Hornsteiner label

~ Jacobus Hornsteiner ~

Absroth, c. 1920-1930


Hornsteiner label

Although this is labeled as 'made in Germany' it looks very similar so basses made just across the border in Schonbach, Czechoslovakia at that time by the Wilfer family for the Juzek brand. Recently I have seen pictures of a Bass opened up with the same Purfling design under the back Button area. There was a logo brand stamp inside the Top opposite the Bassbar from the shop of 'Franz Wilfer'. Juzek brand basses in the past were made by Anton Wilfer (pre-WWII) and Wenzel Wilfer (post-WWII) one or the relatives of the Wilfer family. This Bass with the 'Jacobus Hornsteiner' label was made for export as well and most likely labeled here in USA after arriving. The Label itself has no country of origin but does carry the standard commercial phrase 'hand made reproduction of Antonius Stradivarius' as seen on other similar labels. The Artwork however on this label is the exact same work as used in other basses with the names Andreas Morelli and G.A. Pfretchner, two other brands using fictitious names by dealers importing from Germany.


Early 20th Century German/Czech Bass
Upper Bout: 20 1/4" Belly Length: 45 1/2" (44" over the Back Button) 
Center Bout: 14 3/4" String Length: 42" (modified)
Bottom Bout: 25 1/4" Varnish: Dark Chestnut Brown
Rib Depth: 7 3/4" (Upper Bout tapering from 7 1/2" to 6" at the Neck)
Top: 2-Piece Spruce
Back: 2-Piece lightly figured Maple
Ribs: lightly figured Maple
Neck / Scroll: Maple

Features: This is an early 20th century import Bass sold by a firm in the mid-west. I have seen two other basses recently with slightly smaller dimensions so that would be the standard 3/4 of its time. This one being longer might have been a small 4/4 model as I think the 5/8ths and 7/8ths sizes were dubbed in by the American market dealers/players in the latter 20th century when sized became more of a fractional business or just for discussion/comparison purposes. Before then it was mainly 1/2, 3/4 and 4/4 numbers being used.

Note: For a Bass in the 80 year old range, this one is quite healthy in comparison to other shop type basses that have been in regular use. This Bass has been well maintained over the years as well from what I can see.

This Bass has been Sold.



This Purfled design in the upper Back Button area is quite different as compared to the other imported Bohemian/Germanic patterns seen on imported brands like Wilfer, Juzek, Morelli, Pfretzschner, Hofner and others. The Scroll and Neck Button is handsomely done as well.


Copyright 1998-2012  Ken Smith Basses, LTD.
(All rights reserved)
ALL PRICES AND SPECS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE