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Violin Labeled Karl Hoefner, Schoenbach, Bohemia

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A good Bohemian violin labeled “Karl Hofner, Schoenbach” (present day Luby, Czech Republic). Full, warm and pure sound. The back is of two pieces of quarter sawn maple of medium flame. The top is of clear spruce of clear, medium width grain. The varnish is red-gold over a golden ground.

Karl Hofner
Born in Schonbach, Bohemia (today Luby, Czech Republic) in 1864, Karl Hofner trained early as a violinmaker. After World War Two, he moved to the well-know German violinmaking town of Bubenreuth, where he and his brothers started their firm, Karl Hofner. Later locating in Nauheim, Germany, the firm remains active to this day.

Learn more about The German Violin Making Tradition

Price: $8,060

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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