Johann Hornsteiner, Passau, violin dated approximately 1900 - top
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Johann Hornsteiner, Passau, violin dated approximately 1900

This historic southern German violin has developed an exquisite patina of a rare beauty over the course of the past century: the luminous and intense red shows traces of intense use, a visible expression of outstanding musical quality. The instrument was clearly played a great deal and with great gusto. It was crafted in an atelier that was highly regarded in its day: Johann Hornsteiner in Passau. This means that the violin has a heritage from the finest Bavarian violin-making tradition: the family-operated workshop whose original label it bears was founded by Johann Hornsteiner Sr., a young luthier who moved to Passau from his...

This historic southern German violin has developed an exquisite patina of a rare beauty over the course of the past century: the luminous and intense red shows traces of intense use, a visible expression of outstanding musical quality. The instrument was clearly played a great deal and with great gusto. It was crafted in an atelier that was highly regarded in its day: Johann Hornsteiner in Passau. This means that the violin has a heritage from the finest Bavarian violin-making tradition: the family-operated workshop whose original label it bears was founded by Johann Hornsteiner Sr., a young luthier who moved to Passau from his hometown of Mittenwald in 1848. At the time this violin was built, his son Johann Jr. was in charge of the studio, and it is entirely likely that young Johann III witnessed its creation from his own workbench, where he sat practicing his own skills whilst observing more experienced luthiers. The flat table of this violin's Stradivari-oriented design was made of a well-chosen spruce with a charming irregularity to its grain. The two-piece back and the large, dynamically contoured scroll are clearly the work of a well-trained and experienced hand. Two repairs were made to the top and back and have no effect on the sound; this old violin has been preserved in very good condition. With its rapid response and its large, warm and balanced voice, it confirms that instruments made by the Hornsteiner family in Passau are worthy of the excellent reputation they have earned. Now ready to play after having been set up by the experts in our atelier, this violin has a compellingly mature voice with a dark and precise sound.

 
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