Mathias Hornsteiner, 1806, 15.75″ Viola


Mathias Hornsteiner II (b.1760, d.1803) trained as a luthier in Mittenwald, Germany, under the well-known master, Georg Klotz. His work demonstrated the Mittenwald violin-making tradition while also allowing for his own artisanal virtuosity. In addition to distinguishing himself as a skilled maker, Hornsteiner continued his work as a blacksmith to the court. His readiness to find inspiration for his craft helped him to transcend regional stylistic boundaries and influence the trajectory of future makers.

Hornsteiner’s full-voiced viola shows a playful but elegant style and a Baroque quality that paid homage to his teacher, Georg Klotz. Hornsteiner always chose excellent tonewoods, imbuing his instruments with musical sensitivity and a well-balanced character. Fine-grained spruce and flamed maple are coated with antiqued varnish and a characteristic darker patina over an orange-brown base. The delicate and nuanced voice of this viola has distinct tonal characteristics and is an ideal choice for any discerning player.


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