German violin maker Ernst Reinhold Schmidt (1857 - 1928) was born in Markneukirchen, where he apprenticed as a violin maker, before moving to Leipzig to work for the Bausch and Hammig workshop. After working for renowned maker and restorer August Riechers in Berlin, Schmidt returned to Markneukirchen to open his own business, E. R. Schmidt & Company, in 1884. The Schmidt workshop grew to become one of the most successful in Markneukirchen in the early 1900s, employing a large staff, which included his sons Rheinhold Willy (b. 1885) and Ernst (Ernest) Oscar (b. circa 1890), until they departed to the United States to establish their own business in Cleveland, Ohio. E. R. Schmidt's instruments won gold medals at the World's Fairs of Vienna in 1892 and Leipzig of 1913. We believe this cello was made in the Schmidt workshop circa 1920.