corilon violins


Instrument finder

You can select one or more search fields and combine them however you like. You may also use the search function on the upper left of the page.


Information archive

More detailed information about stringed instruments and the history of violin making.

Enter archive

corilon violins

Ernst Heinrich Roth: a rediscovered master

Ernst Heinrich Roth: a brief biography and company history

For over 100 years, the name Ernst Heinrich Roth has ranked among the best internationally known names in German violin making. The roots of the Bubenreuth-based workshop lead back to the Vogtland violin-making town of Markneukirchen – and to a master of the art whose major successes paradoxically led him to be profoundly underestimated.

Ernst Heinrich Roth, born in 1877, had the ideal prerequisites for attaining musical greatness. A talented musician who played several instruments and had perfect pitch, Ernst Heinrich Roth began his career by completing his training in the atelier founded by his father, Gustav Robert Roth, in 1873. He then studied under violin makers in Austria, Hungary, Russia and France and later returned to his home country with extensive knowledge of the art. His skill and musical training helped Ernst Heinrich Roth become one of the finest craftsmen of the 20th century – and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the field.

A 1937 Ernst Heinrich Roth violin - top

A 1937 Ernst Heinrich Roth violin

Provenance: Markneukirchen
Maker: E. H. Roth
Length of back: 35.4 cm
Year: 1932
Price: 4.600,00 €

Ernst Heinrich Roth, master violin, 1923

Provenance: Markneukirchen
Maker: E. H. Roth
Length of back: 36.1 cm
Year: 1923
Price: 8.500,00 €

Ernst Heinrich Roth's instruments were mostly patterned after works by Stradivari or Guarneri; his copies demonstrated aesthetic perfection and produced ideal sounds. The tops were made of fine-grained Italian spruce, and the backs were of deeply flamed maple, often as a single piece. The Ernst Heinrich Roth violins of the 1920s and early 1930s shared these defining characteristics of violin material quality. They also shared an oil-based varnish, usually of reddish-brown colour on a golden background, and featured masterful craftsmanship applied with meticulous care. Despite the quality of his work, the exceptional value of Ernst Heinrich Roth's master violins was long overshadowed by the major sales successes of his workshop, which he jointly founded with his cousin Gustav August Ficker in 1902. They quickly gained a foothold on the international market thanks to the broad range of quality and prices they offered. EH Roth's son Ernst Heinrich Roth II emigrated to the US in 1921 and became one of the leading instrument dealers in North America with his company, Scherl & Roth. His brother Gustav Albert Roth stayed in Germany, learned the art of violin making and took over the family business after their father died in 1948. The family fortune was expropriated in 1953, at which point they left Saxony in East Germany, the GDR, and re-established the business of “Ernst Heinrich Roth” in the Franconian town of Bubenreuth in West Germany. They were quickly able to return to the entrepreneurial successes they enjoyed before the war. Nowadays, a branch office in the Markneukirchen workshop represents the company where it first originated; business is managed by Ernst Heinrich III Roth and his son Wilhelm Roth, who were awarded the German musical instrument prize for their work in 1992 and 2009.

Related articles:

Bow maker and entrepreneur H. R. Pfretzschner

Hopf: a dynasty of Vogtland violin makers

Markneukirchen: violin making in “German Cremona”

How to select a violin: provenance, value and violin appraisal

Beares, J & A Beare: expertise in changing times

Contemporary violin makers - the modern artisan elite

Contemporary violin makers from China and Taiwan

Product categories:

Italian violins

Old violins

Violin bows


Old cellos

3/4 violins

Cello bows

Corilon violins · Lilienstrasse 2 · D-81669 Munich
Phone: +49 (0)89-444 19 619 · Fax: +49 (0)89-444 19 620 ·

New arrivals in our catalogue:
  • Violin from Saxony, Da Salo model
  • Vienna violin, approx. 1900
  • 3/4 - exceptional, strong sounding French 3/4 violin
  • Raffaello Bozzi, 1939: Italian violin (with a certificate from Cesare Magrini)
  • Powerful English violin by John K. Empsal 1909
  • Leo Aschauer, Mittenwald: excellent violin, 1963
  • French violin with a beautiful sound, approx. 1895
  • 1/4 - sized French J.T.L. violin, approx. 1900
  • 3/4 - outstanding Mittenwald 3/4 violin, circa 1870
  • 3/4 violin, built in Germany around 1950
  • Good German-Czech viola, approx. 1900
  • 1/2 - approx. 100 years old, 1/2 violin from Klingenthal
  • Markneukirchen master violin by August Hermann Braun
  • Outstanding Italian viola, Carlo Giudicci 1945
  • Strong, active violin bow, Germany c1950
  • Good Markneukirchen violin bow approx. 1950
  • Silver-mounted violin bow, Markneukirchen
  • German-Bohemian violin, patterend after Aegidius Klotz, approx. 1900
  • 3/4 - French 3/4 violin, J.T.L. "Grandini"
  • Good antique Czech/Bohemian violin
  • A good German violin bow, new
  • H. Derazey, late 19th century French violin
  • English violin bow, silver mounted, stamped Richardson
  • Lightweight German violin bow, approx. 1940