Search:
corilon violins

Search

Instrument finder

What kind of sound are you
looking for?
You can select one or more search fields and combine them however you like.

Instruments
Provenance
Year
Tone

Information archive

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

Enter archive

corilon violins

The bow makers of Markneukirchen: Knopf, Pfretzschner, Rau


Markneukirchen bow makers and the origins of violin bow making in Germany


As the art of building stringed instruments flourished in Markneukirchen, it had several effects which not only included in a greater division of labour in violin making. In addition, related businesses evolved: manufacturers began producing strings, and bow makers opened studios which rank among the oldest and most important in Germany. Despite the fact that efforts to establish a separate guild of Markneukirchen bow makers failed in 1790 due to opposition from the violin makers' guild, this nevertheless reflects that manufacturing fine bows for stringed instruments had become its own distinct tradition in Markneukirchen.


strong>KnopfOne of the first to make bows in Germany was bow maker Christian Wilhelm Knopf (1767-1837), the pater familias of a large line of bow makers. As a brilliant master and the inventor of the metal eyelet for the frog, he continued the tradition of the European pioneers of bow makers, John Dodd (1752-1839) and François Xavier Tourte (1747–1835). C. W. Knopf's descendants went on to make names for themselves far beyond the Vogtland region; here special mention should be made of Heinrich "Henry" Knopf (*1860) and J. Wilhelm Knopf (b. 1835), whose contemporaries regarded him as the country's finest bow maker.

Knopf master violin bow

Master violin bow, Knopf, 19th century

Provenance: Markneukirchen
Maker: Knopf family
Weight: 56.5 g
Year: approx. 1890
Price: 3.000,00 €

August Rau: violin bow, Markneukirchen

Silver mounted violin bow by August Rau

Inventory No.: B215
Provenance: Markneukirchen
Maker: August Rau
Weight: 60.8 g
Year: 1910 circa

Pfretzschner: Markneukirchen bow maker Hermann Richard Pfretzschner (1857–1921), son of an important Markneukirchen family of violin makers and merchants, attained international acclaim: the last major student of J. B. Vuillaume was the pioneer of French bow making standards in Germany.


Markneukirchen bow maker August Rau (b. 1866) produced outstanding violin and cello bows which can hold their own in comparisons to French masterpieces. After his apprenticeship in Markneukirchen, August Rau studied under Wilhelm Knopf and A. R. Weichold in Dresden before returning to his hometown to open his own workshop. August Rau used his excellent craftsmanship to craft pernambuco wood into both light and heavy bows.



Related articles in our information archive:

On the history of the violin bow

Ludwig Bausch: the "German Tourte"

Hopf: a dynasty of Vogtland violin makers

Fine violins of Germany and other countries

New arrivals in our catalogue:
  • French viola bow stamped "N. Audinot", J. Thibouville-Lamy (certificate J. F. Raffin)
  • Excellent 19th century German violin bow by Bausch
  • German lightweight violin bow with a "Salingre" stamp, soft
  • Charming antique French violin after Antonio Stradivari
  • 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
  • Old Mittenwald violin, Josef Rieger, 1927
  • Markneukirchen viola bow, silver mounted, Arnold Stoess
  • Contemporary German soloist violin, Bernhard Gerstner, Ulm 1995
  • Fine 18th century violin, Franz Knitl, Freising, 1769
  • Excellent French violin, Collin-Mézin (fils), 1945, No. 845
  • Fernando Montavoci, rare 1936 Italian violin
  • Old, Mittenwald orchestra violin with a dark, clear tone, 1950's
  • Old, 1920's Saxon violin, Markneukirchen, bright tones
  • Mario Bedocchi, fine Italian viola (certificate by Eric Blot)
  • Aldo Zani, fine contemporary Italian viola
  • Fine Italian viola, Umberto Lanaro, Padova (certificate Robert Bein)
  • François Fent, a fine historic French viola of the late 18th century
  • 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