Horst Kloss Appointed as Fine Musical Instrument Specialist

Veteran luthier brings more than four decades of authentication & appraisal experience

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. – August 28, 2013 – Skinner Auctioneers and Appraisers is pleased to announce the appointment of Horst Kloss to its Fine Musical Instruments department in the role of specialist. Kloss will, in partnership with Jill Arbetter, department director pro tem, source, authenticate, and appraise fine stringed instruments, bows, and fretted instruments for presentation in Skinner Fine Musical Instruments auctions.

Mr. Kloss comes to Skinner as a Mittenwald-trained Master Violin Maker with over four decades of experience, primarily through The Kloss Shop in Needham, Massachusetts. He is widely regarded for his authentication and appraisal services, as well as acoustical adjustment skills which balance individual musician requirements with museum-level conservation standards.

Kloss has cared for noteworthy collections, including the Boston Museum of Fine Art’s historic stringed instruments. He is one of fewer than 100 makers whose training and skills qualified him for full membership status in the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers. In addition, Mr. Kloss has authenticated and appraised many fine and rare stringed instruments and bows including those of Amati, Stradivarius, Guarneri del Gesù, Tourte, Peccatte, Sartory, and others.

Kloss earned his Journeyman’s diploma in 1964 and his Master’s degree in 1972 at the Bavarian State School of Violin Making in Southern Germany under the tutelage of Joseph Kantuscher. He is a faculty member at the University of New Hampshire Violin Craftsmanship Institute.

According to Karen M. Keane, CEO of Skinner, “As an internationally-regarded luthier, Horst Kloss brings tremendous depth of knowledge, experience, and connoisseurship to the Skinner Fine Musical Instruments department.” Keane continued, “Skinner has a long tradition of presenting fine musical instruments at auction. We’re confident Horst will attract the best material, and will present it competitively in the open marketplace afforded by live auction.”

Jill Arbetter added, “We’re very pleased to have Horst on board in time for our November sale, which promises a strong selection for both instrumentalists and the trade.” Arbetter continued, “A few early highlights include a Nicolaus Gagliano violin from 1728, a Stefano Scarampella violin from 1904, as well as bows by Emile Auguste Ouchard, W.E. Hill, Otto Hoyer, and Albert Nurnberger.” Skinner’s next major sale of fine musical instruments will take place on Saturday, November 24, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. in the Skinner Boston Gallery.

About the Skinner Fine Musical Instruments Department

The Skinner Fine Musical Instruments department deals in fine and high-quality bowed and fretted stringed instruments, primarily through public auction and also through private sale. Skinner auctions of Fine Musical Instruments, held twice annually in the spring and fall, routinely realize highly competitive prices. The department sold a fine and important Stradivarius violin, circa 1721, for $1.4 million, and a 1958 Gibson Explorer Electric Guitar for $611,000 – a world record at auction.

Skinner has recently added a timed, online-only sale of instruments for students, restoration, and the trade. The inaugural Musical Instruments – Online auction will take place from September 18, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. through September 26, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. Participants must create an account on the Skinner website in order to bid. For questions, contact the department at 508-970-3135 or music@skinnerinc.com.

About Skinner

Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, fine musical instruments, rare books, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts with an international audience of bidders participating in person, by phone, and online through the SkinnerLive! online bidding platform. For more information and to read our blog, visit the website at www.skinnerinc.com, find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/skinnerauctions, or follow us on Twitter @Skinnerinc.


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  1. Pingback: Fine Violins, Violas, Cellos & Bows | Guitars & Woodwinds | Skinner Auction | Skinner Inc.

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