Lap violin (bowed zither) by Braun & Hauser, München c.1916

This lap violin by Braun & Hauser in Munich is in excellent condition and is a prime example of a largely forgotten instrument which was an influential aspect of the folk music in the Alps for over 100 years.

Invented in the year 1823 in Vienna by Johann Petzmayer, a zither player and violinist from Munich, this lap violin (a kind of bowed zither) is a typical “child” of...

This lap violin by Braun & Hauser in Munich is in excellent condition and is a prime example of a largely forgotten instrument which was an influential aspect of the folk music in the Alps for over 100 years.

Invented in the year 1823 in Vienna by Johann Petzmayer, a zither player and violinist from Munich, this lap violin (a kind of bowed zither) is a typical “child” of the era in which not only bourgeois music culture flourished, but so did the art of European instrument making. This was also the time in which a bowed guitar was created by Johann Georg Stauffer – the instrument for which Franz Schubert wrote his famous Arpeggione sonata – and both instruments were inspired by a similar concept: taking a popular plucked instrument and creating a bowed version. These inventions quickly became very popular, inspiring endless creativity amongst those who crafted them, and as a result historic lap violins were created in a wide variety of different designs, including some truly imaginative ones. Unlike other models which were laid on a table and used the tabletop as a resonator, this instrument has a pin at the base of the neck which was used to hold it in place at the edge of the table. The classic shape of the violin body compensates for the reduced transfer of vibrations, giving this lap violin a fuller sound than other instruments of its kind. The fretted neck features a modified concert-zither fingerboard with four strings instead of five and the reverse tuning of a violin. This lap violin may well be the work of Hermann I Hauser, who went on to celebrate international successes as a guitar maker; it was created shortly after his father Josef Hauser sold his workshop, which later became the famous Braun & Hauser. The fact that this instrument is the work of a skilled master who had a command of several different genres is evident in the competently chosen and beautifully grained tone woods and the exquisite craftsmanship which was executed meticulously down to the finest details. In outstanding condition and ready to play, this lap violin was set up by the professional luthiers at our workshop, and it has a few minor repairs that are quite appropriate for an antique instrument which was played often. Its provenance is confirmed by the Braun & Hauser label in the body and an engraving on the plate of the peg box.

€ 1,790.00
approx. $ 2,004.80
Inventory no.
6314
Maker
Braun & Hauser
Provenance
Munich
Year
1916
Tone
warm, silvery
Lap violin (bowed zither) by Braun & Hauser, München c.1916
Lap violin (bowed zither) by Braun & Hauser, München c.1916
Lap violin (bowed zither) by Braun & Hauser, München c.1916
Lap violin (bowed zither) by Braun & Hauser, München c.1916
Lap violin (bowed zither) by Braun & Hauser, München c.1916
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