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Construction according to Bagatella

Alois Vincenc Honek, the founder of our family tradition, had a passion for a theory that the Czech lands were a cradle of the violin making, preceding even the Italy.

This fact as revolutionary as it may seem is however supported by many historical documents and it is even less suprising when we consider the fact that most craftsmen travelled around Europe.

The other part of his violin-making research was devoted to violin construction theories. He found the essentials to his theory in the construction of the present form of violin depicted in the publication of Antonio Bagatella from 1786.

The key to the secret of the great masters of Cremona was the division of the corpus to 72 pieces, based most probably on the golden section. The explanation Dr. Honek found was notable – the whole length of a violin equals 59.14 cm, which corresponds to the medieval length measure called the Czech elbow.

New model construction

Model construction according to A. V. Honěk

Using the golden section rule, the geometric construction plan shows a subsequent geometrical division of the whole length (120 pieces) to 3/5, which represents the 72 pieces used by Bagatella. The geometrically precise construction of the shape, combined with the use of accurate wooden templates (similar to those used by Antonio Stradivari, as can be found in Museum in Cremona), makes the wood carving and tonal qualities reproducible.

The excellent and standard quality in fact distinguishes AVH instruments largely from the current competition. Dr. Honek used maple wood from Slovakia and former Yugoslavia frequently as a whole back plate.

Precisely built soundboard is the key to an outstanding instrument.

The spruce from Sumava in southern Bohemia used for the front approaches the quality of the wood from the Alps, where old masters found their source of material. The wood that is carefuly selected to assure top insturment quality is then cut into plates and aged for more than a quarter of a century to deliver the superior sound performance. It must be said that the varnish, fittings and the final decoration were never of the highest interest of AVH, he cared especially for the tonal quality of his instruments.

Template construction

Furthermore, the final look of the instruments was often adapted to pocket of his beloved clients – students of music in Prague or elsewhere. AVH left for his successors the whole collection of plans, shapes and semi-carved pieces in the process of tempering, which are ready for assembling.

Every instrument is a masterpiece.

Most importantly, however, he endowed each of them with a piece of his secret, so they can together carry the tradition for the next generations.

Most of the instruments today are custom made, with all the details (including the final look) adjusted to client's wish.

 

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