In Focus: A 1911 violin by Anatoly Leman

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Yuri Pochekin details an instrument by one of the most important figures in Russian violin making history

Alongside Nikolai Kittel, Anatoly Ivanovich Leman is the most important figure in Russian violin making history. Leman was born in 1859 in Moscow, to a family of hereditary noblemen. He had an excellent education that allowed him to pursue several interests: he was at various times a military engineer, a writer, a practising dentist and finally a luthier.

In 1885 Leman moved to St Petersburg. He became increasingly interested in stringed instruments and at some point decided to become a full-time violin maker. He was entirely self-taught and over the next few years learnt the principles of varnish and acoustics. He used his own models throughout his life, never copying the works of the old masters, and gave individual names to all the instruments he made…

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