Hopf Violin

Description (Brief)
This violin was made in Klingenthal, Germany around 1880. This commercial violin bears a square arching and outline typically seen in Klingenthal trade instruments of the late 19th century branded “HOPF.” J. Howard Foote, in his 1882 catalog indicates: “Hopf violins are well known by their peculiar shape and color. But few Violins sold as “Hopf” are genuine. Nos. (catalog numbers) 5871-73 are made by the successor of the original “Hopf” both in name and vocation.” This instrument, Foote catalog #5872, is described as “Genuine ‘Hopf,’ extra quality, ebony trimmings and fingerboard, ‘Stainer’ model...$80.00 per dozen.”
Caspar Hopf is thought to have founded the Klingenthal tradition of violin making in the late 17th century. From these beginnings until this century, 24 makers bearing the Hopf family name worked in Saxony, primarily in Klingenthal. The family is generally known for their extensive production of inexpensive and commercial instruments for the trade. This violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce, back of maple with irregular fine figure, ribs of medium-fine figure, neck, pegbox and scroll of medium-fine figured maple, and a deep reddish-purple varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
overall: 35.2 cm x 20.1 cm; 13 7/8 in x 7 15/16 in
Place Made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Klingenthal
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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