In our opinion the work is after
the style but later than the work of the named maker.
Gasparo da Salo died in 1609 so
we are talking approximately 140-180 years later.
i) Model; The model is "Grand"
with flat arching on the table and pronounced arching on the back.
ii) Table wood; Yellow pine - cut on the slab or quarter.
iii) Back wood; A type of fruit wood - probably pear and cut almost
on the quarter. Made of three pieces - with joints virtually invisible.
iv) Purfilling; Double-purfilling of a most interesting and unusual
form - consisting of two thick "painted" bands to both
front and back.
v) Varnish; Thick reddish-brown with a wonderful thick-depthy texture
and a slight craquelleur - quite suggestive of NW Venice area of
vi) Internal top and bottom blocks; Very small and semicircular.
vii) Scroll; Simplistic in style and executed to a proficient standard.
viii) F's; In keeping with the scroll.
ix) Endpin hole; Off centre - positioned much close to the front
x) Machines; Of notable distinction in both design and manufacture.
Yes, the characteristics do suggest
the renowned violin making Province of Brecia in the Lombardi region
of Italy. To the West of Venice the city of Brecia lies with Da
Salo - the birthplace of Gasparo di Bertolotti (known as Gasparo
da Salo) a short distance from the shoreline of Lake Garda. Further
upstream - nestling in the foothills of the Alps - are the villages
of Rovereto and Trento with Bolzano further to the North.
Unfortunately there are no internal
labels or inscriptions. The only history that we have relates to
it's last owner who we understand was a man of the cloth - here
in the UK and who cherished the instrument for most of his life.
Hearing this one can't help making an association with the Gasparo
da Salo instrument that was presented to Dragonetti by the Benedictine
nuns who occupied St. Peter's monastery in Venice where at the time
Dragonetti lived and played in the Grand Opera.
To bring this instrument to the
tip-top structural and playing condition that it is now presented
- a total of nearly £12 000-00 including fittings and
vat was spent on it. A digital print out of the inside table
accompanies the instrument. The work - undertaken by our restorer
over several months involved the following procedures;
i) Remove front
ii) Clean out cracks and reglue
iii) Fit new bass bar
iv) Fit sound post patch
v) Half-edge as necessary
vi) Stud cracks
vii) Effect repairs around f-holes
viii) Re-glue front
ix) Remove back
x) Clean out cracks and glue
xi) Stud cracks
xii) Clean out cracks to ribs and glue
xiii) Stud cracks to ribs
xiv) Re-glue back
xv) Graft and fit new neck
vi) Clean varnish and touch in where necessary
vii) Fit new bridge with adjusters, sound
post and endpin unit.
The great looks, an advantageous
string length and the extremely powerful, deep, dark, tonally rich
sounds that this instrument produces are certain to appeal to those
players seeking an instrument that will do them justice at the very
highest levels. This if without question an instrument of both visual
and playing distinction. This is without question an inspirational
instrument for any player. As estate agents say - an early viewing
is strongly recommended.
LOB (length of back) - 113.2cm
Width across upper bouts - 52.6cm (20.75in)
Width across middle bouts - 36.5cm (14.35in)
Width across lower bouts - 65.2cm (25.65in)
Depth of lower ribs inc both plates- 22.5cm (8.85in)
Body Stop - 60.0cm (23.65in)
String length - 104.6cm (41.15in)