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Lion's-head violin, Mittenwald - top view
Lion's-head violin, Mittenwald - top view
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Provenance: Mittenwald
Maker: Unknown
Length of back: 35.0 cm
Year: 1880 circa
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Lion's-head violin from Mittenwald, late 19th century

This historic Mittenwald violin is a highly arched Mittenwald piece from the late 19th century: it was made around 1880 and crowned with a beautiful lion's head in the style of Martin Kriner. This typical woodcarving stands out strongly from the many variations on this ornamentation that was so popular during the time, a fashion which primarily originated in the Saxonian region in a more stylized and much simpler form. The eyes, eyebrows and tongue on this lion, however, were carved in good detail, reflecting the influence of the rich woodcarving tradition of the Alpine region, a part of the world known for its beautiful Christmas crèches and figures of saints. The typical Mittenwald varnish is an intensive, yellow-brown that darkened dramatically over time and developed a wonderful patina. The small and elegantly curved sound holes round out the historical aesthetic of this instrument. Our luthier has set up this old stringed instrument and made it ready to play; it has an repair on the wing of the sound hole and is in very good condition. A powerful testament to the Mittenwald provenance of this lion's-head violin is its bright, silvery sound that features beautiful resonance.

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