Jackson Guldan 1930s Chicago, Ohio 4/4 Violin
Jackson Guldan was a production instrument builder in Columbus, Ohio reported to use machines to carve violin tops and backs before WWI - much earlier than any other US manufacturer. Although some German builders were using machinery to make student instruments, WWI severely damaged trade between Germany and the US and supply of modestly priced German violins dried up. Jackson Guldan was positioned to benefit.
After WWII, German labor rates dropped significantly and Jackson Guldan could not compete with German pricing. Jackson Guldan campaigned to impose a tariff on German imports, but faced opposition from teachers associations that wanted access to inexpensive European instruments. No tariff was imposed. Jackson Guldan lost market dominance and faded into relative obscurity by the late 1950s.
This violin is Jackson Guldan's Model No. 125, called the "Student Model." A 1953 catalogue describes it as being trimmed with ebony and with inlaid purfling. Back is of quartersawn flame maple. Fine spruce top. In dark reddish brown, grained with highlights shaded to reddish orange. Oil varnished, hand rubbed and polished. (The selling price in 1953 was $22.50). The back of the violin has an oval decal in gold, black, red and white which reads: "First National Institute of Allied Arts." (The First National Institute of Allied Arts sold student instruments, method books and sheet music in the early 1900s).
The condition of this violin is pristine. The violin's attributes match the catalogue description perfectly with the exception that the original chinrest has been replaced by a Guarneri style ebony chinrest, the original tailpiece has been replaced by a Wittner tailpiece and the First National Institute of Allied Arts added its label to the back.