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Ludwig Neuner, German violin from Berlin and Mittenwald
Ludwig Neuner, German violin from Berlin and Mittenwald
Provenance: Berlin / Mittenwald
Maker: Ludwig Neuner
Length of back: 35.5 cm
Year: 1888
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Ludwig Neuner, German violin from Berlin and Mittenwald

This aesthetically splendid antique violin hails from the renowned Berlin branch of Ludwig Neuner’s Mittenwald atelier. As the co-owner of the internationally successful workshop Neuner & Hornsteiner, Ludwig Neuner was one of the leading figures in 19th century German violin making. Business interests were not the main motivation for him to establish a branch office in Berlin; instead, Neuner wanted to uphold the goal he set for himself of deliberately making violins “as an art expressed by crafting true replicas of Italian models” under his own name. Having spent many years working for Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume in Paris, he was able to draw upon not only his excellent artisanal training and significant experience; he also referred to plans and sketches that the great French luthier had given him. Another factor of note is that Neuner ranked amongst the master luthiers who personally underwent training as a professional musician. He studied cello under August-Joseph Franchomme, who was a friend of Mendelssohn and Chopin. Neuner’s high standards are evident in this 1888 violin; they can be seen in its elegant appearance as well as its outstanding acoustic and playing characteristics. Based on a Stradivarius, this superb instrument features premium tone woods whose quality is evident in the striking deep flames of the two-piece maple back. The lush coat of orange-reddish spirit oil varnish accentuates the eye-catchingly lovely grain of the wood, giving the violin a historic charm with its patina and charming crackling. Blackened edges call attention to the expressive carving of the scroll; they serve as a stylistic reference to the French school of violin making to which Ludwig Neuner was so indebted. The violin came to our studio for restoration in top condition and free of cracks, and it has now been thoroughly set up, with a minor repair to the wing of the soundhole. Its dominant, perfectly balanced sound will win musicians over. The instrument’s clear sweet voice has earned it our special recommendation, thanks to its melodious nature and its rich range of volume.

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