneck near Markneukirchen, Germany. By 1853 he left his homeland and settled into a German immigrant community in Cincinnati, Ohio. Within a few years after working at a grocery store, followed by a bank, and then as a door-to-door salesman, Rudolph began one of the most successful music businesses ever seen in the United States. In 1856 he opened his music store. The 19th century was ideal for a hard-working immigrant from Germany. As a young kid he trained in the family music business and had considerable knowledge of the musical instrument market. Rudolph’s connections in Europe gave him a clear market advantage for selling fine instruments and not just string instruments. He was a true entrepreneur who worked very hard and seemed to love every minute of it. The key for him was eliminating the middleman and bringing in the best instruments produced by his family members back in Germany. This connection allowed Rudolph to offer lower prices than almost all of his competitors. The American Civil War also saw the Wurlitzer firm sell many thousands of instruments especially brass, woodwind, and percussion to the US Armed Forces. Rudolph owned and operated his company beginning in 1856 and had three sons who also had a turn at running the business.

Our violin was made in Germany in 1901 by his family and is listed in the Wurlitzer catalogue number 47 as the Stradivarius model #4740 series “Genuine Balsam Fir Model”. It is listed as a violin of excellent quality and Rudolph imported six levels of the balsam fir violins in three different models. The instrument has a gorgeous two-piece highly flamed maple back with knock out matching ribs, neck and scroll. The top plate “balsam fir” is straight even grain and wow does this violin sound! The violin features German workmanship, and the instruments were listed to have seasoned wood of at least 20 years before making. We have completely gone over the instrument, cutting all new fittings. The violin has varnish wear from playing, which is a great sign to see. There are no structural issues.

• Corpus 360.0 mm
• Major Width 110.0 mm
• Minor Width 171.0 mm
• Rib Height 29.5 mm

The sound of the instrument is over the top nice. Rich and deep strength of tone is its hallmark. The violin has a tremendous response and full sustain and the tone is even on all the voices. The sound is an over-the-top wow! in my book. A player will have to try the instrument and determine if I get too excited about sound and our violins that are sleepers. There is no exact makers name but what a sound. The bass side is mature and inviting while the treble side sings with brilliance all wrapped up in beautiful clarity of tone. This is a definite instrument for the serious player who does not need a famous name on the violin.