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Violin by Christian Friedrich Meinel - table
Violin by Christian Friedrich Meinel - table
Christian Friedrich Meinel, master violin - back
Christian Friedrich Meinel, master violin - back
Provenance: Markneukirchen
Maker: Christian Friedrich Meinel
Length of back: 35.5 cm
Year: approx. 1760
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Christian Friedrich Meinel, master violin from the Vogtland region, circa 1760

An outstandingly preserved instrument in keeping with the historic Klingenthal tradition of violin making, this antique violin by Christian Friedrich Meinel represents a chapter of Saxony’s musical history – especially since it was most recently owned by a concertmaster of the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, and we received it from his estate. Little is known about the life of Christian Friedrich Meinel other than the fact that he was accepted into the guild of Markneukirchen luthiers upon marrying Anna Rosina Schönfelder – a biographical detail which also casts light on how 18th century violin makers in the Vogtland region lived. Their marriage not only opened a door that allowed the son of a shingle maker to make a new living, it also brought important craftsman abilities to the workshop of of luthier Johann Martin Schönfelder. Anna, his daughter, was skilled in the art of varnishing instruments, and it is very likely that the luminous golden-brown varnish of this instrument is her work: it shows natural traces of over two hundred years of intense musical use and an undiminished radiance that highlights the quality of the tone woods Christian Friedrich Meinel selected and crafted with his confident instincts about the violin’s sound and aesthetic. It was unmistakably influenced by the region's classic design, which was based on the work done by the Hopf dynasty of luthiers. The tight delicate flames of the one-piece maple back harmonise perfectly with the striking contours of the inimitable Hopf template, which has a comparatively flat table here. The wide and accurately crafted purfling completes the distinctive appearance of the violin, which Meinel marked with his stamp C * F * M * below the button. The unusually well-preserved condition of this rare specimen of musical history is the reason it has maintained its excellent sound since it was first crafted in the 1760s and has aged into an exquisite maturity. Its very good response carries the warmth of its resonant voice across all registers. Power and brilliant clarity in the higher registers allows musicians to play highly differentiated and atmospherically rich interpretations in which the flute-like and somewhat sweet character of its voice creates entrancing nuances. Warmly recommended to sophisticated musicians, the violin is now ready to play after having been carefully set up at our workshop.

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