Lying in the state of Saxony in eastern Germany, the Vogtland region has for centuries been a well-known centre of musical instrument making. Its origins lie in the 1650s, when a group of twelve violin makers from Graslitz (Kraslice), in neighbouring Bohemia, came to settle there. In 1677 the region’s first violin making guild was founded in Markneukirchen, with a second guild established in Klingenthal about 40 years later. The Upper Vogtland was a remote region in the Erzgebirge mountains, away from the big cities and noble families, and without direct contact with musicians. However, there was a flourishing market for instruments there, as well as dealers: both essential requirements for the development of an instrument manufacturing trade. During the 18th century, a number of extended violin making families developed: the Dörffel, Ficker, Glass, Gütter, Hopf, Reichel, Schoenfelder and Voigt families to name but a few. By the end of that century there were already about 200 masters in the Upper Vogtland. Ref.: The Strad magazine.