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violin by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
violin by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
violin by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
violin back by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
violin back by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
violin ribs by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
violin ribs by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
violin scroll by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
violin scroll by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789
Inventory No.: 5378
Provenance: Pest
Maker: Joseph Michael Gschiell
Length of back: 35.7 cm
Year: 1789
Tone: warm, large

Rare violin by Joseph Michael Gschiell, Pest, Hungary 1789

This historic violin ranks amongst the rare testaments to the flourishing musical culture in the capital city of the Hungarian kingdom, which underwent a breathtaking renaissance in the late 18th century. As the centre of the Habsburgian administration, Pest (which was later merged with its neighbour Buda to create the city of Budapest) was one of the most rapidly growing cities of its era, and luthiers such as Joseph Michael Gschiell found ideal conditions for their work amidst the multi-facetted musical life of the metropolis. The interest in new instruments and the need for luthiers was great, due to high demand from churches and cloisters, countless members of nobility with aspirations, and last but not least the city itself, all of whom supported the work of musicians and ensembles of all kinds. This violin also reflects an intriguing musical existence marked by intense use: Gschiell’s original label was removed during a repair and then put back in place; a visible repair to a back joint that was made from within, minor restorations on the top and most of the peg box, retouched varnish and a carefully applied patch to the sound post at the top are all evidence that this violin, like its maker, had a dynamic history and was shown great esteem. Like Andreas Johann Gschiell, his teacher, predecessor and presumed father, Joseph Michael Gschiell belonged to the same tradition as the great Viennese master Mathias Thir, as can be seen in the slender model and rounded table of this instrument, yet his work also represents its own distinctive and interesting moment in the German violin-making history of its day. A certain pragmatism is apparent here in the fact that the purfling on the back is merely painted on, although Gschiell used a high-quality golden-orange brown varnish to enhance the violin. With a personality of its own and a distinctive and historic character, this extremely rare Hungarian violin has been carefully set up by our luthiers and is now ready to play. Our expert restorers drew inspiration from the spirit of their historic predecessors to preserve the warm, dark, large voice of this violin at its finest.

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