Thursday, August 14, 2008

Interesting Hoyer Voltone Fiddle

Hello Everyone! I received some pictures of a very interesting fiddle via e-mail last week. The writer said his grandfather was stationed in Germany and actually acquired this fiddle in 1953 from Arnold Hoyer in exchange for American cigarettes and coffee. The age of the fiddle is unknown, but you can see its design is completely unique. I've never seen anything else like it. I would like to know if anyone else out there has seen a fiddle like this, or maybe has another fiddle like this. Please contact me if you have any information.

When you look at the pictures, you will see this fiddle does not have any f-holes. What looks like half circles around the edge of the fiddle are actually openings in the fiddle (serving as f-holes) to allow the sound to come out of the fiddle.

The information that we currently have on it is from Geoff Seitz of Seitz Violin Shop in St. Louis:

Dear folks,

Unfortunately I do not know much about the current German makers but I can surmise some things about this violin. First, the word written on the back refers to something lawful and/or compliant. This suggests to me that the unusual design by this maker was somehow registered within some type of lawful entity, kind of like our patent office.

At any rate it is a unusual violin. This Hoyer fellow probably tried, as so many others have done, to bring some type of innovation to the violinmaking world, and then went about naming and registering his creation.

Geoff Seitz

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