Johann Reiter label
This is my first post, thanks for all the wonderful information these discussions afford.
Does anyone have a reference image for a 20th century Johann Reiter maker label. I know he was a prolific builder but I have yet to find any images of his labels.
Thank you for the information. I will inquire there to see if they have anything. I am just trying to see if the instrument I have is even worth bringing for an initial appraisal.
He has about 2 column inches in WILLIAM HENLEY'S "UNIVERSAL DICTIONARY OF VIOLIN & BOW MAKERS." That is actually a substantial space for that book. He made violins, violas and cellos and lutes - all praised in the book. All his instruments were made by hand, by himself. He received medals at the 1905 Nürnberg Exhibition.
As usual Henley assumes every maker is the builder when in fact it probably means Reiter owned a shop where violins with his label were manufactured by his workers, or even he bought violins wholesale and finished them and put in his label in his shop.
Not true at all!
oh so you're the expert now, rubbish. You obviously don't have a clue how the Mittenwald verleger operated.
Maybe, but the Henley entry re. Reiter was very specific about his personal making without assistants.
The name on the label was the boss, who oversaw production and chose the models and designs, the idea that he actually had a hand in the actual physical making of the violins is a mistake that people like Henley made too often. I got this from top German violin expert Jacob Saunders in Austria, if you think you know more than him, you're just plain wrong.
Johann Reiter (born 1879), son and apprentice of Johann Baptist Reiter (1834-1899), who was scholar and successor of the legendary Jean (Johannes Cornelius) Vauchel (1782-1856). So before indulging ourselves in generalizations, we should not forget that it's a high end tradition Johann Reiter came down from.
Btw, Becky - if it's a genuine Reiter and a good one, it may very well hit the €10k in retail, so it should be worth to check that.
I don't know Reiter personally, I would just assume if he was considered prolific that he was not a one man shop but rather had workers working for him that did most of the work, so did Stradivari. He may or may not have participated in the more critical work, but his most important job would be running an efficient shop and overseeing that his workers did their job well. EH Roth violins in the 20s were of a very high standard but its unlikely an actual Roth worked on anything but the top of the line models. Reiter may have done this too, made different priced models of varying quality and wood selection, it was pretty much the standard way of doing business at the time. The idea of one man slaving away in his little workshop doing all the work is more of a fantasy except for true amateur makers, It would seem Reiter is no amateur and ran a tidy shop.
But aren't there plenty of "soloist" workers nowadays, too? Most luthiers I know work like that. And this wasn't uncommon one hundred years ago, when a master would have worked alone or with an apprentice. One generation after him, another top level maker (my personal favorite in later Mittenwald violin mm asking history), Josef Kantuscher, worked the same way. But you're right, many workshops there which produce different quality levels are run like small business with 3-10 workers. But I didn't learn about different quality levels in Reiter instruments, so I'd assume that there wasn't, but only the top level line as most outstanding luthiers nowadays do as well. (And it was a really small workshop...)
Checked with Jacob Saunders in Austria, he says you're all very wrong, Johann Reiter was a Verleger that ordered his violins in parts and sold thousands of violins, impossible for a one man operation, shows you need to be careful where you get your "information"!!
Lyndon, indeed thousands would be too much for one person. But still I'm quite sure. Too tired now after another long day, it's midnight here and in Mittenwald. I'll check it again when there's time and I will let you know, no matter the result. It's not the first time I would be mistaken in this life, although this time it would be a surprise.
corilion's appraisals are not always accurate IMHO
Tomorrow I will have it in hand. I will share a picture of the labels of both instruments I receive. I am 40 miles from anywhere that can give a verbal appraisal. Thanks for all the great comments. I really enjoy the banter.
you can never appraise a violin by pictures of the label, it could easily be fake, you appraise the violin by the workmanship; detailed pictures might give a rough idea but there's no substitute for a real expert seeing the instrument in person
if you bought it on ebay there's a good chance the label is fake
Mittenwald Verleger shops (most artisanal makers produced for at that time) contributing to german stringed instruments mass production:
... on the other hand... two JR violins and one JR viola in professional use among my personal acquaintances, and according to my luthier another Pro JR violin he gets to service regularly...
most of the Mittenwald makers were verlegers.
Most of the Mittenwald makers around 1900 until the 30ies were dependent artisanal makers producing for Verleger, besides running their farms and hosting guests who tried to escape the dusty summer heat of the metropolitan areas. (The region was on of the first in southern Germany to develop tourism.) This is slightly different from "most were Verleger".
Correct is: "Most of the Mittenwald instruments were Verleger instruments."
all I can say is you need to have a good talk with Mr. Saunders before you make all these claims.
Okay Lyndon. You're right an I am wrong, and my humble efforts were wasted because I simply didn't talk to the only knowledgeable person. So I'll leave it like that, and let's take all of this with a grain of salt. The mass production topic isn't very important anyway, only interesting from a historic point of view.
Thank you everyone for the information. The image of the label on the sale site didn't show the entire label. Upon receipt it appears to be a JR - Erich Sandner from 1969. It has no cracks but the varnish is in rough shape; it appears to be well played/used. I restrung it and for my beginner ears it sounds very nice compared to my extremely inexpensive student model from china. So far I'm really happy with it.
If it's an Erich Sandner from this time, it's most probably good "student level" or or average "intermediate" and worth maybe 2+k in perfect condition or less according to the preservation status. I don't like these classifications so let's say that I'd expect it to bring a beginner quite a long way until you will feel the urgent need to upgrade. (This claim is based on not even a handful of ES I've tried yet, and on even less that I've seen for sale.)
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