Maker: Joachim Tielke (German, 1641–1719)
Date: ca. 1685
Geography: Hamburg, Germany
Dimensions: body length 35.6 cm (14 in.); upper bout 16.3 cm (6-7/16 in.); middle bout 11.5 cm (4-9/16 in.); lower bout 20.2 cm (7-15/16 in.); rib height ±3.2 cm (±1-1/4 in.); top 2.8 cm (1.13 in.); tail 2.9 cm (1-1/8 in.); neck length 12.9 cm (5-1/16 in.); string length 31.9 cm (12-9/16 in.); stop 19.3 cm (7-9/16 in.)
Credit Line: Purchase, Clara Mertens Bequest, in memory of André Mertens, 1992
Accession Number: 1992.333
Italy was not the only country that produced fine violins. Germany was the birthplace of many fine makers, including Jacob Stainer (b. Absam, 1617; d. Absam, 1683) and Joachim Tielke (b. Königsberg, 1641; d. Hamburg, 1719). The Hamburg workshop of Joachim Tielke produced a great variety of instruments (many were richly decorated with ivory, ebony, and tortoiseshell), including lutes, guitars, citterns, and violins. His violins typically have very delicate edgework and corners, pegboxes terminating in human or animal heads, and often bird's eye figured maple backs and sides.
This violin retains its original neck, though it has been angled back and reshaped in conformance with modern playing requirements. The back and sides are of bird's-eye maple.