Yes - everything about this instrument by Johann
Klier is either well done or is just simply awesome. First - take
a look at the model. The violin outline with swell back is symmetrical
and well balanced and looks just like a large Strad model violin.
Second - take a look at the condition. It's what we'd describe
as very, very good.
You'll be pleased to know that along with the good
looks and condition is a sound quality and volume to match. This
really is a mega sounding instrument.
With a length of back (LOB) measurement of 114.4cm
and nicely proportioned upper shoulders this really is a very manageable
instrument to get around.
In the past we have sold two instruments by Ferdinand
Seitz. The first one had a LOB that measured
an incredible 120.0cm. The second one measured 118.3cm.
By comparison then - the Klier is very much smaller.
The Encyclopaedia of Violin Makers by Karel Jalovec
lists no less than 23 makers with the same surname. Nearly all
of these makers were members or descendants of the same family
who lived and worked in Schönbach, a town right in the middle
of the historic violin making area roughly encompassed by Nuremberg,
Leipzig and Prague.
Yes. There is a large makers label affixed in the
normal position to the inside back. It notifies us of where Klier
lived and worked as follows; JOHANN KLIER, STEINGRUB, Post Fleissen,
Yes. Jalovec informs us that besides his production
of new instruments Klier also undertook repairs and manufactured
Yes - when we removed the table - the minimal amount
of splintering to the table at the rib/table join suggested that
the table had only been removed the once. On examination of the
inside table - a red-pencil inscription dated 17th March 1960 confirmed
that the table had definitely been removed previously. The illegible
inscription was presumably from that of an Eastern European repairer.
Unfortunately no. In order to maximize the sound
potential of the instrument, the work required to the inside table
resulted in the removal of all traces of the signature.
Yes. When this instrument was built it was made
for large thick gut - low-tension strings. Today we use narrow
high-tension steel strings that require neck angles to be set much,
much higher. When built we can assume that this meticulously made
instrument sounded great. Left as it is - with our modern strings
and set-up requirements the instrument will only provide a mediocre
performance. To achieve a really good sound from an instrument
the plates (front and back) need to vibrate properly when the strings
Yes - quite probably. We can safely assume that
this instrument has been left untouched in the last 50-60 years
simply because it never played very well with a more modern set-up.
Here's a question for you. Can you tell me why any player would
want to play on an instrument that doesn't sound any good?
In addition to the necessary regraduation work -
the instrument has benefitted from the fitment of a new bass bar
and some half edging and edging work. Externally the instrument
benefits from the fitment of a stunning new neck and fingerboard.
Finishing touches to the neck include the reshaping
of the back button with the fitment of an ebony crown and the fitment
of ebony strips to the neck/ribs join.
Yes - these have been made by hand in England and
are rather splendid.
Yes - we've fitted some beautiful boxwood adjusters
to the bridge. If you do have to make the odd adjustment to the
height of the bridge - we reckon that you'll be mighty impressed
by how easy they are to use and just how great they feel in the
The work has turned out absolutely fantastic and
the proof is in the playing. As one draws the bow across the strings
the whole instrument begins to vibrate and a simply colossal sound
comes out. I promise you - you won't be able to stop smiling at
the enormity of sound. Hold on to the china plates!
Yes indeed. We've set the instrument up with a set
of the fabulous Belcanto strings and a Superflexible B-string.
As a result the instrument 'speaks' so quickly that we'll be very
impressed if your bowing technique can match what this instrument
is capable of doing.
Bearing in mind that this is a full size instrument
- the string length works out at an incredibly manageable 106.0cm.
Really - the quality of making in this instrument
is excellent and the huge basso-organ like sound and full-rounded
tone compete favourably with the best of the English instruments.
With so many of the English instruments now well out of the reach
of many players, from the financial viewpoint this glorious instrument
is easily the next best thing.
LOB (length of back) - 114.4cm (45.15in)
Width across upper bouts - 53.2cm (21.00in)
Width across middle bouts - 39.5cm (15.50in)
Width across lower bouts - 71.1cm (28.00in)
Depth of lower ribs inc both plates - 23.2cm (9.20in)
Body Stop - 60.0cm (23.65in)
String length - 106.0cm (41.72in).