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corilon violins

“The finest approach to handling wood”: Hieronymus Köstler

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


Hieronymus Köstler · Hohenzollernstraße 16 · 70178 Stuttgart · GERMANY
Phone: +49 711 601 602

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:
  • RENTAL ONLY: Giuseppe Pedrazzini, fine Italian violin (certificate J. & A. Beare)
  • Mittenwald lion head violin, 19th century
  • Brilliant toned Markneukirchen violin
  • Good English Cello, made around 1950
  • French J.T.L. violin, c.1920 "Vercruysse et Dhondt"
  • 3/4 - Outstanding French 3/4 master violin by Augustin Claudot
  • Fine 3/4 sized violin by Georg Tiefenbrunner
  • 7/8 - Italian 7/8 violin, Carlo Melloni, 1932 (certificate Eric Blot)
  • 19th century German violin bow, a soft player
  • Interesting modern Italian violin, probably Luigi Mozzani, 1941
  • Historic master violin, late 18th century, Prague School
  • German violin bow, mellow sound, silver mounted
  • Old German violin, approx. 1930
  • Good Markneukirchen violin bow, approx. 1930
  • Antique French violin, turn of century
  • German-Czech viola, approx. 1920
  • Powerful H. R. Pfretzschner violin bow, silver mounted
  • Fine master violin bow by Hermann Richard Pfretzschner
  • 7/8 - Petite Italian Neapolitan violin (certificate H. Köstler)
  • 18th century Italian violin, probably Padova, for large-handed players
  • Max König, Munich, rare violin dated 1907
  • 3/4 - sized French violin, J.T.L. Compagnon
  • Modern English violin, copy Fratelli Melegari 1993
  • Large German violin after Guarnerius, bright, brilliant toned