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Historical violin by Johann Georg Leeb, Preßburg, 1786 - violin top
Historical violin by Johann Georg Leeb, Preßburg, 1786 - violin top
Historical violin by Johann Georg Leeb, Preßburg, 1786 - violin back
Historical violin by Johann Georg Leeb, Preßburg, 1786 - violin back
Historical violin by Johann Georg Leeb, Preßburg, 1786 - violin ribs
Historical violin by Johann Georg Leeb, Preßburg, 1786 - violin ribs
Historical violin by Johann Georg Leeb, Preßburg, 1786 - violin scroll
Historical violin by Johann Georg Leeb, Preßburg, 1786 - violin scroll
Provenance: Preßburg
Maker: Johann Georg Leeb
Length of back: 35.7 cm
Year: 1786
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Interesting historical violin by Johann Georg Leeb, Preßburg, 1786 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)

This historical master violin by Johann Georg Leeb is an unusually well-preserved instrument and offers a rare glance at the musical culture of the Habsburg dynasty in the late 18th century. It was crafted in 1786 in Pressburg (now Bratislava), the city in which Empress Maria Theresa was crowned; Johann Georg Leeb had become a citizen a few years before that. It appears that life in the largest city of the Kingdom of Hungary and the dynamic cultural scene there provided ideal working conditions for Johann Georg Leeb who is recognised as one of the best Hungarian masters of his day, as is confirmed by this violin with its mature, masterful craftsmanship and its singular radiance. The outstanding properties of the tone woods reflect that Johann Georg Leeb worked for a demanding clientele in Pressburg. Greater emphasis was placed on musical quality than on visual aesthetics, since the spruce of the top and the very gentle flames of the two-piece maple back forego any spectacular optical effects. The expressive carving of the scroll – a distinctive feature of many Leeb instruments – is the only more pronounced stylistic accent. The magnificent antique character of the instrument is now shaped by the contrast between the heavily darkened reddish-brown varnish and the lighter yellow base coat. As one of the leading Austrian luthiers of his day, Johann Georg Leeb had a self-confident way of honouring the great traditions of Stainer, Amati and the Füssen School. Many traces of use indicate that several generations of outstanding musicians found a dependable partner in this instrument with its distinctive model and flat table. Given the advanced age of this intensely played violin, it is no wonder that a repair was made to the top, and it was so solidly executed that the sound has not been affected in any way. The colorful voice of this violin is compelling in its mature warmth, singing radiance in the upper registers and unusual clarity in its lower registers – an 18th century tone which speaks for itself. After having been thoroughly set up at our workshop, it is now ready to play. The price includes a certificate of authenticity by Stuttgart expert Hieronymus Köstler.

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