Mittenwald Violins

Edited: September 3, 2018, 7:18 AM · My grandmother recently passed away and I found a violin in her closet.

The label inside reads “Georg Kloz in Mitten Wald an der iser 1791“.

The violin is noticeably smaller than my 4/4 which is a 1922 Czech violin though I’m almost positive it’s still a 4/4. I plan on taking this violin into my local luthier and getting it looked at. I’ve done a small amount of research on the violin and it looks like there’s a small chance it could be a real Georg Kloz, or perhaps a late 18th century student made violin. The violin plays well and the build quality seems to be good.

If anyone knows anything about Georg Kloz and or how many student violins were produced in Mittenwald I would greatly appreciate it.

I have photos of the violin and I’m happy to email them.

Thanks!
Daniel

Replies (33)

September 3, 2018, 7:22 AM · A LOT of fakes out there. many not made in Mittenwald.

September 3, 2018, 7:23 AM · Try posting pictures on Maestronet.com
September 3, 2018, 7:43 AM · I’ll do that, thanks.
September 3, 2018, 7:47 AM · In particular, post your query to the Pegbox forum and do follow the directions in the sticky thread there about how to photograph for ID. As a new member you won't be able to upload photos there-- upload to a photo hosting site and link to them in your Maestronet post.
September 3, 2018, 7:50 AM · In the meantime you can find some old threads on Maestronet which detail the hallmarks of Mittenwald violin making.
September 3, 2018, 8:45 AM · I’ll post the link once it is approved. Thanks!
September 3, 2018, 10:48 AM · https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/340990-mittenwald-violin/

You can find photos here.

September 3, 2018, 12:00 PM · Well i got the top expert Jacob Saunders to look at your pictures and he said they were too dark to tell anything.
Edited: September 3, 2018, 12:09 PM · Most makers of the Kloz family followed models similar to yours, with high arching, orientated on Amati and Stainer models, preferably in fine grained spruce.

If it's from 1791, it should be from Georg Karl Kloz. Usually he made relatively high arching if I remember correctly, but there are exceptions. The rather flat corners would fit his typical work very well, at least. Same with the small, gracile scroll, it's done nicely. For most details, especially the varnish, it's hard to tell by photos.

There are thousands and thousands of fake Kloz violins, but this one might be worth a second look to me. (Please note that I'm not an expert, but only an enthusiast about fine German violins.)

September 3, 2018, 12:10 PM · I agree with Lyndon, the photos are so dark that you almost cannot see any details of the wood at all.
Edited: September 3, 2018, 12:21 PM · Ah, there were a few better illuminated. Not very sharp, unfortunately. Grain looks even and fine. Did you see the lower circle of the f hole, how widely they were cut? At least this doesn't appear very typical to me. On Tarisio there are are a few photos to find for comparison.

https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/browse-the-archive/makers/maker/?Maker_ID=2966

September 3, 2018, 12:29 PM · This is all great info guys. I will work on getting higher quality photos and I’ll make a new post on maestronet. I’ll be sure to link the new photos on this thread soon. Thanks for the info, guys! Will definitely be taking the violin to my luthier to get it looked at.
September 3, 2018, 12:38 PM · Nuuska,

I did notice that the f holes look a little funny but I’ve seen many fine old violins that have weird looking f holes by today’s standards.

Lyndon,

I’ll be uploading some more photos later today. I’d love it if your friend could take a look at them!

September 3, 2018, 12:42 PM · The violin also came with a bow stamped “Tourte”. I know of the maker but maybe some of you could shed some light on this particular bow. I will post the link below.

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/340991-tourte-bow-info/

September 3, 2018, 2:44 PM · Below is a link to updated photos of the violin. The quality should be much better.

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/340990-mittenwald-violin/

September 3, 2018, 2:52 PM · It has a lot of restauration work done. Not very well made, but much more one would expect on a crappy Schoenbach copy...
September 3, 2018, 2:55 PM · I put new strings on it and it sounds great. Any thoughts on how much, in your opinion, this violin would sell for?
September 3, 2018, 3:18 PM · If it is a Georg Karl Kloz - try this for auction prices:

https://tarisio.com/cozio-archive/price-history/?Maker_ID=2966

Georg Karl Kloz is thought not to be a member of the well known Kloz family of violin makers

For "Kloz family" members (Mathias, Sebastian, or Georg) you could google "Tarisio Kloz Family violins"

September 3, 2018, 3:26 PM · Thanks Andrew! Any personal insight on the violin? Photos linked above on maestronet.
Edited: September 3, 2018, 4:50 PM · Well, it has the longitudinal hump and fairly steep slope through the ff-holes and typical curvature toward the purfling of that genre (makes it difficult to adjust the soundpost). I am suspicious because the label, old as it looks, is an exact quote of the label words quoted in "Universal Dictionary of Violin & Bow Makers" by William Henley. Jalovec's book "German and Austrian Violin Makers" lists no less than 24 named Kloz.

My only exposure to a Kloz was one owned by a short-term member of "my" string quartet back in the mid-1970s. I don't know which of the Kloz family had made it (Mathias, Sebastian, Georg (1) or (2). She had just bought it when she played with us. It had mellow, but beautiful tone, not unlike an ancient Tyrolean violin I played from around 1945 until it was lost on our move to California in 1962.

September 3, 2018, 4:48 PM · If it's authentic, there would be some major investments necessary to sell well. Optimization of the old repairs, and proper restauration of the cracks. A good restorer could heal it all, but it wouldn't be cheap. But if authentic, perfectly restored, proper set up, and in the right market, it could bring a price pretty well above 20k. But a repair like that by a skilled restorer is pricey.
September 3, 2018, 4:51 PM · Here are a couple of links you might find interesting:
http://www.geigenbaumuseum-mittenwald.de/index.php?id=143
http://www.geigenbaumuseum-mittenwald.de/index.php?id=176
September 3, 2018, 4:55 PM · Andrew, from Mittenwald to Absam it's not more than 50 km. Be sure the Mittenwald makers were exposed to Jakob Stainers oeuvre.
Edited: September 3, 2018, 5:05 PM · Daniel, just our of curiosity - where are you from?
And, given it's authentic, would you rather keep it or prefer to sell?
September 3, 2018, 6:34 PM · Thank you Andrew!

Nuuska,
I plan on keeping the violin regardless of whether or not it’s a trade. With just a little bit of work it’ll be a great addition to my small collection. None the less my family and myself are still interested in getting it appraised and having it restored if needed.

I appreciate all the help given this far!

September 3, 2018, 10:20 PM · It would be a rare Kloz indeed that commands over $20K. $15K - 17K is more in the ballpark and that's assuming it's in good condition and has some sort of papers.

Violins are somewhat less liquid than boats, when it comes to selling them.

September 3, 2018, 10:30 PM · It will be more liquid at $5000 than it will at $25000.
Edited: September 3, 2018, 11:38 PM · As mentioned, it depends on the market. A Kloz overseas might be something different than a Kloz in southern Germany. You'd be surprised...
And I'm talking about retail / commission sales, not auctions.
September 3, 2018, 11:24 PM · I just sold a Kloz, and dozens of people looked at it before the eventual buyer. It took a year. And I assure you it did not go for over $20K.
September 3, 2018, 11:42 PM · Depends on the specific instrument and the maker. It's a large family... But already the name often gives it a little bit of *bling* 'round here. Even if the instrument isn't something to rave about. Some sort of local patriotism, I guess.
September 3, 2018, 11:50 PM · Don't forget that "Mittenwald" itself is regarded as some sort of quality label in my region. And no family has influenced the local tradition more than the Kloz. For any collector it's like a "must" to own one, and be it of a minor family member, or someone who wasn't certainly a member of the family at all but probably only carrying the same name.
I know of a decent Georg I. which went for >30k (in €) recently - in perfect condition (2 minor cracks, invisibly repaired). Now it's owned by a violin professor who has a focus on chamber music. I believe he knew what he was looking for. But one can never be too sure... ;-)
September 4, 2018, 4:00 AM · "Georg Karl Kloz is thought not to be a member of the well known Kloz family of violin makers"

According to the violin museum Mittenwald (guglielmus Carinius already provided the link: http://www.geigenbaumuseum-mittenwald.de/index.php?id=143&L=2) and based on parish registers he was a son of Sebastian Kloz and grandson of Mathias Kloz.

@Daniel: Do you have the possibility to peak through the f-holes, with some sort of "endoscope" perhaps? According to the Mittenwald site, Georg II. Carl Kloz used to sign his works, usually at the inside of the back near the upper block.

September 4, 2018, 6:10 AM · Katarina,

I read that but unfortunately I don’t. I’ll be taking it to my luthier today to get things looked at though.

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