Violin by Kurt Oswald Meisel, Owatonna, Minnesota, 1965
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NMM 6145. Violin by Kurt Oswald Meisel (1903-1995), Owatonna, Minnesota, 1965. Serial no. 40. This is the last violin made by Kurt Oswald Meisel. Gift of Kurt Lothar and Patricia A. Meisel, 1998.
- Printed in brown ink on light-brown paper label with visibly lined texture and wavy-line border, the location, date and serial number written in black ink: [bird on branch] Kurt O. Meisel [KOM monogram] / Violin maker and repairer / from Klingenthal, Germany [signed Kurt Meisel in blue ballpoint pen diagonally across/over all previous text] / Owatonna / Minn. 1965 No.40. The bird on the label represents the family branch, known as the "Bird" Meisels.
- Branded on inside of back, visible through treble f-hole, and in front of top and bottom blocks: K.O.MEISEL / OWATONNA/MINN.
- Branded on inside of top, in front of top and bottom blocks: K.O.MEISEL / OWATONNA/MINN.
- Written on inside of top, upper treble bout, in black ink: Kurt Meisel / No.: 40 1965
- Branded on bridge, toward fingerboard: K.O. MEISEL
- Branded on bridge, toward tailpiece: OWATONNA/MINN.
Top: two-piece, quarter-cut spruce: fine grain; from Schwarzberg in the Vogtland.
Back: one-piece, quarter-cut maple: broad curl ascending from treble to bass; from the Carpathian Mountains.
Ribs:: quarter-cut maple: broad curl, angled to left; lower rib divided by two strips of purfling; rib corners chamfered.
Head and Neck: maple: medium curl; inside of pegbox stained black.
Edging: full, rounded edges.
Purfling: wide center strip.
Varnish: light orange-brown.
Tailpiece: ebony; engraved red-gold lyre inlaid in face; tulip-shaped.
Tailgut: black plastic.
Pegs: four rosewood with ivory pins; undercut heads; later, fitted by Lothar Meisel, made by Emil Lorenz, Bubenreuth, originally from Schönbach.
Endpin: rosewood with ivory pin; later, fitted by Lothar Meisel, made by Emil Lorenz, Bubenreuth, originally from Schönbach.
F-holes: lower wings slightly channeled; inside edges stained black.
Linings: spruce; wide.
Corner blocks: spruce.
Pegbox and Scroll
Back length: 355 mm
Upper bout width: 168 mm
Center bout width: 110 mm
Lower bout width: 207 mm
Upper rib height: 29-30 mm
Center rib height: 29-30 mm
Lower rib height: 29-31 mm
Total violin length: 591 mm
Stop length: 195 mm
Vibrating string length: 327 mm
Neck length (bottom of nut to ribs): 132 mm
Lit.: Thomas James Wenberg, Violin and Bow Makers of Minnesota (St. Paul: The Schubert Club Museum, 1988), pp. 64-65.
Prod. Julie Kucaj, "Lothar Meisel," Arts & Minds. Bravo! News Style Arts Channel, Toronto, 30-31 Jan. 2003.
K. Lothar Meisel with Betty Vos, The Meisel Family Violin Makers: Klingenthal, Vogtland, Saxony (Ely, Minnesota: Singing River Publications, Inc., 2007), pp. 180-183.
The NMM preserves violins from each of eight generations of the
Go to the NAMM Oral History Interview Project to see a short video interview with Kurt Lothar Meisel
about his father, Kurt Oswald Meisel (June 28, 2006)
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