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Max Hugo Reichel, 7/8 master violin, Markneukirchen - top
Max Hugo Reichel, 7/8 master violin, Markneukirchen - top
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Provenance: Markneukirchen
Maker: Max Hugo Reichel
Length of back: 34.9 cm
Year: 1900 circa
Tone: bright, warm, open
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7/8 master violin by Max Hugo Reichel

Markneukirchen-based violin maker Max Hugo Reichel crafted this master 7/8th-sized instrument around 1900. Reichel was highly sought after as a repairer, which makes it all the more remarkable that a violin of such unusual dimensions ranks among the few instruments he produced himself. Not only is the size of this “ladies' violin” rare, as 7/8th-sized instruments are also called, but its style is quite distinctive as well: wide-set sound holes, a one-piece back featuring a fascinating grain that defies all symmetry, and a thickly applied layer of golden-orange oil varnish that is both transparent and luminous. These features make the violin eye-catching in its unconventional loveliness, as do the finely crafted purfling and the small, elegant scroll. It almost appears as if Reichel wanted to create a single work of exceptional creativity and quality that combined all of the skills and masterful craftsmanship he otherwise quietly applied towards the many violins he repaired during his lifetime. A few traces of use and the light patina which the violin developed over the course of more than 100 years beautifully complement the historic nature of its aesthetic. The sound is full of character which unfolds with great nuance because of the violin's excellent condition, thoroughly looked over by our luthier, who made it ready to play: A bright, warm and open voice, with a good balance across all of the strings.

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