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corilon violins

Violin making in western Bohemia and the Vogtland region


Schönbach and Graslitz: The history of violin making on the Bohemian-German border


In the 19th century, the new constellation of violin making in the economic region of the border between western Bohemian and the Vogtland evolved into a highly efficient division of labour. It went on to shape the wide-scale musical culture of Europe and the U.S. with the large numbers of cost-effective instruments it yielded. Smaller workshops throughout the entire binational area built instruments and, more notably, instrument parts to large-volume merchants who sold them internationally at top profits. In Schönbach, nearly 150,000 violins were produced each year in the late 19th century – along with 200,000 violin backs! These admirable figures clearly illustrate the economic structure of the instrument “publishing” business, as it was called.


There were, however, downsides to the industry's success. One was the massive need which prevailed amongst the families, who were completely financially dependent; the other was the dubious reputation of the lower-quality industrial products which to this day still clings to the era's Bohemian-Saxonian stringed instruments. Schönbach and Graslitz in particular were home to only a few violin makers who were able to create an instrument and all its parts from scratch– and who could afford the time to do so. However, their works – which were often purchased anonymously – had quite good acoustic and aesthetic properties, and these old Bohemian-Saxonian instruments do not deserve the fundamental disdain they frequently are given.


The Schönbach instrument makers experienced a minor form of emancipation from the supremacy of Markneukirchen around the turn of the 20th century when they founded two production cooperatives and established their own brokers. As a result, they were able to export some 20% of their own production by themselves. Within the interlinked business structure of the region, Schönbach stood out as the key centre for trading tonewoods, some 700 train cars of which were sold each year.






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Corilon violins • Lilienstrasse 2 • D-81669 München • Germany
Phone: +49 (0)89-444 19 619 • Fax: +49 (0)89-444 19 620
mail@corilon.comwww.corilon.com

New arrivals in our catalogue:
  • Modern handmade Markneukirchen violin, circa 1980 / 1990
  • Georg Klotz, 1766: Fine Mittenwald violin (Georg Kloz)
  • WORKED OVER AND OPTIMIZED: Modern Italian 7/8 violin, Carlo Melloni, 1932 (certificate Eric Blot)
  • WORKED OVER AND OPTIMIZED: Italian violin in the Otello Bignami tradition
  • Good Schönbach viola, Ferdinand Fischer, 1935
  • Markneukirchen violin bow of the 1950ies, bright, fluid tone
  • Contemporary German soloist violin, Bernhard Gerstner, Ulm 1995
  • Markneukirchen viola bow, silver mounted, Arnold Stoess
  • Old Mittenwald violin, Josef Rieger, 1927
  • Historic master violin from the Vogtland region, circa 1780-1800
  • Powerful 1920's Southern Italian violin with a radiant, brilliant sound
  • Good 1940's violin bow from Markneukirchen, warm, mellow tone
  • Contemporary English master violin bow, John W. Stagg, 1990's
  • Old, Brilliant toned Markneukirchen violin, 1920's
  • PRICE REDUCED: Dutch bass viol by Theo Dellen, Voorburg (viola da gamba)
  • Roger & Max Millant, fine French violin, 1944
  • Old Czech violin - "The Metro Violin Class"
  • Decorated, antique 1850's German Klingenthal violin
  • US-American violin with an Italian sound, Lincoln Clough, 1925
  • Interesting modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941
  • Modern Italian violin, Carlo Luigi Dalatri, Florence
  • Giuseppe Pedrazzini, fine Italian violin (certificate J. & A. Beare)
  • Franco Albanelli, a fine contemporary Italian violin
  • Fine Italian violin Antonio Monzino & Figli, Milano 1925