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

corilon violins

“The finest approach to handling wood”: Hieronymus Köstler

Notes on Hieronymus Köstler, expert for old stringed instruments, restorer and luthier, in Stuttgart, Germany

One of the top addresses in the world of historic instruments is the Stuttgart atelier of Hieronymus Köstler, where valuable violin-making masterpieces have been restored, appraised and traded since 1982. Below is a brief portrait of the Stuttgart expert for historic stringed instruments. At the tender age of 16, Hieronymus Köstler left his home town of Munich to study at the highly acclaimed Violin-Making School of Mittenwald and to learn, as he put it, “no doubt the finest approach to handling wood.” After completing his training as the youngest of his class, he took up his trade and diligiently applied himself to becoming a master in restoring historic stringed instruments. Two years later he had become a journeyman under Max Möller in Amsterdam, and following that he took the plunge and went to London, one of the foremost cities for trading historic instruments. There he spent four years at the famous atelier of J. & A. Beare Ltd.

Upon returning to Stuttgart, Hieronymus Köstler found the ideal environment for opening his own business. A mere four years after his studio was founded, there were ten journeymen in his employ, and he made his way into the small and exclusive circle of internationally renowned experts in restoring and appraising older stringed instruments. Köstler's appraisals enjoy the utmost confidence among musicians, collectors, merchants and investors around the world. It is obvious that violin expert Hieronymus Köstler's work as an appraiser is enhanced by the specialist knowledge and practical experience he gained as a violin maker and restorer. But the inverse is true as well: his finely-honed sensitivity as an expert informs the hands-on work he does on instruments. One of his guiding principles is not to allow the original to be altered by the restoration. If original wood is present, none of it should be removed: this means that any corrective procedure can be reversed if it turns out not to be ideal. Such strict and carefully considered standards have not only benefited the valuable historic instruments that are restored in Hieronymus Köstler's atelier – they also serve the many journeymen well who perfect their craft there.

Hieronymus Köstler · Hohenzollernstraße 16 · 70178 Stuttgart · GERMANY
Phone: +49 711 601 602

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New arrivals in our catalogue
  • 19th century: Antique French Mirecourt violin, Pailliot, approx. 1820
  • French master violin No. 89, Paul Beuscher, "special cremone", 1937
  • 3/4 - Fine French 3/4 violin, approx. 1910
  • WORKED OVER AND OPTIMIZED: Old French violin with a soloist tone, atelier Georges Coné, Lyon 1928
  • Excellent French violin, Collin-Mézin (fils), 1947, "Le Victorieux", No. 120
  • Magnificent French solist violin, François Caussin, Neufchateau approx. 1850 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)
  • French violin No. 73, Chenantais & Le Lyonnais, Nantes, 1933
  • Fine 19th century Klingenthal master violin - warm, sweet, aged tone
  • H. Emile Blondelet workshop, old French violin, 1933  (Emile Blondelet)
  • Old, handmade Mittenwald orchestral violin, 1960's
  • Silver mounted Cello bow, Swiss Finkel workshop
  • French Ary cello bow, Mirecourt approx. 1980
  • French cello bow, Ary France - superior quality
  • Fine and powerful French violin bow, Marie Louis Piernot, Paris (certificate J. F. Raffin)
  • Fine French violin bow by Charles Nicolas Bazin (certificate J.F. Raffin)
  • Cremonese master violin, Piergiuseppe Esposti, 1998 (certificate Piergiuseppe Esposti)
  • Historically interesting French violin, by René Bazin, Lille 1936
  • Contemporary Italian violin, Gianni Norcia, Bologna
  • Franco Albanelli, 1991: A fine contemporary Italian violin (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)
  • Fine Mittenwald master violin, c.1740, Sebastian Klotz circle
  • Luigi Galimberti, fine Italian violin, Milano 1925 (certificate Eric Blot)
  • Fine French cello bow, Louis Gillet (certificate J.F. Raffin)
  • Fine 18th century Mittenwald violin, petite and elegant, approx. 1780
  • WORKED OVER AND OPTIMIZED: Contemporary Italian master violin, Virgilio Cremonini, 2012