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

Italian Violin Makers

Battista Guadagnini. He says: "He imitated Stradivari, but avoided close imitation of all detail, and prided himself on not being a mere copyist." He is said to have excited the jealousy of other makers, which caused him to move so frequently, but most likely he offended chiefly with his hasty temper. Many of his instruments made in Turin between 1773 and 1776 have wood of the handsomest kind. Count Cozio ordered from him several instruments which he added to his collection, among them two Tenors and two Violoncellos. The interest Count Cozio manifested with regard to this maker is shown in his having obtained from the parish registers the date of his birth and death. He states that he was born in Cremona in 1711, and died in Turin, September 18, 1786. This last-named date is in conformity with that of 1785, given to me by the representatives of the family at Turin, as the last year in which he made instruments. Lorenzo has been regarded as the only pupil of Stradivari in the Guadagnini family; but if their respective works be closely examined, it will be found that those of Giovanni Battista more closely resemble the instruments of Stradivari than even those of Lorenzo, which is suggestive of his having, in some way, been brought early under the great master's influence.8 It is singular that his early labels contain no reference to Cremona, whilst on the late ones there is mention of the famous town, which evidences the correctness of the statement of Count Cozio relative to his birthplace. It is quite evident that he considered the model of Stradivari as that to be followed, and he does not appear to have changed his views on this point at any time, all his works being in accordance with the teachings of the great master.

   7 The present representative of the family mentions Piacenza as the place of birth.

   8 The labels in many of the later instruments dating from Turin contain the words "alumnus Antoni Stradivari."

Giovanni Battista was particularly happy in the selection of his wood, it being generally of the handsomest kind. The backs of his instruments are mostly found to be divided, the markings of the wood being very regular; the bellies are of wood well chosen for tone, the varnish very transparent and of a brilliant colour. The scroll may be described as a rough imitation of that of Stradivari, and to partake generally of the character of the Stradivarian scroll from the date of 1728. The English possess some of the finest specimens of this maker, and were probably the first to recognise their sterling merits. In the correspondence which passed between Count Cozio di Salabue and Vincenzo Lancetti, in the year 1823, the Count says: "The instruments of G. B. Guadagnini are highly esteemed by connoisseurs and professional men in Holland and Germany."

GUADAGNINI, Gaetano, Turin. Son of Giovanni Battista. Was both a maker and a repairer of Violins; it was, however, in the latter capacity that his abilities were mainly exercised.

GUADAGNINI, Giuseppe. Second son of Giovanni Battista. Worked with his father for some time at Turin. He ultimately went to Lombardy, and settled in Pavia, where he made a great number of instruments. The work and character belonging to these instruments are varied. The model is that of Stradivari. In some instances the sound-holes partake of the character of Giuseppe Guarneri. The varnish is inferior to that of his predecessors, and the wood often hard and plain. Some of his Violins bear the labels of his father, and were doubtless made when they were living together.

GUADAGNINI, Carlo, Turin. Son of Gaetano Guadagnini. This maker is chiefly known as a maker of Guitars. Carlo left three sons, Gaetano, Giuseppe, and Felice. These are said to have been all makers of Violins, though they appear to have accomplished but little in that direction, with the exception of Felice.

GUADAGNINI, Felice (or Felix), about 1835, Turin. Son of Carlo. Excellent work, varnish rather hard, well-cut scroll.

GUADAGNINI, Antonio. Son of Gaetano and grandson of Carlo, born 1831, died 1881. Worked with much diligence, and produced a great number of instruments. His sons Francesco and Giuseppe, the representatives of a long line of Italian Violin-makers, learned at Turin the art so long associated with the family name, with a view to their following in the footsteps of their father Antonio.
Andreas Guarnerius fecit Cremonæ
sub titulo Sanctæ Teresiæ 16—

GUARNERI, Andrea, Cremona, born about 1626, died 1698. The name of "Guarnerius" is probably known to every possessor of a