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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
  • Old Italian violin, Officina Claudio Monteverde, Cremona 1921
  • Couesnon, antique French Mirecourt violin, Mirecourt approx. 1910
  • Charles Claudot "Le Marquis de lair", antique French violin, approx. 1850
  • Antique Hopf violin of Klingenthal, approx. 1840
  • WORKED OVER; SOUND SAMPLE: 18th century Markneukirchen viola, c.1780
  • WORKED OVER; NEW SOUND SAMPLE: Fine contemporary master violin, Wolfgang Schiele, Munich
  • Modern Italian viola, Stefano Conia, Cremona 1985 (certificate Stefano Conia)
  • WORKED OVER; NEW SOUND SAMPLE: French master violin No. 34 by Paul Hilaire, 1950
  • French "Rugginelli" violin, sold by Beare & Son, 1902
  • 3/4 - Fine French 3/4 violin, approx. 1910
  • Excellent French violin, Collin-Mézin (fils), 1947, "Le Victorieux", No. 120
  • Charles Nicolas Bazin: fine silver mounted violin bow, c.1885, after Lupot - noble, classy tone
  • Contemporary Italian violin, Gianni Norcia, Bologna
  • Giulio Cesare Gigli, fine 18th century Italian violin, approx. 1760 (certificate Etienne Vatelot)
  • TONALLY IMPROVED: Good Schönbach viola, Ferdinand Fischer, 1935
  • Cremonese master violin, Piergiuseppe Esposti, 1998 (certificate Piergiuseppe Esposti)
  • Fine Markneukirchen viola, Johann Christian Voigt II, 18th century
  • Modern Mittenwald viola, Matthias Klotz 1982
  • Fine Italian viola by Marcello Martinenghi, 1949 (certificate Eric Blot)
  • 1/2 - antique 19th century French 1/2 violin, c.1870
  • WORKED OVER AND TONALLY IMPROVED: Ernst Heinrich Roth, Markneukirchen, fine 1922 violin - Guarnerius model
  • Fine 18th century Mittenwald violin, petite and elegant, approx. 1780
  • Old Mittenwald violin, Josef Rieger, 1927
  • Ernst Heinrich Roth, old Bubenreuth violin from 1955, certificate