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Michael Reindl, petite Mittenwald master violin, 1935
This Mittenwald violin is a petite master instrument crafted by luthier Michael Reindl, and with its expressive aesthetic and outstanding musical properties, it represents the early pieces from his workshop. After his apprenticeship, Reindl served as a journeyman for two years under Georg Winterling, who himself had only recently established a highly esteemed workshop after having spent thirty illustrious years in Hamburg. At the end of this period, Michael Reindl returned to Mittenwald and used the artisanry he refined under Winterling’s guidance, not only to produce his own work, but to influence how luthiers were trained at the violin making school in his home town, where he taught for seven years. Seen in the context of his biography, the exquisite craftsmanship of this violin is no surprise whatsoever, and its authenticity is confirmed by the original label and the brand mark of its creator. The delicate carving of the scroll, the extremely fine purfling and the unusually beautiful carving of the sound holes demonstrate the mature and confident craftsmanship of a master who made over 500 instruments in the course of his relatively brief creative period. The moderately grained spruce of the top and interestingly flamed maple of the two-piece back are sophisticated tone woods whose quality Michael Reindl dramatically emphasized with his choice of a transparent, luminous golden-orange varnish. The violin made its way to us in undamaged condition and was set up and made ready to play at our workshop. A compelling instrument, it is somewhat smaller (measuring 35.0 cm along the back) and features a nuanced and surprisingly powerful sound with excellent resonance and a bright character with sweetness in the upper registers.
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