Ifshin Rare & Fine Instruments

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Annibale Fagnola *SOLD*

sku Product SKU:  21205

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.

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Charles Adolphe Gand

sku Product SKU:  18794

Like so many of the finest luthiers, Charles Adolph Gand grew up in a family with a long lineage of important makers. His pedigree can be traced back to Nicolas Lupot of Orleans, arguably France’s most influential maker. After studying with and working for Francois Pique, the first of the French makers working in the “modern” style, Lupot set up in Paris in 1798. His accolades include an appointment to the Imperial Chapel in 1813, luthier to King Louis XVIII in 1816, and a commission as luthier to the Paris Conservatory of Music in 1817, to whom he would make an instrument for the winner of the annual competition. In 1802 he hired Charles Francois Gand, known as Gand Pére, as apprentice.

Charles Francois Gand, the father of Charles Adolph Gand, was himself a first rate luthier. Having learned the “modern” style from his master, Gand Pére constructed instruments on the Stradivarius model rather than the Stainer or Amati models. In other words, he preferred instruments with a flatter arching which achieved a powerful sound fit for contemporary concert halls. In 1820 he acquired the shop of another influential Parisian maker, Koliker, building a large atelier of international importance. Though he was considered a rival to the thriving businesss of Vuillaume and Lupot, he maintained a good relationship with Lupot. When Lupot retired in 1824, he passed all his official appointments to Gand Pére.

Charles Adolph Gand, also known as Gand Frére, took over his father’s shop in 1845. Steeped in a rich tradition of France’s best luthiers, Gand flourished as one of the finest makers of his generation. Working with his brother Eugene, he won 1st prize at the Paris Exhibition in 1855, receiving the prize directly from Napoleon III, the emperor of France. In 1862 he was made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, the highest honor in France. A source of national pride, he was also the official luthier to the Paris opera and to the Emperor. Because he was an acclaimed expert of old instruments he had limited time to make instruments. Yet his entire production is of the highest quality, and is sought after by collectors and professional musicians alike.

This violin is exemplary of his production. All the woodwork is exquisite and elegant, the varnish a rich red with a touch of antiquing. The tone is clear and fresh with plenty of power. It is in exceptional condition and would be fit for a collector or professional musician. It is accompanied by a certificate from Jean-Jacque Rampal from 2020.

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Ernst Heinrich Roth

sku Product SKU:  19250

The town of Markneukirchen in Saxony has been famous for violin making since the mid 1600s when the first violin making guild was formed. By the late 1800s more than a quarter of a million string instruments a year were being shipped all over the world with almost half the production coming to the U.S. After WWI, production in Markneukirchen dropped significantly but the companies that remained started to concentrate on the making of higher quality instruments. At the beginning of the 1920s. Ernst Heinrich Roth I (1877-1948) took over the operation of the Roth family firm and began to produce violins of exceptional quality. These fine violins were so popular in America that Ernst Heinrich sent his son Ernst Heinrich II (1890-1961) to this country to represent the firm. By the 1930’s, production decreased due to the rise of Nazism and the war. In spite of that, we still see fine Roth violins from the 30’s and even the late 40’s. Under Communist rule, the firm was taken over by the government and their building confiscated. In 1953, the business was re-established in Bubenreuth, West Germany and they began production of high quality violins, violas, cellos and bows.

Today, Ernst Heinrich Roth violins from the 1920’s are in great demand because of their exceptional quality and are increasing in value. Although originally the 1920s Roth violins were made in 13 different quality grades (reproductions of works of famous Cremonese violins by Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati), there is actually little difference in the different models in terms of quality. Some of these violins are labeled Eugen Meinel and are similar to the Roth violins and have comparable value. We have always searched for Roth violins from the 1920s and usually will have several examples available.

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