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


corilon violins

The second phase: the more recent history of violin making in western Bohemia


Driving the Sudeten Germans out of Schönbach and Graslitz: A déjà-vu of violin-making history


The Great Depression did major damage to the export-orientated production of musical instruments, and then the National Socialists' policy of autarky exacerbated the situation further. In 1939, orders were given to found an “association of Vogtland and Sudeten German makers of stringed instruments” — a mandatory consortium which represented the region's final cross-border enterprise before WWII ended the 200 or so years of Bohemian-Saxonian violin-making history. After the war, some 12,000 Germans were expelled from the region and, in a kind of historical déjà-vu, they took their art with them.


As was the case during the Counter-Reformation, this wave of deportations led to the development of a new centre of musical-instrument production. After attempts to create a joint settlement in Mittenwald failed due to the heated resistance of local violin makers, the majority of the people in Schönbach then found a new home in Bubenreuth in 1949. They turned the Franconian village into a rapidly blossoming musical venue; soon other former masters and merchants from Markneukirchen relocated there as well because they no longer had entrepreneurial horizons in the German Democratic Republic.


Schönbach, which was known as Luby from then on, remained a city of instrument building despite this second round of figurative blood-letting. It developed independently of Markneukirchen; the historical link across the border had dissolved. The few German violinmakers who had remained in Luby were joined by specialists from other towns in Czechoslovakia. They primarily worked for the production cooperative “Cremona,” which formed the basis for “Strunal AG” after the Velvet Revolution. Some of today's violinmakers in Luby attribute the city's new name to “luba,” the Czech word for the rib of a violin. And with its turbulent history, why should Luby not be a city – perhaps the only one – in which violin making is quite literally part of the name?


Recommended reading (in German): Kurt Kauert, Vogtländisch-westböhmischer Geigenbau in fünf Jahrhunderten. Entstehung – Standorte – Strukturen. Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 2006. 156 pages, multiple images. ISBN 978-3-86530-079-9.


New arrivals in our catalogue
  • Modern Mittenwald viola, Matthias Klotz 1982
  • 3/4 - Antique French Médio-Fino 3/4 violin, approx. 1870
  • Fine H. R. Pfretzschner violin bow, c.1910
  • Fine German master bow
  • Powerful German violin bow by H.R. Pfretzschner
  • Ernst Heinrich Roth, old Bubenreuth violin from 1955, certificate
  • Modern Italian violin, Luigi Agostinelli, 1953
  • Old Czech violin after Niccolo Amati, c.1900
  • Recommendable antique Markneukirchen violin with a dark, brilliant sound
  • 7/8 - "Lady's violin", 7/8 violin, by Schuster & Co., c.1910
  • Old, 1940's Saxon violin, Markneukirchen, warm tones
  • Modern French soloist viola, Jacques Camurat, Paris 1958
  • French violin bow, atelier Charles Louis Bazin (certificate J.F. Raffin)
  • 3/4 - antique French 3/4 violin, Breton model
  • Silver-mounted violin bow, for K. van der Meer Amsterdam
  • Fine Markneukirchen violin bow after Sartory, sweet, sophisticated tone
  • Markneukirchen violin bow, bright, clear sound, lightweight
  • 3/4 - German 3/4 violin bow, approx. 1950
  • Antique Klingenthal violin, approx. 1850
  • Antique German violin by Wolff brothers, Kreuznach, 1905
  • Fine English violin, 19th century, soloist sound
  • Contemporary English master violin, Victor Unsworth, "Ysaye" Guarneri
  • 7/8 - Italian 7/8 violin, Carlo Melloni, Bologna 1932 (certificate Eric Blot)
  • 7/8 - Michael Reindl, Mittenwald 7/8 master violin, 1935