Robert Glier Violins
Robert Glier Violins are musical instruments manufactured by the German craftsman Robert Glier.
Brief history and description
Robert Glier was born in Markneukirchen, Germany, in 1855 and died in 1925.
Glier was considered to be one of the “finest” violin makers in America during the late 1800s, and he comes from a centuries-old family of instrument makers. (As a matter of fact, the region of Klingenthal/Markneukirchen in Germany has often been referred to as the "Corner of Music" due to its high production of musical instruments).
Glier was the son of Carl Friedrich Glier (from his second marriage) who was a world-renown wind horn maker. His father (Johann Gottlieb Glier) was also known to be a talented wind horn maker as well. Robert Glier's son, Robert Louis Glier, also built violins up until the early 1940s, and his instruments are listed under the name "Robert Glier, Jr."
Glier had originally trained as a violin maker in Markneukirchen, Germany, but his work became internationally known after he immigrated to America and started to work at the Rudolph Wurlitzer shop in Cincinnati, USA between 1883 and 1900. After working for Rudolph Wurlitzer, he then started his own violin-making shop with his son, Robert Glier Jr.
Guide for collectors
Glier was known for experimenting with different types of woods, specifically, balsam fir. Many of Glier's authentic violins carry a Wurlitzer label, and some of his violins were imported from Germany as well. (Wurlitzer imported numerous different types of instruments from Europe during the 1920s and 1930s).
If you own an authentic Glier violin that was built when he was employed at the Wurlitzer shop in Cincinatti, it would labelled with his name as well as with a Wurlitzer label.
Many of Glier's violins have been described as "artist-grade" and some say the quality of his violins vary. Because of this, the estimated cost of his violins usually tend to be between $2,000 and $5,500 USD, however, it is not uncommon to find authentic Glier violins priced under $1,000 USD. Depending on the condition and quality of an authentic Glier violin, it may need some type of restoration. If an authentic Glier violin carries a "Wurlitzer" label it tends to be considered as more valuable, however, this point is debatable.
The Musical Instruments contains information regarding the Glier family heritage as well as information on Markneukirchen. The museum houses over 3100 musical instruments from all over the world which document the history of instrument making in the region.
Notable auction sales
Tarisio, an online auctioneer company that has offices in both London and New York, sold a Robert C. Glier violin for $9,775 in July of 2007.
Sotheby's in Chicago sold a 1922 Robert Glier violin for £1,656 in October of 2000, and The Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. in Nashville sold a 1886 Robert Glier violin for $1,521.00 in November of 2010.
Brompton's in London sold a 1913 Robert Glier violin for £1,395 in 2001, and Skinner Inc. in Boston sold a 1920 Robert Glier violin for $1,400 in May of 2011 as well as a 1914 Glier violin for $1,495 in 1998.
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