Max Mockel was taught by his father, the Berlin luthier Oswald Mockel. Like his father, he made very refined and beautiful instruments. The younger Mockel worked in several places, including Warsaw, Moscow, St Petersburg, Charlottenburg and Berlin, where this violin was made.
The violin has an amazing back, exhibiting a gorgeous piece of wood, but my favourite feature of its appearance is its stunning red varnish, full of very fine craquelure. Mockel was very diligent when he made this violin; he put a pre-emptive patch on the front under the sound post to help ward off sound post cracks. It worked - the violin is in stunning condition with only one saddle crack which has been repaired.
It has a 'vintage' tone which, for me conjures up memories of listening to old LPs of Oistrakh. Whilst strong and responsive across the whole fiddle, the G string is particularly full, right up to the very top of the string, perfect for Ravel's Tzigane!