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More detailed information about stringed instruments and the history of violin making.
Julius Vahlefeld, 1904 violin
This excellent German violin ranks amongst the most interesting instruments we have discovered in recent months. And it comes as a surprise that its luthier, Julius Vahlefeld, is largely unknown, given the exceptionally good quality of the violin's craftsmanship, its sound and its playing characteristics. Vahlefeld earned a living as a teacher in his hometown of Halver in Westphalia. As a result, he only crafted a little over 100 instruments, but he can be considered an especially passionate luthier who took great delight in experimentation. The outcome of his efforts to enhance classic Italian models using contemporary methods was documented in his 1944 book “Der Bau erstklassiger Meistergeigen” (Crafting excellent master violins), and this particular instrument is an eloquent testimony to his flawless craftsman skill and meticulous approach. The rather broad violin has a low table, and its outstanding quality is clearly evident in the way the purfling was executed with extreme precision as well as in the deep carving of the scroll. The deep flames of the maple on the one-piece back and the top-quality spruce of the top are well-chosen tone woods coated with a thick layer of orange-brown oil varnish. Vahlefeld's dated original label and an additional brand mark on the lower rib confirm the violin's provenance. We received it in undamaged condition and with some vivid traces of use which imply that there were experienced musicians amongst its previous owners. This would be no surprise in light of the violin's unusually large, radiant, bright and expressive sound which gives demanding soloists a broad palette of multi-facetted interpretations. This rare masterpiece of an instrument is now ready to play after a great deal of care was invested in setting it up at our restoration atelier.
Provenance: Halver, Westphalia
Maker: Julius Vahlefeld
Length of back: 36,0 cm
Tone: Bright, large, radiant