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Ludwig Otto, Cologne, violin 1854 - top
Ludwig Otto, Cologne, violin 1854 - top
Provenance: Köln
Maker: Ludwig Otto
Length of back: 35.2 cm
Year: 1854
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Ludwig Otto violin, Cologne, 1854 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)

Willibald Leo Freiherr von Lütgendorff, the eminent scholar in the field of German violin making, was reminded of the classic works of the great French master Jean Baptiste Vuillaume upon seeing the instruments of Ludwig Otto, a luthier from Cologne. This fine violin, which Ludwig Otto crafted in 1854 and which still bears the original label, makes clear why von Lütgendorff linked the two master craftsmen. Ludwig Otto hailed from a family of luthiers in the German province of Thuringia and learned his art from his father, Georg August Gottfried Otto, who served as the court instrument maker in the Grand Duchy of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach. After a brief initial phase as an independent master in Erfurt, Ludwig Otto moved to Cologne, and this violin ranks amongst the first pieces he produced in his new atelier. Von Lütgendorff made special mention of Otto's varnishing technique, and the instrument's thick coat of deep red oil varnish is worthy of distinctive praise. The appealing patina gives the varnish a historic character without detracting any of the luminous intensity of the violin's fine spruce top and exceptionally beautiful flames of the one-piece maple back. The narrow peg box and expressive scroll with blackened edges reflect the influence of the French style, an influence which graces this masterpiece with an additional note of self-confidence. This Ludwig Otto violin is now ready to play and has been preserved in premium condition. It was meticulously set up by the professionals at our restoration atelier. With its interesting provenance, we warmly recommend this instrument which stands out because of its powerful, large, mature sound. A certificate of authenticity was issued by the famous Stuttgart-based expert Hieronymus Köstler.

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