We are fortunate to be offering two superb examples of the great Italian luthier, Annibale Fagnola.
Fagnola was one of the most successful violin makers of his generation, producing excellent instruments for a discerning clientele. Counted among the greatest Italian makers of his generation, he was mostly self-taught. Beginning his activities as a violin maker only in 1903, already in his mid 30s, he had influential contact with other fine Turin makers, includiung Guerra and Oddone. By 1911 he won gold medal for a quartet of instruments exhibited at the National Exposition in Turin, a prize which solidified his standing as a respected luthier. During the 1920s Fagnola reached the height of his ability as a maker, when his instruments were in great demand and his style was at its most mature.
His fame stretched beyond the borders of Italy, throughout Europe and even to Japan. He received multiple commissions from England, his instruments were being sold in the United States, the great French violinist and author of the foundational Dictionniare Des Luthiers Anciens Et Modernes, gave a glowing review in his tome, and commissions were coming in even from as far away as Japan.
He drew his inspiration from the superb Turin tradition, copying the models of Guadagnini, Rocca, and Pressenda.
This violin is based on a Pressenda model, and demonstrates his skill as a luthier: Thick, transluscent varnish, superb arching, and clean lines. The instrument is in excellent condition, having been part of a stellar collection for many years, and is tonally rich, clear and powerful, ready for the concert stage.
This violins is pictured in “Italian and French Violin Makers” by Jost Thöne, pages 160-163.