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David Duong

Carl Wilhelm Heber

10 posts in this topic

Does someone know any biographical information on a

German violin maker by the name of Carl Wilhelm Heber

who perhaps lived in the 1700's?

I would also be interested in finding out how much his

instruments might be worth.

Thank you.

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Henley lists a Carl Wilhelm Heber; born 1712, died 1782. Apparently he was a Master in the violin making guild of Marneukirchen. I have not seen one personally. I don't have my Hamma text of German violin makers with me. If you can locate this text at college library, it might hold more information for you.

The value of German instruments of this period is usually determined by merit and condition. I would find a qualified appraiser in your area....

It should be no problem to verify the "school" (where the instrument was made), but verifying that it is an actual Heber will depend on if the appraiser has seen an another instrument by this maker or has access to reliable photographs.

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Thanks for the reference, Jeffrey.

I went to the Blair Music Library (Vanderbilt) today

and found the short sketch you described in

W. Henley's "Univ. Dict. of Violin and Bow Makers."

I also found references to C.W. Heber in R. Vannes'

"Dict. Univ. des Luthiers," and also in K. Jalovec's

"Encyclopedia of Violin-Makers" and his "German and

Austrian Violin Makers."

The violin that I'm currently playing has a label

which matches what is described in all the books.

It reads...

Carl Wilhelm Heber

Lauten und Violinmacher fecit 17..

I can't read the last two digits of the date. Either

they were never there in the first place, or they've

just faded away over time. It gives no indication

of where the instrument was made.

My violin has a very dark brown varnish and its

shape is quite remarkably arched on both the back

and the front. It also, interestingly, shows

evidence of once being a five string instrument.

The peg box has markings that indicate a deliberate

conversion from a peg box for five strings to one

for four strings. Also, the outer loop of the

scroll is more narrow than what I've seen on most

other violins. Its tone is that of an entry-level

concert violin, although I am certainly no expert.

I asked the previous owner, who currently plays

in the Knoxville Symphony, about the instrument's

history. She told me that she thought the

instrument (with five strings) was originally made

a couple hundred years before Carl Wilhelm Heber

converted it to a four string violin. She refered

me to the dealer/repairer who sold the instrument

to her; and he told me that the original instrument

was a five string viole. He told me he bought it at

an estate auction, and that it was made originally

by de Solla (sp?), apparently a *very* old luthier.

I have to admit that I don't know very much about

the history of violin making. Unfortunately, I

don't have any papers to provide authentication,

or record of ownership for this violin.

Anyway, I'd like to have this violin appraised

for insurance purposes. Who, in the United States,

might be familiar enough with the instruments of

de Solla (sp?) or C.W. Heber to help me with this?

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Well, this has all the earmarks of a remarkably

amazing find or a nice and well-thought out scam.

A tantalizing hint of Da Salo, a plausible reason why it

would not have been previously found and registered,

owned by an apparently unsuspecting innocent probably

ignorant of its potential value if it is, in fact, a

genuine da Salo...Too good to pass up a viewing.

Sorry - my scheming, twisted, mind looking for a plot

for my next novel.

Mark

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Hello David,

I'm afraid that from the story as told, I have the same suspicions as Mark does. Without seeing the pegbox length, etc. it is difficult to determine whether or not the instrument actually began life as a viol. Some instruments of this age have simply had their pegs moved (bushed and relocated) several times. The German instruments of this period have quite a curve to the pegbox in many cases, and the moving of the pegs can leave one with the impression that there were more than 4 strings originally. On the otherhand, there might have been.

Gaspar Da Salo violas are extremely rare, expensive and sought after. Any major shop with real expertise would be a good choice for appraisal. They would also have no trouble in recognizing a german fiddle, whether or not they have seen an actual Heber.

Feel free to e mail me if you would like a personal reference, but I will be away for a few weeks. You could browse the dealers on the Maestronet list as well.

I'm sorry... don't know if I missed this, but did you say this was a violin or a viola?

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Gentlemen,

My violin has no delusions of grandeur, I can

assure you of this. I recount only what I was told

by persons whom I presume to possess more knowledge

than myself. Like I said before, I have no

expertise in this area. Besides, why would

someone sell me an "extremely rare" instrument

for under five thousand dollars?

I wrote my first note in this bulletin board for

the sole purpose of receiving a little advice

on the POTENTIAL maker of my violin (that is, the

instrument that I play on a regular basis in a

chamber music ensemble--not something sitting in

some dumb museum), and also to fish for suggestions

about getting my violin appraised for insurance.

Both of these objectives still stand.

I am not familiar with the location of expert

appraisers in the Nashville area, ...that's TN for

those of you who are not into country music.

Let it be known that I am simply looking for

educated advice on who I might contact for an

appraisal, hopefully somebody who might be

familiar with instruments made by CW Heber.

And yes, I am hoping for a SPECIFIC name and

phone number to contact.

Thank you, though a little frustrated by the

seeming difficulty of this endeavor,

D. Duong

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By the way, I don't mean to be nosy, but who are

"Jeffrey" and "Mark," and how is it that they

purport to know so much about violins? I think

anyone would be able to understand why I would

be interested in receiving advice from people

who are actually qualified to give it. I am

sorry if I have inadvertently offended anyone,

but I am not interested any sort of scandal.

Myself, I am a medical student at Vanderbilt.

To be more precise, I am studying towards a

joint M.D./Ph.D. here. My parents started me

on the violin when I was four. I took private

lessons continuously until my sophomore year at

Yale. I am not a professional musician, nor do

I intend to become a professional musician,

although my string quartet does play small gigs

once in a while. I took a few music theory

classes in college, and that's the extent of my

experience in music.

It was only by serendipity that I happen to have

stumbled upon this bulletin board.

Here's another question for those readers out there

in cyberspace...

Is it safe for me to ship my instrument to an

appraiser, as opposed to hand delivering it by

jumping on an airplane?

Thanks for your sincere advice.

D. Duong

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: Gentlemen,

: My violin has no delusions of grandeur, I can

: assure you of this. I recount only what I was told

: by persons whom I presume to possess more knowledge

: than myself. Like I said before, I have no

: expertise in this area. Besides, why would

: someone sell me an "extremely rare" instrument

: for under five thousand dollars?

: I wrote my first note in this bulletin board for

: the sole purpose of receiving a little advice

: on the POTENTIAL maker of my violin (that is, the

: instrument that I play on a regular basis in a

: chamber music ensemble--not something sitting in

: some dumb museum), and also to fish for suggestions

: about getting my violin appraised for insurance.

: Both of these objectives still stand.

: I am not familiar with the location of expert

: appraisers in the Nashville area, ...that's TN for

: those of you who are not into country music.

: Let it be known that I am simply looking for

: educated advice on who I might contact for an

: appraisal, hopefully somebody who might be

: familiar with instruments made by CW Heber.

: And yes, I am hoping for a SPECIFIC name and

: phone number to contact.

: Thank you, though a little frustrated by the

: seeming difficulty of this endeavor,

: D. Duong

When one asks for comments, and receives very informed

advice at no expense to himself, it is surprising that

one questions that advice and becomes frustrated.

Seems that a well educated individual would take the

advice for what it is worth.

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