The New International Encyclopædia/Klotz, Matthias

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KLOTZ, KLOZ, or CLOTZ, Matthias (1640-96). A well-known Bavarian violin-maker, and head of the celebrated family of violin-makers of that name. He was born at Mittenwald and was probably a pupil of Jakob Stainer (q.v.). Although he was the maker of several very excellent specimens, he did not as a rule exercise sufficient skill or care in the selection of his wood. His varnish is considered by modern experts to have been of good quality, but this, like the undoubted beauty of his model, was more than discounted by his negligence in the respect above mentioned. — His two sons, Sebastian (born in 1675) and Georg (born c.1677), were also makers of violins and greatly surpassed their father in every way, although the work of Georg is noticeable for the same fault that marred that of his father. Sebastian was the best workman of the entire family. He marked his violins with a secret mark only distinguishable, as a rule, by connoisseurs. It consists of the initials S. K. marked in some obscure part of the instrument. — In a subsequent generation was Egita, also born at Mittenwald, in the first half of the eighteenth century, who is conspicuous for the fact that he used Swiss pine instead of white larch for the bellies of his violins; and further, used a label of his own, instead of that which marks the other Klotz examples. He exhibited remarkable skill and knowledge in selecting his materials, in consequence of which they have improved very much with age, and are considered to possess a broader and more resonant tone than those of any other of the Bavarian makers. — His son Joseph inherited his skill in the selection of materials, and, although not as well made as those of the elder Klotz, his instruments are held in considerable estimation. His model is somewhat broader than that of the typical Klotz violin. — A distant relative, J. Karl Klotz, who worked about 1740, has also left some good examples. His model is flatter and broader than those of the makers above named and is distinguished for its excellent workmanship, seasoned wood, and rich orange-red varnish. The tone is brilliant.