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Fine 1789 Violin by Franz Knitl, Freising - top
Fine 1789 Violin by Franz Knitl, Freising - top
Fine stringed instruments, violin by Franz Knitl - back
Fine stringed instruments, violin by Franz Knitl - back
Provenance: Freising
Maker: Franz Knitl
Length of back: 35.4 cm
Year: 1789
Tone: Bright, warm, sweet
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Fine 18th century violin by Franz Knitl, Freising, 1789 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)

This historic Freising instrument by Franz Knitl is a Bavarian violin with a remarkable sweet sound and it serves as a rare example of the way classic Mittenwald violin making shaped the art throughout the southwest German region. Franz Knitl, who was born presumably in Zirl around 1744, ranked amongst the masters who prioritised craftsmanship over artisanry and ultimately left Mittenwald in the Karwendel mountains when factories and the gradual industrialisation of violin making began to take hold. In Freising he became the successor to the highly esteemed Franz Michael Perger, who was strongly influenced by the Füssen school of violin making. Franz Knitl gradually advanced to become the court lyre maker and luthier of the prince-bishop. The elegant design of this violin that was made only two years before his death in 1791 bears witness to his true dedication to the Klotz tradition of Mittenwald and shows his great love of detail. The edges and the purfling are a perfect masterpiece of artisanal sensitivity, whilst the carving of the scroll confidently expresses the instrument's stylistic individuality. The small sound holes are common for the preferences of the Baroque period, the effect of which is still evident in the original neck, which was nailed on in keeping with the style of the day. The fact that the neck was not replaced at some point to reflect current practice can be interpreted as a sign of respect for this instrument and its maker. The beautiful fine patina of the orange-brown varnish against a golden-brown backdrop confirms the violin's advanced age. This rare instrument has been maintained in good condition, with a few solidly executed repairs which have no effect on the sound. It was set up with the greatest care by the restoration specialists in our atelier, and it is now ready to play. The violin's warm, bright sound is rich in timbre, features a gentle sweetness and a delicate, silvery complexity. The price includes a certificate from the famed Stuttgart expert Hieronymus Köstler.

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