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This instrument is a very well preserved violin by Johann Elias Pfretzschner from the years around 1750. He was born in Markneukirchen in 1709 and was probably the first Pfretzschner who actually learned the craft of violin making. He is accepted as master in the violin makers guild of Markneukirchen on 06.02.1730. Whether this is the same Johann Elias about whom Lütgendorff already writes "he used a Hopf model for his instruments. The back of the instruments was usually better made than the belly. The scroll and f-holes were of ugly shape. In his notes, he loves to refer to Cremona as the place of origin in meaningless Latin." is unclear.


The instrument has been extensively restored. The belly and the upper third of the ribs as well as the neck are no longer in their original condition. The shape of the violin is indeed similar to the Hopf model, perhaps not quite so "square". The wide flamed maple back and also the belly are strongly arched. The hollow of the back and the purfling are neatly worked. The scroll is very small and indeed not very beautiful (but I would not call it ugly). The yellow-brown to amber varnish is very well preserved.


The violin comes from the estate of Dr Johannes Wolgast (1891-1932), who founded the church music institute in Leipzig under Karl Straube. He redesigned the Leipzig Conservatory into an educational institution oriented towards university teaching and was co-editor of the journal Musik und Kirche.


The instrument is not for sale.


Body: 35,8 cm

Neck scale: 13,0 cm

Body scale: 19,4 cm

Upper bar: 17,0 cm

Middle bar: 11.1 cm

Lower bar: 20,5 cm



Johann Elias Pfretzschner - around 1750

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