Early 19th Century Stainer Copy!??

Edited: July 24, 2017, 3:25 PM · Here's an old thing with no stamp on the back and no printed Country of origin, but it is in great condition for the age and even has a rattlesnake tail on the inside!

The only Label reads:

"Fried. Aug. Glass verfertigt nach
Jacobus Stainer in Absam
prope Oenipontum 1698."

No cracks, neck joint looks funky, it needs the bridge cut, and it still has some gut strings:


Does anybody have any knowledge or information on this thing?

Thank you for your time!

Replies (9)

July 24, 2017, 4:25 PM · It is rather common, not very special. Were it not for the absolutely terrible "repair" to the button I would say that would be worth putting some money into to get it properly set-up.
July 24, 2017, 4:48 PM · Actually good Glass violins can be pretty good, but he worked around 1900, definitely not early 19th century. A Markneukirchen/Schoenbach production violin of medium to better grade, depending on the instrument. Glass would not be the maker, but rather the owner of a business that commissioned workers to produce the violins he put his label in, all different grades of violins were available to a business man like Glass, what makes him a bit different is he had a higher standard of what quality of violins he ordered and payed for.
July 24, 2017, 4:50 PM · It looks like one of the better grade Glass instruments, but the crude repair at the back devalues it quite a bit, it shouldn't have a negative effect on the sound, though, as long as the repair doesn't fail, and the neck pop out!!
July 24, 2017, 5:27 PM · I might keep it as a primary but the neck joint seems solid; it looks crude, but I'll see if it moves with some steel strings.

I read that Glass II worked from 1830-1860, but this is some later factory instrument?

When did gut strings go out of fashion?
And wasn't it 1914 with the McKinley Tariff act?

I could only find old forum posts about this instrument, but the Glass family didn't operate out of Absam, Austria, did they?

Edited: July 24, 2017, 6:05 PM · The McKinley Tariff act was 1890, but it was modified numerous times.

The Glass family had many, many members and they were well represented in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
Just because it lacks a country of origin label, that doesn't make it older. The country of origin labels were for instruments made for export, so something not made for export wouldn't need one even after the tariff act..

Lyndon is quite correct in saying that the better Glass instruments can be quite fine instruments. They run the gamut from no corner block, poorly made instruments to well made, professional instruments.

Gut strings are still in fashion.

One modern reference text that I have lists 20 members of the Glass family, from the late 1700's going forward.

Edited: July 24, 2017, 6:34 PM · Thanks Duane,

He was born in 1866 dies in 1906, I think they continued being made with his label after he died, he was actually from Klingenthal, where the Hopf Dynasty was located, but moved to Altona, still its likely he imported violins or the parts of violins from Markneukirchen/Schoenbach as that's where the majority of the trade violins were made. He gets a pretty good write up in my Jalovec reference book.

Gut strings were being commonly used up into the 40s I believe.

1830-1860 would have been Friederich August Glass (I) (not his father), not the one that used this label.

Please don't use cheap steel strings, go on amazon and get you some Pirastro Tonica perlon core strings, there a cheap version Of Thomastik Dominants, but just as good, cost $35.

July 24, 2017, 7:15 PM · My Stainer model violin has no label at all. It had to have a transplant on the belly and a new bass bar, and since then is neither as powerful nor as striking in tone as it was (The high G-string tone was out of this world, and when I performed with a grand piano the piano lid needed to be up), but it is still an acceptable instrument. I guess it might be worth risking a few hundred dollars to buy and a similar amount on set up. Mine was at its best with eudoxa.
July 26, 2017, 11:12 PM · Lyndon, when I started with the violin in 1961 my teacher had spools of gut strings for G, D, A and E of which he cut the required length.
A knot was put in the one end , the other end threaded through the pegs. This was not a baroque set-up but something that was quite common yet at that time.
I think steel strings were around and probably synthetics just started.
I remember getting a steel E for the first time which I loved.
I also remember getting my first set of synthetics, I believe Dominants, a few years later and was glad to get rid of the gut strings.
July 28, 2017, 4:26 PM · You obviously hated his guts.

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