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


Markneukirchen: violin making in “German Cremona”


Markneukirchen or German Cremona: introduction to the history of violin making in the Vogtland region, Saxony


His great sense of regional pride and healthy spirit of self-confidence are what inspired Markneukirchen violin maker Ludwig Gläsel jr. (1842-1931) from Markneukirchen in Saxony to print the words “German Cremona” on his violin labels. Ludwig Gläsel was, after all, one of the finest and most successful master craftsmen of his day from the Vogtland region, and he also made a name for himself with several publications about the history of making violins. As a member of a well-established and large Markneukirchen family of violin makers, he was certainly entitled to the brash pride that led him to rank the main village of the "Musikwinkel" region (the "musical corner" on the border between Saxony and Bohemia) alongside the legendary name of Cremona.


Or was his label perhaps intended as a sly wink? After all, during the approximately 350 years in which musical instruments were built in Markneukirchen, the town did not always enjoy an unblemished reputation. Around the mid-1700s, Carl Wilhelm Heber saw the need to put an additional label inside one of his Markneukirchen violins:


Viel falsches nachgemacht
Sich da and dort schleicht ein,
Drum sieh mein Petschaft an
Willst nicht betrogen seyn.
Many an impostor
Can sneak in here and there
Take heed you read my seal
Or buyer, please beware


Those who deal with old violins are all too familiar with these false labels that claim Italian provenance as well as famous – or at least famous-sounding – names. In the “Musicon Valley,” as Markneukirchen's region is sometimes now called, people understood what was popular and knew that time would tell. There are many Markneukirchen violins that reveal their Saxonian heritage only upon closer examination by the trained eye.The people of Markneukirchen have more than enough reason to be proud of their violin making tradition, however. The history of building violins in the Vogtland region began in the mid-16th century, and as was the case in the neighbouring town of Klingenthal, Protestant émigrés from nearby Kraslice (Graslitz) in Bohemia brought their art to Markneukirchen, and with it arose an important new branch of industry ...



Related articles:

Markneukirchen: violin making at the crossroads of craftsmanship and trade

Noteworthy families of Markneukirchen violin makers

Hopf: a dynasty of Vogtland violin makers

The bow makers of Markneukirchen

H. R. Pfretzschner, bow maker and entrepreneur

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Mirecourt's new masters: contemporary violin makers in Mirecourt

Stradivari's heirs: contemporary violin makers in Cremona

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Contemporary violin makers from China and Taiwan

New arrivals in our catalogue
  • Antique Mittenwald violin, Neuner & Hornsteiner, approx. 1900
  • 19th century Mittenwald violin, made approx. 1880
  • Old German violin. Made in Markneukirchen/Saxony, classical model, approx. 1920
  • Modern Italian violin of the Pollastri-school: Bruno Piastri, 1993
  • Old, c.1920 German violin from Markneukirchen - warm, bright sound
  • Antique, silver mounted viola bow. Fine German work, c.1910
  • Markneukirchen violin bow. Made approx. 1940, strong, warm, tone
  • Fine French violin No 283 by Gustave Villaume, Nancy 1931
  • Fine soloist violin by Nicolò Gagliano, 1762 (certificate J. & A. Beare)
  • German violin from Mittenwald, Guarnerius model, 1930'ies
  • Fine violin bow. Silver mounted master violin bow, 1920's
  • French violin bow. Marc Laberte, silver mounted
  • Fine cello bow. Joseph Alfred Lamy père, Paris
  • Fine French 3/4 cello bow by Louis Bazin
  • Modern Italian viola, Stefano Conia, Cremona 1985 (certificate Stefano Conia)
  • Master viola No. 19, Klaus Schlegel. Erlbach / Markneukirchen 1988
  • Contemporary Italian violin of the Otello Bignami school: Gianni Norcia, Bologna
  • Fine quality Markneukirchen violin bow. Knopf workshop, c.1880
  • Modern Italian violin. Giorgio Grisales, Cremona, 1993 (certificate Giorgio Grisales)
  • 3/4 - Fine French 3/4 violin, approx. 1910
  • Ernst Heinrich Roth concert violin, Bubenreuth, 1965
  • SALE / Master violin from Bubenreuth. Violin maker Bernd Dimbarth No. 64
  • Modern violin by Beare & Son. Beijing 1995
  • German Violin by Braun & Hauser München. Approximately 1900