A good German violin by Johann Christian Ficker, Neukirchen circa 1790.

There are three Johann Christian Fickers working in Neukirchen, and about 20 members of the family who made musical instruments recorded in total as well as other makers in Neukirchen who worked with them, so as with Klotz violins in Mittenwald one can rarely be certain of who made an instrument unless it has an absolutely authentic label. Nonetheless, this is most likely to be J.C. Ficker (III) and there is no particular difference in value between any of them. This example is of particularly high quality and bears a fake label of “Paulus Aletsee, / fecit Monarchij. 1711”. I note that the compressed upper parts of the letter “e” are a characteristic that I have also seen on genuine Ficker labels. and provides very clear evidence to suggest that the label was inserted into the violin when it was new by the Fickers as a forgery of the work of a celebrated earlier maker (although the extra turn etched into the scroll is a characteristic Ficker trait which is illogical in a violin intended to be a forgery). The overall pattern is somewhat similar to Stainer, but a little fuller and rounder and the quality of workmanship and varnish is of the highest quality for Neukirchen makers. Overall a very fine and characterful eighteenth-century German violin.