HAMMA’S COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY OF GERMAN VIOLINMAKING, LIMITED FIRST EDITION, WITH 66 PHOTOGRAPHIC PLATES
HAMMA, Fridolin. Meister Deutscher Geigenbaukunst [Master German Violinmakers]. Stuttgart: Schuler, 1948. Quarto, original half vellum, red morocco spine label. $625.
Limited first edition, one of 1200 copies (this copy out of series), with woodblock portrait of Jacob Stainer, tipped-in color portrait of Hamma (after a painting by Oskar Hagemaan), and 66 photographic plates depicting noted violin manufacturers’ craftsmanship.
“The violin represents one of the greatest triumphs of instrument making” (New Grove 19:819). Hamma’s 70-page essay (text in German) is amply illustrated by 66 black-and-white photographic plates, each one depicting front and rear views of violins, as well as their scrolls and, in most cases, labels. Hamma discusses craftsmen from the celebrated Stainer—who, for German-speaking lands, “represents a peak of violin making paralleling the distinguished achievement and technical demands of such late 17th-century German-Austrian composers as Biber and Walther” (New Grove 19:828)—to skilled reproducer Michael Dötsch, whose “copies of Stradivari, Guadagnini, and del Gesù are wonderful violins” (James McKean). Without original dust jacket.
Boards slightly bowed, lightest soiling to vellum, as expected. A fine copy.