Violin by Johann Georg Meisel, Klingenthal, Saxony, 1785
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NMM 6052. Violin by Johann Georg Meisel (1765-1860), Klingenthal, Saxony, 1785. Gift of Kurt Lothar and Patricia A. Meisel, 1997.
- Printed paper label, the year written in black ink: Johann Georg Meiſel / Violinmacher in Klingenthal / 1785.
- Scratched on back, nearly polished out: [illegible] Ferdinand / [illegible]
- Printed in brown ink on scroll-shaped paper label, the certificate number written in black ink: OSKAR ERICH HEINEL / [illustration of wax seal containing a shield with a violin above a bar sinister, the initials O. E. / H. under the bar sinister, the shield topped with a knight’s helmet] MARKNEUKIRCHEN / Expertise No. 1336.
- Stamped on lower rib, between back and endpin, each digit a separate die: 1896
- Branded on bridge toward tailpiece: K.L.MEISEL
- Branded on bridge toward fingerboard: OWATONNA/MINN.
Top: two-piece, quarter-cut spruce: wide grain; large wooden dowel through top into top block on bass side of center joint; large wooden dowel through top into bottom block on bass side of center joint.
Back: one-piece, quarter-cut maple: large, strongly visible ray flecks; notch on inside lower edge at center position; hole in lower edge filled with maple dowel, under original varnish; later crescent-shaped ebony cap over top edge of button.
Ribs: quarter-cut maple: prominent, medium to wide curl, angled to right on bass lower bout, angled to left on bass treble bout.
Head: maple: strongly visible ray flecks.
Neck: maple: narrow curl; grafted.
Arching: full at center bouts.
Purfling: forms decorative point on back extending into button.
Varnish: dark red-brown.
Fingerboard: ebony; later.
Nut: ebony; later.
Tailpiece: ebony; decoratively molded upper edge without saddle; decorative grooves carved on face at lower end; copper lyre inlaid in face; later.
Tailgut: black plastic.
Pegs: four rosewood with ebony pins; convex, undercut heads; by Emil Lorenz, Bubenreuth, originally from Schönbach.
Saddle: ebony; later.
Endpin: ebony; tuned groove around edge; later.
F-holes: curved and tapered wings.
Linings: spruce; narrow; rounded; some later, higher linings.
Corner blocks: spruce; later.
Top block: spruce; later.
Bottom block: spruce; later.
Other: saw marks visible on outside of center ribs.
Pegbox and Scroll
Back length: 357 mm
Upper bout width: 166 mm
Center bout width: 112 mm
Lower bout width: 211 mm
Upper rib height: 27-29 mm
Center rib height: 27-29 mm
Lower rib height: 27-30 mm
Total violin length: 593 mm
Stop length: 199 mm
Vibrating string length: 332 mm
Neck length (bottom of nut to ribs): 133 mm
Lit.: Julie Kucaj, "Lothar Meisel," Arts & Minds., Bravo! News Style Arts Channel, Toronto, January 30-31, 2003.
K. Lothar Meisel with Betty Vos, The Meisel Family Violin Makers: Klingenthal, Vogtland, Saxony (Ely, Minnesota: Singing River Publications, Inc., 2007), pp. 54-57.
The NMM preserves violins from each of eight generations of the
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