E. Reinhold Schmidt Violin, 1910

Ernst Reinhold Schmidt (1857 – 1928) was born in Markneukirchen, Germany, where he apprenticed as a violin maker with J. Kretzschman. He later worked for the Bausch and Hammig workshop in Leipzig and renowned maker August Riechers in Berlin. Schmidt then returned home and opened his own business in 1884, E. R. Schmidt & Company. With his brother’s help, Schmidt’s shop grew to become one of the most successful Markneukirchen workshops in the early 1900s and gained domestic and international success, often working from Cremonese models. His sons Reinhold Willy and Ernst (Ernest) Oscar were trained in the family trade and eventually immigrated to the United States, establishing their own business in Cleveland, Ohio.

This Schmidt violin is well-preserved and a fine model of the workshop’s craftsmanship. The lovely patterning of medium-grain spruce and flamed maple are highlighted by the golden, rich red-brown varnish. Schmidt’s solid training and expertise shine through in this violin in the carefully executed details and tasteful hand work. It plays beautifully, with a bright sound that is full of overtones and an open, resonant voice. This violin is well-seasoned and retains a complex brilliance that is ideal for ensemble work. Any nuanced player will appreciate its quality.

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