Johann Wilhelm Knopf violin bow, Markneukirchen circa 1880
Among the numerous members of the illustrious Knopf dynasty of German instrument makers, Johann Wilhelm Knopf (1835-1912) was the son of Karl Wilhelm Knopf (1803-1860), and brother of Carl Heinrich Knopf (1839-1875). Johann Wilhelm studied violin and bow making at his family's workshop in Markneukirchen, where he was based until moving to Dresden in 1886. Johann Wilhelm's own nephew, Henry (Heinrich) Richard Knopf (1860-1939) would found one of the earliest and most important violin shops in the United States, H. R. Knopf and Sons Violins in New York City in 1880. Knopf bows are very highly regarded by professional players and collectors alike.