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Philipp Keller, master violin, circa 1910 - top
Philipp Keller, master violin, circa 1910 - top
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Provenance: Würzburg
Maker: Philipp Keller
Length of back: 36.0 cm
Year: approx. 1900
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Philipp Keller, Würzburg violin approx. 1900

This antique German violin was made in one of the most noteworthy ateliers in southern Germany: it was made around 1900 in the workshop of Philipp Keller in Würzburg. Phillipp Keller is one of the luthiers who found his way to the craft because of his love of music, and his work benefited further from his additional qualifications as a musician. He discovered his interest in violin making whilst still a cello student at the conservatory in Würzburg, and he learned the fundamentals of the art from Friedrich Meindl in passing. Later on as a professional cellist, he began gaining experience in repairs by working on the instruments of his colleagues in the orchestra, and he continued to pursue his training through intense reading and holding discussions with important master luthiers of his day. In 1896, he took over Friedrich Meindl's atelier, and in 1902 he also acquired the estate of Karl Adam Hörlein, one of the more influential and innovative figures in southern German violin making. This particular violin clearly demonstrates that the unconventional path Keller took to his ultimate profession helped him mature into an excellent master with a distinctive style. The well-formed upper and lower bout and narrowly positioned sound holes are hallmarks of Philipp Keller's model, which reflects the influence of the Mittenwald school. Clean craftsmanship can be seen in the table of beautiful evenly-grained spruce and the two-piece back of maple, both of which are good quality tone woods complemented by a thin coat of an orange-brown varnish. The original label on the inside of the body confirms the violin's provenance from this highly regarded studio. Our specialists have now set it up completely and made it ready to play. It is an unblemished and magnificently preserved piece of violin-making history, and the mature note of its warm, dark voice full of character will win you over.

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