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date: 14 December 2019

Niggell [Niggl], Sympert locked

  • Jaak Liivoja-Lorius


(b Schwangau, Pfarre Waltenhofen, April 14, 1710; d Füssen, July 17, 1785). German luthier. He received the Bürgerrecht in 1740 and married the daughter of the luthier Johann Ott (1674–1736). Niggell might have trained in Ott’s workshop and taken it over after Ott’s death, and later worked with Joseph Anton Stoss (1707–79 or 80). After Niggell’s death his shop was taken over by Johann Peter Petz (b Füssen, 1740).

Niggell produced viols (including a seven-string bass at US.NH.y), violins, violas, cellos, basses, citterns, and mandoras, and probably lutes. He has been called the foremost 18th-century violin maker of Füssen. Although not well known, his violins are of graceful proportions, reminiscent to some observers of the models of Albani, Klotz, and Stainer. The wood is invariably good but the varnish, which varies from yellow-brown and light red to red-brown, is usually brittle. Besides his usual printed label, Niggell occasionally branded his work with his initials. The death register contains the following entry: ‘Sympertus Niggl viduus obiit 17 VII ...

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