Violin labelled 'Wilh. Aug. Glier | Manufacturer of Musikal Instruments | at Nuekirchen in the Saxo. 1794'
- The Glier family were a longstanding violin making family based in Markneukirchen, right on the border between modern day Germany and the Czech republic. The family business emerged around 1800, and was only discontinued in 1961. Over the years it became known for wind and brass instruments as well as the string family.
- There were many family members involved over many generations, many of whom had very similar names. We are aware of an August Wilhelm Glier who was working around 1764, and a later August Wilhelm Glier around 1890. Christian Wilhelm August Glier lived from 1793 to 1825, and so would have been 1 year old when this violin was made, as well as not having quite the right name. There is a Wilhelm August Glier listed as 1821 to 1876, and another one listed as 1849 to 1934. So on balance it is very difficult to assign this violin and particularly its date to a particular family member. It is most likely that it was made in the family workshops later than 1794, and simply given an older label to improve marketability. This has been a common practice over the years. The English text on the label would add credibility to this theory, coming at a time when many of these Markneukirchen violins were made for the export markets.
- That said, this is characterful old instrument, which over the years has had a significant amount of repair work done on it. Like many old instruments, there are numerous cracks in the front, although not in the soundpost area, and one in the back. At some time in the past, the pegs have been re-bushed, and there is a neck graft, implying that the violin may have been changed from an earlier baroque set up. It is likely that the neck is later than the rest of the instrument, and there is an ebony collar around the upper button on the back. There is also some very well done patching to the ribs.
- This type of heavy duty ad high quality repair work would only have been done on an instrument that warranted the effort and cost, and it is certainly true that this is an impressive sounding violin.