From Adam Clifford
Posted March 28, 2008 at 10:56 PM
More history here:
I have a John Juzek violin, made in Prague (1020's)....interestingly enough though, the pegs were replaced with "machine-head", and the pegs were falling apart. I was able to get a brand new golden (brass?) machine head with mother of pearl pegs, and now this is installed. I imagine the fact that it does not have it's original pegs detracts from it's value. The violin has not been played for a long time. I got it from my Mom, and it isn't my primary violin. The violin has a very powerful sound though. I have put new strings on it and look forward to "playing it in"!! My primary violin is an A.W. Fischer, and I can't find any info on that one. Has anyone heard of this? I like it a lot.
I have a John Juzeck made in 1921. It is in like new condition and plays very well for parlor instrument. I like it's voice but with the current setup it has ( bridge and sound post position and string) it is rather dull. I suspect with proper set-up it would be a good instrument for an advanced player. Good luck in your search, they are nice instruments and enjoyable to play.
I played a Juzek Master Art Guarneri model years ago that was one of the best violins I have ever played. I would have bought it but the price was way out of line. It was one from the 1920's and probably one of the top grade master art's at that. It truly was a fabulous instrument but not worth twice, the then current market value.
A large number of my school's inventory of instruments are made by Juzek, and I must say that they don't sound too great - they actually sound rather awful. They have been extremely roughly handled over the years, however, and the setups are mediocre at best. Many of them have sustained damage from numerous falls and extreme temperatures/humidity, and few of them are given a good cleaning more than once or twice a year. The string sets on each of them are also ancient, with many of them sporting strings no longer in production (like the Kaplan Unicore).
The early Juzek's from the 1920's or so can be excellent. From 1960 on avoid them.
I recently sold a beautiful Juzek 1/4 sized violin for a lot of money to a prodigy. It was made many years ago and sounded more than decent for that size.
I think a distinction should be made between a signed instrument and a factory instrument.
Didn't he have two factories at different times? One was in Prague, I believe.
The workshop was in Prague. The quality of shop instruments seems to have went down on instruments labeled "Formerly in Pargue". I have a 1930's shop Guadagnini copy that is a good back-up violin. Instruments labeled "Master Art" and/or labels with an instrument number are of the best quality and of course command higher prices. I have an old Metropolitan music co catalog and they originally offered Juzek instrumnets of all quality/prices much like what is offered in catalogs currently being sent out by Violin shops.
Judging from the violins' labels, the Juzek workshop moved from Prague to Germany in the late 1930s (possibly when Hitler grabbed part and later all of Czechoslovakia).
However, I have a Juzek that looks post World War 2, and it actually has Made in Czechoslovakia stamped on it. Of course, after WW2 the part of Czecho that Hitler initially grabbed in 1938 (the "Sudetenland" in Bohemia) was given back to Czechoslovakia. It was an area that contained many violin-making workshops, possibly including that (or those) which made the Juzek violins.
Good day all,
hmm this post seems kinda of old so hope someone replies.
anyone knows whether the violin of label
John Juzek, Violinmaker in Prague, No. 481, 1924.
is authentic?? I was wondering does John Juzek labels sign off with a BIG Z??
Here's a link that shows a Juzek lable and part of the signature (though not the 'z') but you could at least compare that bit:
Of course I don't know if its authentic either :)
Ah: here is a much better one and surely authentic:
Click on the image - the Z does look a bit big...
I have owned two Juzek violas, both purchased from their original (in the USA) workshop/sales showroom on Park Ave South and 17th Street in Manhattan, NYC. I bought them in 1970 and in 1973. I met and was guided by John Juzek (the 3rd-grandson of the original in Prague I am told) and when I recently spoke with Adam Juzek in the new showroom in Stowe, Vermont he told me that he was too young to have really known his grandfather well. Adam is a real gentlemen, and not as brusque (with a golden heart!) like his grandfather. The instruments were all in differing areas of "make". There was, and still is the "Student" line, and then there are the intermediate levels. Then there are the MasterWork models, and all are patterned off of Strads or Guarneris. The NY City Schools System has (probably) thousands of them. I played on them all through Junior and senior High Schools. And my second instrument was an intermediate model. They are all good, sound instruments, and the MasterWorks are truly something to aspire to. I would sincerely suggest that you go to www.metmusic.com to see them and order a catalog. Call them and speak to one of the Juzeks or the assistant, Oakin. They will certainly vend you only the finest student model you could ever hope for.
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