The most distinguished member of a large family of violin-makers in Füssen, which can be traced back to Josef Hermann, born around 1682. Johann Martin was born in 1778, the son of Magnus Stephan. He worked initially in Lerchenfeld, moving to Vienna in 1809, where he attained citizenship in 1811, and was appointed luthier to the court. After his death in 1838, the business was continued by his widow, with his apprentice Anton Hofman, and thereafter known as ‘Stoss & Hofman’. His early work is of mundane quality with dark opaque varnish, but in Vienna he was able to work with fine classical models and use a superior varnish with varying shades of golden-yellow and red.
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