Ref :   0845

A fine undated German violin by
Johann Georg Schönfelder
(1750 - 1824)
Markneukirchen, circa 1790

Sold with a 1967 certificate by J J van de Geest

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The maker of this instrument, Johann Georg Schönfelder (1750 - 1824) was the second by that name in a somewhat large extended family of makers which go back to the early 17th century and which was still active deep into the 19th century. He worked in Markneukirchen and not in Cremona, as is claimed on his labels.

The English authority, William Henley describes his work as follows: 'Undoubtedly the most skilled craftsman of his family. Model of splendidly large proportions, outline distinctively pleasing; beautiful arching of slight rise. […] Bellies often of one piece, backs of handsome flame. Varnish often of golden yellow or darker orange shade, very seldom applied the brown associated with the other members. Tonal quality of reliable freshness and fair smoothness.' In many ways this very accurately describes this violin - although it appears that the top is of one piece, close scrutiny shows that it is of two pieces. The growth lines are extremely dense in centre along the central seam and don't open much to the flanks - a good sign of very slow growth of the wood, probably in high altitudes - much desirable. Although with a 'generous' and full look to the dimensions, the back length is to standard - 35.7 cm. The one-piece back and sides are attractive and the overall appearance of the instrument, with its light golden brown and highly transparent oil varnish, is very appealing.

The violin has had repairs to minor cracks, but can be said to be in very good condition. It has a superb neck graft and all pegholes have been rebushed. The work carried out on this instrument clearly is of high standard.

This violin is well-toned and is very well-suited for the performance of Baroque and Classical literature.

It is sold with a 1967 certificate by the Dutch authority, J. J. van de Geest (1899 - 1974).


Dimensions :
  Length of back: 35.7 cm

Condition :
  In very good condition, structurally secure.
The varnish shows some wear, but is largely intact, original and untouched. Minor cracks in the top have been repaired but appear not to have been cleated. The impression however is that all is totally secure.
Many craftsmen prefer not to cleat smaller cracks as the cleats have a tendency slow down the instrument's response and could affect its tone negatively.

Provenance :
  This violin was sold by the dealership of J. J. van de Geest to the noted violinist and teacher, Dereck Ochse in December 1967 who sold in again in the mid-1970s. Subsequent ownership withheld.

Price : P.O.A.


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