Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The 'Hochstein' Stradivarius Violin of 1715 - An Excellent Model

By Andy Fein (Luthier at Fein Violins) and Mikaela Marget 

In 1978 I (Andy) was a young guy with black hair, a passion for violin making, an intense curiosity about Antonius Stradivarius and Guarnerius del Gesu, and an apprentice violin maker in Chicago. I had even made a trip (read "pilgrimage")  to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England specifically to study the Messiah Stradivarius violin

At that time, the Chicago School of Violin Making was owned by the venerable violin shop of Kenneth Warren and Son. Once a week Kenneth Warren Sr. would bring wonderful instruments to the school for the apprentices to study. One cold Chicago day, Mr Warren came in, carefully opened a beautiful case, and pulled out an exquisite violin. He held the violin up and asked, "Any guesses?" I impulsively said "Looks like a Golden Period Strad. Looks like the Messiah, but it's not. Ummm, 1715? 1716?" It was the 'Hochstein' Stradivarius violin, made circa 1715. Thus I acquired the amused dislike of every other student at the school. 

Original Hochstein Stradivarius, photo from Andy's collection
Our 'Hochstein' Stradivarius model Violin