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Violin by Johann Georg Meisel, Klingenthal, Saxony, 1785

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NMM 6052.  Violin by Johann Georg Meisel, Klingenthal, Saxony, 1785 Bass side of violin Back of violin

NMM 6052. Violin by Johann Georg Meisel (1765-1860), Klingenthal, Saxony, 1785. Gift of Kurt Lothar and Patricia A. Meisel, 1997.



Technical Information


  • 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.

Bassbar: later.

Other: saw marks visible on outside of center ribs.

Pegbox and Scroll

Front view of pegbox Bass side view of pegbox Back view of pegbox


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 Meisel family.

Go to Checklist of Bowed Stringed Instruments Made by Members of the Meisel Familiy

Go to Checklist of Violins Made Before 1800

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