Bow Maker
Emil Max Penzel

Erlbach, Germany

Emil Max Penzel, a renowned German violin bow maker, began his career possibly apprenticing at esteemed workshops like H.R. Pfretzschner. Penzel's commitment to excellence led him to establish hisworkshop in Erlbach in the 1930s, where he meticulously crafted violin bows of unparalleled quality until his passing in 1953.Read more

Short Bio

Full Name: Emil Max Penzel


New making style: n/a

Locally making

Erlbach, Germany

Maker Background

Emil Max Penzel, a distinguished German violin bow maker born in 1887, embarked on his journey in the craft under somewhat mysterious circumstances, with little known about his formal education. Speculation suggests he may have apprenticed at H.R. Pfretzschner or August Pfretzschner, renowned establishments known for their expertise in bow making.

By 1907, Penzel had honed his skills to such a degree that he ventured out to establish his own company in Erlbach, Germany. Over the decades, his dedication to his craft remained steadfast, evidenced by his unwavering commitment to excellence. In the 1930s, Penzel made a significant investment by acquiring a house in Erlbach, where he established his workshop. It was within these walls that he meticulously crafted violin bows of unparalleled quality, each one a testament to his artistry and skill.

Initially inspired by the works of renowned French maker Lamy, Penzel swiftly honed his craft, developing distinctive designs. In due course, the iconic "E. M. Penzel" emblem, flanked by horizontal treble clefs, became synonymous with authenticity and superior craftsmanship. Penzel's legacy as a bow maker endured until his passing in 1953, leaving behind a rich heritage of craftsmanship that continues to be celebrated by musicians and collectors alike.

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