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date: 15 November 2019

Lemböck, Gabriel locked

  • Jaak Liivoja-Lorius
  • , revised by Philip J. Kass


(b Ofen, Budapest, Oct 16, 1814; d Vienna, March 27, 1892). Austrian violin maker of Hungarian birth. He was apprenticed in Budapest to Peter Teufelsdorfer. He subsequently worked for Anton Fischer (later becoming his son-in-law and successor) and in 1855 took over the shop of Bernard Stoss in Vienna, working under the sign ‘Zum Weissen Engel’ in the Mariahilferstrasse. He won medals in expositions at Munich (1854) and London (1862) and in 1863 was named the royal musical instrument maker and sworn expert to the courts. In 1871 he also became violin maker to the Academy of Music in Vienna. After 1875, his apprentices managed his shop. His instruments are boldly modelled and very well made. He followed three models: Stradivari, Maggini, and especially Guarneri ‘del Gesù’, based upon Paganini’s concert violin (the ‘Cannone’), an instrument that Lemböck repaired and adjusted on several occasions. The Maggini copies are always double-purfled and can be regarded, along with his copies of the ‘Cannone’, as his best work. Tonally his instruments are highly regarded, his earlier ones more than the later workshop ones. He also made small-model violas and, rarely, cellos. Lemböck’s best varnish, somewhat heavily applied, is found in many shades but usually a red-brown to wine red. He used various printed labels, some in germanic type, and he usually branded his initials on the button of the neck, the bottom rib, and sometimes several places on the interior....

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