American violin, Marinus Petersen, Chicago 1916

Crafted in 1916, this interesting American violin is an instrument with a cosmopolitan and self-confident character. It was patterned after a Stradivari model with broad contours. It bears an original label by Marinus Petersen, a luthier in Chicago, who is thought to have immigrated from Denmark or come from a family of Danish immigrants. Nothing is known about his training and his career in the third-largest city in the United States, a place which was undergoing changes at a dramatic pace during...

Crafted in 1916, this interesting American violin is an instrument with a cosmopolitan and self-confident character. It was patterned after a Stradivari model with broad contours. It bears an original label by Marinus Petersen, a luthier in Chicago, who is thought to have immigrated from Denmark or come from a family of Danish immigrants. Nothing is known about his training and his career in the third-largest city in the United States, a place which was undergoing changes at a dramatic pace during this time. And this is a regrettable gap in violin making history, especially since this instrument beautifully demonstrates certain features particular to American violin making. Marinus Petersen selected a charmingly flamed piece of maple for the two-piece back and moderately grained spruce from the top, both premium-quality North American tone woods, and enhanced their superb aesthetic with a golden-brown varnish. The stylish broad purfling and the carefully executed lines of the table reflect an outstanding, solid artisanry and extensive experience. Marinus Petersen can hold his own when compared to the great figures of modern American violin making, such as the Gemünder brothers, who defined the standards of their guild in the “new world” a generation earlier. This American violin communicates those standards, not least because of its powerful large voice which also has a warm and sweet character. It opens a rich range of musical interpretations, and the minimal repair performed on the top at the left sound hole has no effect whatsoever on the sound. We specially recommend this instrument, which the luthiers at our workshop have set up and made ready to play.

American violin, Marinus Petersen, Chicago 1916
American violin maker, Marinus Petersen, Chicago 1916
American violin, violin maker Marinus Petersen
Marinus Petersen Chicago
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