French Violin Makers, German Violin Makers, English Violin Makers, Antonio Stradivari

Italian Violin Makers

FIORILLO, Giovanni, Ferrara, 1780. The style is a mixture of German and Italian, the former preponderating. The sound-hole is an imitation of that of Stainer. His Violoncellos are among his best instruments.

FIORINO, Fiorenzi, Bologna, about 1685.

FREI, Hans, Bologna, 1597. Lute and Viol-maker. There is an instrument of this make at the Bologna Academy of Music. It is probable there was a family connection between Hans Frey, of Nuremberg, and this maker.
Gio Battista Gabrielli, fece in
Firenze, 17—

Johanes Baptista de Gabriellis,
Florentinus fecit 1742.

GABRIELLI, Giovanni Battista, Florence, about the middle of the 18th century. The instruments of Gabrielli are now becoming better known and appreciated. They bear evident marks of having been made with extreme care. The model, unfortunately, is often not all that could be desired, being too rounded. When this is not the case, the tone is excellent. The wood is mostly very handsome, and the sides and backs evenly marked. The varnish is wanting in mellowness, but is very transparent; its colour is chiefly yellow. The Tenors and Violoncellos are superior to the Violins. The scroll is neatly cut, but weak in design. The letters G. B. G. were often branded on the instruments of Gabrielli.

GABRIELLI. Other makers of this name (Antonio, Bartolommeo, Cristoforo) appear to have dated from Florence.

GAFFINO, Giuseppe, Paris, about 1755. Pupil of Castagneri.
Alexandrus Gagliano Alumnus
Stradivari fecit Neapoli anno 1725.

GAGLIANO, Alessandro, Naples, 1695-1730. A pupil of Antonio Stradivari. The Gagliano family played no unimportant part in the art of Italian Violin-making. It commences with Alessandro, who imitated his master as regards the form which he gave to his instruments. Alessandro Gagliano, upon leaving the workshop of Stradivari, removed to Naples, a city which afforded him greater scope for the exercise of his talents than Cremona. With others, he felt that his chance of success was very small if he remained on ground occupied by the greatest luminaries of his art. His labours at Naples seem to have been so well rewarded that he caused his sons to follow his calling. There is evidence of their having enjoyed what may be termed a monopoly of the Violin manufacture in and around Naples, there being no record of another maker of importance in that locality at the same period. To these makers we are indebted for the Neapolitan School. Although in its productions we miss the lustrous varnish and handsome wood of Cremona, Naples has furnished us with many excellent instruments.

The works of Alessandro Gagliano are mostly of large pattern and flat model. If we compare them with those of his master, the resemblance is not so great as might be expected, if it be remembered that they are copies, and not original works. The sound-holes are broader and more perpendicular than those of Stradivari. The scroll is diminutive, and the turn much contracted and of a somewhat mean appearance. The workmanship of the scroll is roughly executed, and points to the conclusion that Alessandro Gagliano was not gifted with the power of head-cutting. The character of Gagliano's Violins frequently reminds us of those by Stradivari made between 1725 and 1730.5

   5 Some of his Basses are of exceptionally fine workmanship.

The wood used for the backs was generally of a tough nature; the back and sides are often marked with a broad curl. The bellies are of wide and even grain, and very resonant. The varnish is quite distinct from that of Cremona; it is very transparent, and of various shades, chiefly yellow.
Januarius Gagliano, filius Alexandri
fecit Neap, 1732—