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“The finest approach to handling wood”: Hieronymus Köstler

Notes on Hieronymus Köstler, expert for old stringed instruments, restorer and luthier, in Stuttgart, Germany


One of the top addresses in the world of historic instruments is the Stuttgart atelier of Hieronymus Köstler, where valuable violin-making masterpieces have been restored, appraised and traded since 1982. Below is a brief portrait of the Stuttgart expert for historic stringed instruments.

At the tender age of 16, Hieronymus Köstler left his home town of Munich to study at the highly acclaimed Violin-Making School of Mittenwald and to learn, as he put it, “no doubt the finest approach to handling wood.” After completing his training as the youngest of his class, he took up his trade and diligiently applied himself to becoming a master in restoring historic stringed instruments. Two years later he had become a journeyman under Max Möller in Amsterdam, and following that he took the plunge and went to London, one of the foremost cities for trading historic instruments. There he spent four years at the famous atelier of J. & A. Beare Ltd.

Upon returning to Stuttgart, Hieronymus Köstler found the ideal environment for opening his own business. A mere four years after his studio was founded, there were ten journeymen in his employ, and he made his way into the small and exclusive circle of internationally renowned experts in restoring and appraising older stringed instruments. Köstler's appraisals enjoy the utmost confidence among musicians, collectors, merchants and investors around the world.

It is obvious that violin expert Hieronymus Köstler's work as an appraiser is enhanced by the specialist knowledge and practical experience he gained as a violin maker and restorer. But the inverse is true as well: his finely-honed sensitivity as an expert informs the hands-on work he does on instruments. One of his guiding principles is not to allow the original to be altered by the restoration. If original wood is present, none of it should be removed: this means that any corrective procedure can be reversed if it turns out not to be ideal. Such strict and carefully considered standards have not only benefited the valuable historic instruments that are restored in Hieronymus Köstler's atelier – they also serve the many journeymen well who perfect their craft there.


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Corilon violins · Lilienstrasse 2 · D-81669 Munich
Phone: +49 (0)89-444 19 619 · Fax: +49 (0)89-444 19 620
mail@corilon.com · www.corilon.com

New arrivals in our catalogue:
  • Old French violin from Mirecourt, 1920's
  • Albert August Heberlein jun., Markneukirchen violin
  • Mittenwald violin, Thomas Fürst, approx. 1900
  • Antique German violin after Stradivari
  • Antique French violin, turn of century
  • Markneukirchen viola, Schuster & Co.
  • Jean-Joseph Honoré Derazey: French violin (Hieronymus Köstler)
  • German student violin
  • Mittenwald violin, probably Josef Bitterer workshop
  • 1/2 - rare French violin by Mansuy
  • Mittenwald violin after Guarneri
  • Petite Central Italian violin, late 18th century
  • Excellent quality violin bow, lightweight, Markneukirchen
  • Fine English violin bow, lightweight, silver mounted
  • Dutch bass viol (viola da gamba) by Th. Dellen, Voorburg
  • Professional electric violin (silent violin): Wolfgang Löffler's "e-Strings"
  • German master violin bow, 19th century
  • 19th century French soloist violin after JB Vuillaume
  • Justin Maucotel: A splendid French violin
  • 3/4 - German violin, for Friedrich Herpel
  • Fine Stradivarius copy, Wilhelm Ficker, Markneukirchen
  • Marcus Klimke, contemporary elite master viola
  • Modern Italian violin, Dante Ottani, Padova
  • Cremonese violin, Aude B. Valentini