Karel is regarded as the finest of the Dvorak family of violin makers and dealers, who were active in Prague during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Born in 1856 and the son of Jan Baptista, his teacher, he gained much experience working in Vienna, Strasbourg and Paris, before settling again in Prague. His workmanship is of the first quality, and closely follows classical Cremonese models, with a richly coloured varnish. His brother Jaroslav Antonin (1861-1921) worked independently in Prague, and was succeeded by his son Karel Josef (1887-1947). Karel died in 1909, recognised at that time as the leading expert in his country.