Violin Attributed to Carl Gottlob Schönfelder – Mid 19th Century – Gorgeous Sound!


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Mr. Judd believes this instrument to be made by Carl Gottlob Schönfelder (1789-1876) who lived and worked in Markneukirchen, Germany. The violin has many features that are true to his style; arching, Amati like sound holes, Amati inspired scroll, and his varnish work matches what I have studied about him and his family. Carl Gottlob was a fine maker at the height of the German violin making renaissance in the southeastern part of Germany. He was part of a family of makers dating back to the 17th century, one of which was Johann Schönfelder, who started the Violin Makers Guild in Markneukirchen in 1677. This violin is a sleeper. There is no legible label in the violin. If the instrument carried a brand or label the violin would sell for a much higher price. We have meticulously gone over the entire instrument and it is ready for the next 175 years. The instrument has over-the-top workmanship, genuine patina, and beautiful woods. Just think, the wood used in this violin could have been a young seedling starting to grow in the early 1700’s. The 120–150-year-old spruce and maple trees would have been harvested and made into quarter sawn cuts and then set up to dry for 15-20 more years before the violin was even begun. Matching back and ribs, neck graft, new pegs with bushed holes, and the varnish quality is stunning in clarity. I could go on and on….

Corpus 355.0 mm – Major Width 208.0 mm – Minor Width 167.5 mm – Rib Height 28.0 – 29.0 mm

In tonal character the violin has a warm, rich, darker color. The moment I started playing it, the instrument hit me as a WOW! Not too much power but a big, large, full tone. The vibrant lush bottom sound is complemented with an engaging sweet treble E and A strings. The instrument is responsive and plays with a quality one can describe as smooth. It’s a terrific choice for a talented player.

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