RESTORATION – Violin by Matthias Hornsteiner, Mittenwald, 1795

Currently Under Restoration


Matthias Hornsteiner, along with Sebastian and Josef Klotz, was one of the most renowned of the 18th century Mittenwald makers. This particular violin is closely modelled after Stainer and is notabale for its excellent choice of timbers and the beautiful archings and exact thicknessing of the plates.

Also of interest is the presence both of the original lable, dated 1795 and Matthias Hornsteiner’s own signature, also dated (see photos below).

Condition on receipt:

The back had been damaged and poorly repaired at the button and at the tail block, but the rest of the plate is in very good condition. The belly has also had some poor work carried out on the lower bout and tail block. The treble FF hole has also been modified and reinforced with parchment. There are no soundpost cracks or damage.

The violin has been modernised and the current neck graft had failed. The sides have been partially re-lined and the original parchment centre strip had been removed from the back, leaving only traces. Most glue joints were unstable. The varnish wa damaged around the area of the button repair but otherwise, largely intact and in good condition.


Label and signature



Modified FF hole

Original corners and liners


Original neck block – note altered liners






Scroll and pegbox separated from neck graft





Work Undertaken:

It was decided to restore the violin to a condition approximating its original state of 1795. A Viennese style set up was chosen, based on the instruments of Matthias Thir, a number of which survive unaltered.

It was necessary to disassemble the body to its component parts and repair the damaged button, stabilise all corner, block and liner glue joints and to replace the bassbar.



The Back, cleaned of old glue and dirt and ready for repair. The position of the original parchment centre strip is clearly visible.




Repair to Button and Tail Block area of Back








On removal of the old repairs and bassbar the traces of the original were clearly visible.



Sides were disassembled and all glue joints stabilised. Note the original centre bout liners and later liners in upper and lower bouts.


Repair to the Damaged Treble FF hole