Ernst Heinrich Roth Rugeri model violin, Markneukirchen 1923
Ernst Heinrich Roth (1877-1948) was one of the most prolific and successful makers of violins and bows in Markneukirchen during the 20th century. Born into a long line of highly-esteemed violin makers, he learned how to play the violin, viola, cello, piano, and trumpet at an early age. He began his luthier training in the workshop of his father, Gustav Robert Roth, before going on to travel extensively around Europe to learn more about the art and craft of violin making. Upon returning to his hometown, he established his own workshop, along with his cousin Gustav August Ficker, in 1902 at the age of 25.
Versatility best defines Ernst Heinrich Roth's craftsmanship, which displays a sharp eye for detail, ensuring all violins produced-whether an original piece, a replica, or a student-level iteration-were closely supervised and tested with himself personally applying much of the varnish, which is typically golden-yellow to red-brown in color and of Cremonese elasticity.
The firm was known for its high level of transparency when it came to representing their instruments-an unprecedented move in the industry that suffered from unethical labeling practices at the time. They used at least 14 models, which include impressive reproductions of the works of Cremonese masters such as Stradivari, Amati, and Guarneri. The firm suffered during the Second World War, but eventually the family relocated to Bubenreuth in 1953 where it continues to operate to this day, headed by Ernst Heinrich Roth's descendants.