Walton E. RIFE

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By John Dilworth

RIFE, Walton E. b. Iowa, Worked circa. 1896-1930 St Louis, Missouri USA. Son and pupil of William Rief, above. Worked in an instrument factory in Chicago. Established independently in St Louis from 1896. Founded his own factory in 1927, using copying machines, and presses to form the fronts. Joined by his son Robert from 1929 as ‘Rife & Son’. Various classical models. Different varnishes according to grade of instrument. Used Canadian woods. Also made 51 violins, several violas, and three cellos entirely by hand on Stradivari models with European wood and an amber resin varnish inherited from his great-great-grandfather, Dominicus Rief. Also made harps. [Wenberg]

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