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Don's Juzek-Made in Germany

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by MD, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. MD

    MD Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.
    Hi Don,
    You certainly have some beautiful basses.
    I'm especially interested in the Juzek. I've owned my Juzek for nearly 22 years, and often wonder why there is a tiny
    "made in Germany" lable on the main "John Juzek, violinmaker in Prague" label. I was originally told by the seller that it was built pre-WWI. Can you shed some light on this?
  2. A couple things sound fishy here. Is the label in English?
    And Prague is in Czechoslovakia, Not Germany, so It May be A German Copy of a Juzek.More luthiers than you think have used fake labels on their instruments to get a better price for them.
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Juzek moved his operation to Germany after WW2. It's a way of dating the instrument. Same instrument. If a cat gives birth in an abandoned oven, are they kittens or biscuits?

    Ooops. I missed the first order of business - thanks for the kind words. Sometimes it's hell selling one of them.
    Like the Kaakstein.

    [Edited by Don Higdon on 02-07-2001 at 07:00 PM]
  4. Very interesting Don,I was not aware of that. I have been searching the web for info on Juzek, but have found surprisingly scarce pickings. Do you know where I could find something? And I guess the reason I sounded skeptical is that I have just finished a project of researching instrument authenticity, and I was amazed at how common luthier fraud is.
  5. At the Metropolitan Music website they have added a "history" of Juzek instruments. It doesn't give a whole lot of info.
    Incidentally, on the page listing double bass models, it states that some of them are made by Wilfer.


  6. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    You may also find this quoted message from Barrie Kolstein of interest:

    From: BKolstein@aol.com Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 Subject: Juzek

    The second question of when Juzek made the move into Germany is as follows :The original Juzek company was located in Prague, Czeckoslovakia. After the end of World War II and the occupation of Czeckoslovakia by the Soviet Union,a great deal of people exited the country quite quickly. The Juzek company was one . They literally picked up all but the physical factory building andmoved into what was then U.S. Occupied Germany..soon to become West Germany and now Unified Germany. They are still there in Germany.

    It should benoted that the Prague Juzeks were made in several models ..that being their "Professor Model" a 3/4 gamba shaped flatback model with usually plainfigured maple back wood and their least expensive model. Next came their round back gamba shaped model, with a bit more figured maple backs. Then their Master Art series in larger 3/4 and 7/8 sizes. These model are violin cornered, roundback models with spectacular flamed maple and a characteristic ebony diamond inlay in the back below the neck block button. Finally Juzek made a few copies of a Gasparo DaSalo model, which was the Master Art model bass with a DaSalo scroll in the 3/4 size. These are quite rare, as I have only seen two in my career and owned one for a bit.

    Once Juzek moved to German the instruments became much more commercialized , as did the varnish which was a beautiful brownish amber color when in Prague and a Redish nitrous cellulous laquer finish on their student model 3/4 gamba shaped roundback model Basses and a brownish amber laquer finish on their 3/4 and 7/8 violinciornered roundback model upper grade basses. To my knowledge, the German Juzek Co. never made any flatback model basses. The Prague Juzeks are held in much higher value and esteem than the German counterparts. However; the flatback models from prague, often required a bit of restorative work including new crossbarring etc. Also the early period right after the war, when Juzek produced their first basses from Germany, were the best German examples as they were what I consider "Transitional" Juzeks, whereby much of the old wood supply and workers from the Prague factory were incorporated into these produced basses.
  7. MD

    MD Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2000
    Marin Co. CA.

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