12/14/2015

1890s German-made Hopf 4/4 Violin


This is a local customer's old fiddle and it's one of those "Hopf copy" instruments that were made by vast scores in the late 1800s. I've handled a number of them and they've all had decent tone, but this one is phenomenally sweet, loud, and airy all at the same time. It's a strange mix and I think it makes a perfectly-good "mountain" fiddle with a lush, dissolving sound on double-stops. Unfortunately, I didn't grab a soundclip before dropping this off at the owner's workplace in town.



The instrument itself was pretty grungy when it came in, and after cleaning it's still grungy but at least respectable! There are a couple old repairs and I did some more: seam and fingerboard reglues here and there, a bridge fit, and good setup with John Pearse Mezzo strings. The pegs are a bit fussy but the idea was to keep the cost low as this will be a student's instrument -- and so I also scrounged a new Glasser bow for it as well (on the cheap).



The fingerboards on some of these German makes are truly bizarre. Like some of these, this board has a core of softwood that's been surrounded by thick-ish veneers of stained maple. A lot of that veneering looks to have come undone and been repaired several times, and I reglued some stretches of it myself when it came in.



A nice one-piece back gives this a touch of class, no?






The sides have equally-nice wood.



No comments: