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Hermann Todt Violin, Markneukirchen, 1922

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A fine example from this respected German master, this violin, a copy of the Tuscan Stradivari, possesses a robust and generous tone, well balanced for a variety of styles and venues. The one piece back is of quarter sawn maple, with medium width grain running from treble to bass. The top is of straight grained spruce of medium grain. The varnish is light brown-orange over a golden ground.

Hermann Todt
Hermann Todt was born in 1862 into a family of violin makers at the height of violinmaking in Markneukirchen. Studying with Ficker, and beginning his career as a bowmaker, Todt established himself as one of the most respected violinmakers in his day. He produced steadily until his death in 1929.

Learn more about: The German Violin Making Tradition

Price: $10,000

Size: 4/4

Tonal Profile:

Country of Origin

German Violin Making

The German Violin Making Tradition

As with most industries, the history of German violin making can be traced to the history of Germany itself, with its twists and turns of economic and social trends, influence of outsiders, emergence of new technologies, and access to natural resources and trade routes. Long-standing German traditions of high quality, efficient production processes and savvy evaluation of and response to market demands, combined to create a unique industry, with today's markets continuing to rely on the quality instruments produced in Germany long ago.

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Markneukirchen: The Center of Violin Making in Germany

In the Vogtland region of eastern Germany, on the Czech border, lies the town of Markneukirchen. Ideally situated in a region that abundantly provides the timber required for instrument making as well as the infrastructure for transportation and trade, Markneukirchen has enjoyed a prominent position as a center of fine craft as well as efficient production. With a legacy that goes back centuries, Markneukirchen today has a reputation for fine, handmade stringed instruments, and is called by many, "The Cremona of Germany".

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The Bavarian town of Mittenwald, in southern Germany, has been an important trade center for centuries because of geography – it is in a low lying valley in the northern Alps, conducive to transportation. In what would prove to be the key to Mittenwald's emergence as a center of violin making, Italian trade increased sharply through valley in the 17th century, enabling export of Mittenwald's fine carved statuary, and import of Italy's violins. By the latter 17th century, violin making was firmly established in Mittenwald, and was further bolstered by the emerging guild system.

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Explore the workshops of E.H. Roth, Heberlein and E.R. Schmidt.

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