Josef Teller

We are bridge makers and manufacturers of accessories for instrument. Since the 18th century we have fabricated instruments. Today we make bridges, chinrests, pegs, tailpieces and more accessories for instruments in Bubenreuth.

Steg-Grafik Bridge Makers

Josef Teller OHG, P.O.Box 27, Frankenstr. 43, D-91088 Bubenreuth, Phone +49/9131/89560, info@teller.de, Copyright Neman Grafik 2013
Violinbridge, Royal de luxe, Josef Teller OHG

Josef Teller – handmade bridges from Germany

Bastian and Manfred Teller would like to welcome you to their website.

We are manufacturers of musical instrument parts and we particularly see ourselves as bridge makers.

The Tellers
  • Our family originally comes from the former heart of the German instrument making industry: Schönbach in the Egerland, where instruments have been made since the 16th century.
  • Since the 18th century, we have been involved in all facets of instrument making: as string makers, violin makers, zither makers, guitar makers, etc.
  • And as documents prove, we are a family of bridge makers in their now sixth generation.

It might sound a little too romantic, but we have always highly valued family.
We have worked together and passed on our knowledge.

The workshop
  • Even today, our workshop is located in one of the centers of German instrument making: Bubenreuth.
  • This is where we manufacture most of our instrument parts and every single one of our bridges. Everything is completely “Made in Bubenreuth”.
  • While working closely together with our most experienced employees, we also personally lay hands on our product – starting from the beginning where it is still part of the rooted tree, to the moment when it is being delivered to you.

We would like to invite you, to visit us and the beautiful Franconian region.

Visit us in a Bavarian Broadcast documentation Unter unserem Himmel – Am Frankenschnellweg. Go to minute 10.

Bosnian maple, wood, Teller, Josef Teller OHG

What we consider important

The raw material
  • Bosnian maple of best quality, though found less frequently today, used for our bridges
  • The appreciation of the natural state of the wood and its beauty
  • Personally selected by my father and me in Bosnia, cut open with wedge and axe either on site or at home
  • Starting with the cutting open of the trunks to the final product, the whole work process takes place in our workshop — everything is Made in Germany
The storing
  • Continous buildup and extension of our new lumberyard since 1948
  • Storing of ideal wood under ideal conditions
  • Storing time: a minimum of 5 years and up to 30 years or more
  • No artificial seasoning
The processing
  • The natural state of the material is most important
  • i.e., abstaining from all sorts of procedures which might serve speed and commerce, and which contradict our experience (such as kiln drying, lasering techniques, chemical seasoning)
  • Handwork wherever it serves the functionality and beauty of the end–product
  • Piece by piece strict quality selection by hand by my father and me
Design and funcionality
  • Development of our products using over 100 years of family–experience as instrument makers and close cooperation with international luthiers
  • Ergonomical and acoustical research
  • Continuous development of the forms for contemporary musical perfomance
a detail of the wood, Teller Royal de Luxe, Josef Teller OHG

Our Stamps

Teller Germany
  • quality Student
  • for beginner and student–level instruments
  • made of Bosnian Maple
  • naturally seasoned for a minimum of 5 years in our lumberyard
  • 1 – 3 Stars
Josef Teller 1891 Germany
  • quality Master
  • for concert and soloist instruments
  • made of Bosnian Maple
  • very fine grain and strong medullary rays
  • naturally seasoned for a minimum of 10 years in our lumberyard
  • 1 – 3 Stars
TELLER   ROYAL DE LUXE
  • rare quality
  • naturally seasoned for even more than one decade
  • strict selection, so only few are available
Josef Teller OHG - Music Conventions and exhibitions

Steg-Grafik International Music Conventions

Josef Teller OHG, P.O.Box 27, Frankenstr. 43, D-91088 Bubenreuth, Phone +49/9131/89560, info@teller.de, Copyright Neman Grafik 2013
Fotografie aus der Teller Werkstatt

Cremona, Shanghai, Frankfurt

From September 25–27, 2015, we will see you at the Mondo Musica in Cremona. And, we will be present at the Music China in Shanghai, October 14–17, 2015 and in Frankfurt April 15–18, 2015 as well.
We are looking forward to meeting you!

Josef Teller OHG - Chronicle - Bastian Teller, Manfred Teller, Artur Teller, Gusti Teller, Josef Teller, Isidor Teller

Steg-Grafik Chronicle

Josef Teller OHG, P.O. Box 27, Frankenstr. 43, D-91088 Bubenreuth, Phone +49/9131/89560, info@teller.de, Copyright Neman Grafik 2013
Portrait Bastian Teller

Bastian Teller — The Face of Today (*1978)

Special Purpose Machines

I would never have been able to simply learn this special knowledge about Bosnian maple, which has been passed down in my family for more than 100 years now, through any sort of education or apprenticeship in wood engineering. Ever since I was a child I have been surrounded by maple wood.

Therefore, the training that I have received in my apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic, my advanced training as a mechanical engineer and my time in a fitter`s workshop were just the right addition. I am now able to further develop our own special purpose machinery, something originally started by Josef Teller back in the day in the Egerland.

Spruce

Before I began working for our family business, I spent half a year in Norway restoring traditional Norwegian blockhouses built in the 17th century.

Realization

I am now benefitting from this composition of modern industrial education and traditional hand craftsmanship and am able to provide new ideas for our business and raise the level of our products.

It is through my personal research of historical bridge designs (our family archive is a treasure box) that I develop new designs which respect both the local tradition and my own special roots. In doing so, I consider very important the constant exchange with luthiers.

Portrait Manfred Teller

Manfred Teller — Wood Engineering and Trade (*1953)

Family Tradition

Manfred‘s way into the family business began early.
The family`s tradition, proposing a more lengthy, detailed, step–by–step approach, includes comprehensive job training and extensive practical experience. This holistic approach helps us combine knowledge and skill in our workshop even today.
If possible, everything is produced in our own workshop.

This is then why Manfred completed two apprenticeships, one as a salesman and the other as a carpenter, in order to be perfectly prepared for future assignments. After a few years of training as a carpenter he attended a wood engineering school in Rosenheim.

Learning from Scratch

From the smallest work, Manfred learned all possible working steps of our workshop, starting with the most simple tasks. He spent many years sawing open the wooden boards for the bridges along the split–line of the wood and grading the wood according to their grain and medullary rays.
Nowadays, together with Bastian, he is managing the company and is responsible in particular for quality control and assistance in all possible areas of the workshop.

Portait Artur Teller

Artur Teller — The “Last Bridge Maker” (*1926)

Water Industry

Artur Teller originally intended to become an engineer in the water industry; but similar to many of his generation, the course of history thwarted his plans.

After the war, Artur learned that his parents had been relocated away from their family home and he left home himself to go look for them.

The Last of His Kind

Just like his father before him, Artur began his apprenticeship as a bridge maker in his parents‘ workshop. At the successful completion of his training, he wanted to gain his master`s diploma; however, at that point there were no masters left to examine him. The profession of his ancestors had died out.

Artur Teller can thus be seen as the last bridge maker to receive an official education.

Portrait Gusti Teller

Gusti Teller — Fathers and Sons (1931–1987)

“Trümmerfrau?”

We want to interrupt the chain of fathers and sons and present Gusti, one (though not the only female representative) of the many women without whom the workshop could not have been built and become what it is today.
(“Trümmerfrau” = debris women, who cleared away debris in bomb ravaged German cities)

Jack of All Trades!

She put aside much of her personal life, raised her children “on the side”, took care of a household “on the side”, and helped manage the workshop at the same time! She worked on the bridges, delivered them and, together with this first generation, took on this new home in Bubenreuth.

Portrait Josef Teller

Josef Teller — The Name Giver (1906–1990)

Practice “Early” Makes Perfect

The first few sentences of Josef’s (“Beppi” was his nickname) 1947 curriculum vitae read:

“I was born in Schönbach on May 31, 1906, son of Isidor Teller, bridge maker for bowed and plucked instruments. Starting at the age of 14, I learned the bridge making handcraft from my father.”

Later, Josef summed up his family life amongst 13 siblings, the years of his childhood, and job training with the following words: “raised rigorously, yet remained cheerful.”

Conviviality

Conviviality was his main trait throughout his life. The doors to his apartment in the grand family house, which was built in the 1960’s, were always open to his friends and relatives. The mornings were filled with breakfast sessions together with all grandchildren and great–grandchildren present. At night, the grown ups would meet to play the Egerländer card game “Oagey”.

His grandson, the photographer Jürgen Teller, dedicated a photo album to the “Märchenstüberl” (the “Fairy Tale Chamber”), a room in the basement which Beppi had set up for festivals and parties, complete with a cigarette–picking–bird from the 1950‘s. “Fröhlich” (Cheerful) was even the name of his favorite beer brand.

It was not only this openness that characterized him but also his inventiveness and artistic talent, which he used to invent and engineer numerous machines for bridge production.

Portrait of Isidor Teller

Isidor Teller — The Rise (1867–1935)

“Music comes from Bohemia”

Schönbach in the Egerlandused to be called the “Cremona” of the Habsburger Monarchy. Here gathered all the great tradition of the Austrian instrument making of the turn of the century.
And this was also where many of Isidor Teller‘s colleagues wondered how the bridge maker, Isidor, together with only his wife and 14 children could manage to produce bridges of such high number and quality. In truth, he and his family had secretly developed and promoted the mechanization of their workshop.

Overseas

Shortly thereafter, Isidor proudly announced that he delivered bridges not only to all parts of Europe, but also overseas and, actually, to “all known countries and parts of the globe.” Success seemed only a matter of time — but the course of history in the 20th century turned everything upside down.

During the First World War, it has been reported that he had bridge work from home sent to him at the front lines. He prefered carving his highly artistical bridge–hearts to shooting enemies. His return home was followed by a quick economical recovery of the whole region and the renewal of international affairs – now in “Czech Republic”.

Fronts

After Isidor`s unexpected death, it was WWII that brought two generations of the Tellers to the front; and, the relocation in 1947 finally changed everything. The family‘s new beginning in the young Federal Republic of Germany was taken care of by both his son and his grand–son.


In a self–promotional ad of the 20th century, Isidor wrote:

“If required, I commend myself. Respectfully Signed, Isidor Teller”
bridges hearts, designs by Isidor Teller
a photography of the monument for the violin makers in Schönbach, made 1926

The Ancestors — Reaching Far Down

The father of Isidor was Lorenz Teller (1838–1904), professional bridge maker.
And his father was Johann Jakob Teller, violin maker by profession.

Due to the eventful, political history of Central Europe, further background of our family is difficult to research; however, we still find amongst the Tellers numerous handicraftsmen in the 19th century and even as far back as the 18th century.

This is all we can assuredly state.

lettering Josef Teller - Manufacturer of Bridges since 1891
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