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Violin by Friedrich Wilhelm Meisel, Quittenbach, Saxony, 1772

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NMM 6053.  Violin by Friedrich Wilhelm Meisel, Quittenbach, Saxony, 1772 Bass side of violin Back of violin

NMM 6053. Violin by Friedrich Wilhelm Meisel (1749-1814), Quittenbach, Saxony, 1772. Gift of Kurt Lothar and Patricia A. Meisel, Owatonna, Minnesota, 1997.



Technical Information


  • Printed on paper label, the last digit of year written in black ink: Friedrich Wilhelm Meiſel, / musſicaliſcher Inſtrumentenmacher / in Quittenbach Ao. 1772.
  • Branded on bridge toward fingerboard: K.L.MEISEL

Top:  two-piece, quarter-cut spruce: medium grain; small dowel hole through top into top block on bass side of center joint; rectangular spruce cleats along inside of center joint.

Back:  two-piece, quarter-cut maple: prominent, broad curl descending from center joint; rectangular maple cleats along inside of center joint; later ebony crown over top edge of back button.

Ribs:  quarter-cut maple: prominent, broad curl, angled to right on upper bass and lower treble bouts, angled to left on lower bass and upper treble bouts, not angled at center bouts.

Head: maple: narrow curl; inside of pegbox stained black at a later date.

Neck:  medium curl; grafted.

Arching: full.

Edging: large, broad corners.

Varnish:  light golden orange.

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; extends slightly into ribs.

Endpin: rosewood with two decorative, turned grooves.

F-holes: curved and tapered wings.

Linings: spruce; narrow.

Corner blocks: spruce; later.

Top block: spruce; later.

Bottom block: spruce; small; very narrow.

Bassbar: later.

Other: saw marks visible on inside of ribs.

Pegbox and Scroll

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


Back length:  358 mm
  Upper bout width:  163 mm
  Center bout width:  110 mm
  Lower bout width:  205 mm
Upper rib height: 30-31 mm
Center rib height: 31-32 mm
Lower rib height: 31-32 mm
Total violin length: 589 mm
  Stop length:  192 mm
  Vibrating string length:  326 mm
Neck length (bottom of nut to ribs): 134 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. 68-71.

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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Most recent update:   May 14, 2016

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