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Amati violin by Karl Höfner, approx 1920
Amati violin by Karl Höfner, approx 1920
Amati violin, KH Schutzmarke
Amati violin, KH Schutzmarke
Provenance: Schönbach
Maker: Karl Höfner
Length of back: 35.7 cm
Year: approx. 1920
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Amati violin by Karl Höfner

This well-preserved Czech violin was crafted in 1920 at the ateliers of the Schönbach-based violin maker Karl Höfner (1864-1955), who in his day became one of the leading export companies for stringed and plucked instruments of all kinds. The original label with the logo “KH Schutzmarke [trademark] Made in Czechoslovakia” on the inside of the instrument is a reflection of this impressive success which continued even after the Höfners were forced out of the Sudetenland into exile. In 1947 they re-founded their company in Möhrendorf near Erlangen, and in 1951 they moved it to Bubenreuth, where it remains to this day. The violin here is a great example of the flawless quality of Höfner instruments, a trait that accounted for the rapid ascent of the ateliers. The instrument is a successful replica of a Amati, whose distinctive style with vertically aligned sound holes is well executed. A dark blackish-brown varnish covers the mildly flamed sycamore maple of the back and the medium grained spruce of the top. Beautifully rounded edges and meticulous purfling round out the historic character of this perfectly preserved old stringed instrument of the good quality craftsmanship. This Bohemian replica of an Amati violin has a voice that is bright, clear and rich in overtone— a tribute to its predecessors.

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