Violins Violin Makers Named Glass

Dictionaries of violin makers list as many as nineteen makers by this name. Most of them worked in Klingenthal, Saxony, Germany and some are still carrying on there the production of inexpensive trade violins.

The earliest mentioned is Johann Christoph, who worked from 1760 to 1786 and whose instruments are scarce.

Johann Traugott (1819-95) is said to be the most celebrated bearer of the name. His instruments are in the commercial category but the workmanship is good and the tone is pleasing. He worked in the "Hopf style."

His son Franz Johann established himself in Leipzig, where he worked until his 80th birthday in 1927. Respected among violinists, he copied instruments of the Cremona school, adding some Germanic characteristics of his own. He used well-aged wood and produced instruments with a fine, powerful tone worthy of first-class orchestras. He specialized in violas, influenced by those of Maggini.

Specimen labels: Johann Glass

Johann Glass
Geigenmacher in Leipzig

(i.e., violin maker in Leipzig)

Friedrick August Glass, I, was working at Klingenthal in 1790, and Friedrick August Glass, II, worked there from 1830-60. The workmanship of both is quite good and somewhat above the "commercial" class. The latter followed a Stradivarius model, slightly modified in the Tyrolese manner. He also produced some violins influenced by Jacob Stainer models.

Specimen labels: Fried. Aug. Glass
Verfertigte nach Antonius Stradivarius Fies
Faciebat in Cremona Anno 1736

(i.e., made in the manner of Stradivarius)

Fried. Aug. Glass verfertigt
nach Jacobus Stainer in Absam
prope Oenipontum 18__

(i.e., near Innsbruck)

Fritz Glass (b. 1904) is known for admirable bows, used widely in Europe and America.

Selected Bibliography

Hamma, Fridolin. German Violin Makers: A Critical Dictionary of German Violin Makers, with a Series of Plates Illustrating Characteristic and Fine Examples of Their Work. Translated by Walter Stewart. London: W. Reeves, 1961.

Henley, William. Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers.1956-60. 5 vols. supplement. Reprint.  Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England: Amati Publishing, Ltd. 1997.

Jalovec, Karel. Enzyklopädie des Geigenbaues. Translated into German by Charlotte and Ferdinand Kirschner. Prague: Artia, 1965.

Lütgendorff, Willibald Leo, Freiherr von. Die Geigen und Lautenmacher vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, nach den besten Quellen bearbeitet. Frankfurt am Main: Frankfurter Verlags-Anstalt, 1922.

Vannes, René. Dictionnaire universel des luthiers. 3 vols. 5th ed. Brussels: Les Amis de la musique, 1981.

Woodcock, Cyril. Dictionary of Contemporary Violin and Bow Makers. Brighton, Sussex, England: Amati Publishing, 1965.


Prepared by the Division of Music, Sports and Entertainment
in cooperation with Public Inquiry Services, Smithsonian Institution

PIMS/Mus33/rev. 8/00