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Cornell University Library 
ViL 802.H32 1887 

"'>' violin its famous maicers and tlieir 

3 1924 022 391 969 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

itfte BlOlttt: 








"To perfect that wonder of travel — the locomotive — has perhaps not 
required the expenditure of more mental strength and application, than to 
perfect that wonder of music— the .Violin." W. E. Gladstone. 




\A II rights reserved. ] 




Illustrated with several Steel Engravings of eminent Violinists. 



" The broad range of interest in the book which appears at the very 
beginning, and the evident appreciation of the romantic, as well as the 
practical side of the question, shows that the man is not merged in the 
specialist, and that outsiders, as well as experts, may look to find 
amusement as well as instruction therein. The range of the book is 
of the widest." — Saturday Review. 

"A sufficient account is given of the various schools of composers and 
vUiuosi in the musical countries of Europe, from Corelli down to Vieux- 
temps and Joachim. The author's judgment is in most cases fair and 
unbiassed, and his diction agreeably free from the current jargon of 
musical criticism. , , , The value of Mr. Hart's volume is increased 
by carefuUjr engraved portraits of Corelli, Viotti, Paganini, and other 
masters." — Times. 



OCTAVO (without Portraits) . . . 10/6 

Quarto, about 5CX3 pages, price 25s. Octavo, price 12s. 6d. 







The New and Enlarged Edition of this Standard Work includes the 
most complete List of Makers hitherto published, together with a most 
exhaustive account of ANTONIO STRADIVARI, gathered from 
valuable and reliable Cremonese MSS., and original correspondence. 

Among the Engravings Of remarkable Instruments are those made by 
Antonio Stradivari for the Grand Duke of Tuscany, together with 
numerous others of celebrity. 

Opinions of the Press on the Original Edition, 1875. 

" Mr. Hart is an authority on this subject who commands general 
respect, and the volume in which he has embodied the results of his 
experience and researches will be gratefully received by all who take an 
interest in what he justly calls the leading instrument. . , , In the 
history of the instrument, as well of the strange adventures of some 
famous makers aiid specimens of it, there is moreover a touch of seduc- 
, live romance. . . . Mr. Hart takes the various schools in turn, analyzing 
the characteristics of the chief makers. " — Saturday Review, 

" The title of this book does not fairly indicate its interesting 
contents. The volume is valuable to the violinist ; it is instructive for 
the amateur ; and miscellaneous matter may be found in it to fix the 
attention of the general reader. " — Athenceitm. 

" The book is as nearly exhaustive as possible, far exceeding any 
previous attempt of the kind." — Academy. 

"Mr. Hart possesses a rare knowledge of Italian Violins, and the 
practical parts of his book are for the most part interesting and original. 
. . . The special feature of Mr. Hart's volume is the combined applica- 
tion of photography and wood-engraving to his illustrations." — Times. 

" Mr. Hart's book is enjoyable not only to the professional but to the 
amateur, and it is a most exhaustive account of an extensive subject." — 
New York Herald. 

" We must award the highest praise to Mr. Hart for this very satis- 
factory result of what must evidently have been the labour of many 
years." — Musical Times, 




Jnglcribea to t^e Sltiniirer^ of tlje Heatiiniy 
Instrument at ^ome anti Stbroat. 

My Friends, 

For some time I have been in a state of doubt as 
to which course to pursue — whether to follow the usual 
custom, and address the reader in a Preface, or to combine 
my prefatory remarks with a Dedication. It will be seen 
that I have chosen the latter method. I am aware that 
inscriptions in connection with books are no longer in 
vogue ; the necessity for them has happily long since passed 
away. In these free press days, though the writer of a book 
be the most obscure individual in the paths of literature, yet 
his pages will not lack readers, always providing they are 
worth perusal. Though it may appear that I am falling 
back upon an old custom in inscribing to you the results 
of my leisure hours, I do so simply because the subject is 
one which interests but a section of society in this instance, 
and that section is yourselves. 

In placing these pages before you,. I must admit that I feel 


some little anxiety as to the reception awaiting them. I 
have lived in the atmosphere of Fiddles all my days, and 
have, perhaps, possessed peculiar advantages for learning 
much about them ; but whether I have succeeded in con- 
veying to the reader information at once new and interesting 
remains to be seen. The task was undertaken by me at 
the suggestion of several friends, who felt that there was 
room for a more detailed work on the subject than as yet 
existed, and thus induced me to take the pen in hand. 
Upon your verdict whoUy depends the issue whether I 
shall have reason to feel indebted to my friends for their 

And now a word or two with regard to the contents of 
the book. For years I have been "impressed with the idea 
that a work of this kind, illustrated with specimens of the 
productions of the chief Cremonese makers, would be 
received with delight by connoisseurs. To know how to 
carry out this idea w'ith any degree of success was a problem 
I was long unable to solve. Not to trouble you with the 
various processes which I brought to bear on the subject, I 
may say that it at length occurred to me that a combination 
of photography and wood engraving would ensure the double 
requisites of correctness and durability. By this process all 
the points in the outline of the work could not fail to be in 
accordance with the original. As many of the instruments 
were photographed at different times and places, a uniform 
scale has not been attempted ; indeed, the small size of the 
engravings would preclude the possibility of its adoption 
forming any safe guide in the matter, the calculation being 
too minute. In the selection of specimens, I have taken 
those instruments that I deemed would show the various 
styles to the best advantage; it must be borne in mind,. 


therefore, that they are intended to represent the character 
of each artist's works, and not to form a catalogue of remark- 
able instruments, to engrave all of which would be wholly 
foreign to the purpose of my undertaking. 

I feel sure that the Frontispiece will be regarded as an 
important addition to the volume. In obtaining permission 
to photograph Paganini's famous Violin, I met with no slight 
obstacles, but my efforts were at" length happily successful. 
M. Vieuxtemps ' states that the last time the instrument was 
removed from the glass case in which it has rested so 
many years, was upon the occasion of a concert given in aid 
of the charities of Genoa, when Signor Sivori was permitted 
to play upon the treasured Violin. Up to that time there 
was a ribbon around the instrument, which was secured at 
the back with the Corporation seal — a very ill-advised mode, 
it must be confessed, of Attaching the insignia of authority. 
To permit Signor Sivori to use the Violin, the seal and 
ribbon necessarily had to be removed, and in the perform- 
ance of this delicate operation the seal carried away with it 
the lustrous varnish of Giuseppe Guarneri. The mark 
where the wax adhered is distinctly seen in the engraving of 
the back of the Violin given herewith. The Corporate seal 
is now very properly attached to the scroll, from which it 
hangs by a ribbon. 

Before closing my remarks on the illustrations, I must 
mention that I am much indebted to the able assistance I 
have received from Mr. Petherick, who has superintended 
that portion of the work. A lover of the Old Masters, he 

' This was penned in 1875, since when the musical world has lost one 
of its brightest stars in the person of M. Vieuxtemps, who died June 6, 
1 88 1. 1 believe the instrument has not been used since the occasion 
named in the text. 


has exerted himself to carry out my views with a zest rarely 

In giving a Sketch of the Progress of the Violin, I have 
endeavoured to touch lightly on the most interesting points 
relating thereto. To have omitted mention of this branch 
of the subject would, I felt, have rendered my task incom- 

The Anecdotal portion Will, I hope, be found to contain 
much that is interesting. The anecdotes relating to my own 
vocation, I have endeavoured to set forth with as much 
advantage as my power of narrative would permit; and 
those which I have selected from various sources have been 
such as I deeme^ congenial to the subject, and least likely 
to be generally known. 

Having rendered you some account of my task, it now 
only remains for me to subscribe myself, 

Yours faithfully, 


14, Princes Street, 

(now 28, Wardour Street), 

Leicester Square, W, 


The favourable reception accorded to the previous editions 
of this work has not only added greatly to the pleasure 
attending the preparation of a new and revised edition, but 
has encouraged me to spare no effort within my power to 
render the volume as interesting and complete as possible. 
In making these endeavours, the bulk of the book has been 
necessarily increased by additional information, spread over 
all the sections of the work, but chiefly on those which treat 
of the Early History of the leading instrument, and the 
Italian branches of the subject. 

It is in connection with the Italian divisions of the book 
that the reader will discover, I venture to hope, information 
which he will regard as interesting in its character, besides 
being of some historical value. The greater part of this new 
matter has been obtained from original MSS. belonging to the 
trustees of the Civic Museum at Cremona, which Institution 
is located in the palace bequeathed to the citizens, together 
with its contents, by the Marchese Ponzoni. In the year 
1872, Dr. F. Robolotti, the learned historiographer of the 
town, and a distinguished physician, and the Marchese 
Senatore Araldi Erizzo, presented to the Institution referred 
to an important collection of rare books and documents 


illustrative of the history of the City of Cremona. Among 
these are two sets of MSS., numbered respectively 729 and 
431, the contents of which shed much light on the Italian 
sections of our subject, and constitute the source of the 
principal portion of the additional information contained in 
the following pages. The first- named MS. is the work of 
Don Desiderio Arisi, a monk of the order of St Jerome, who 
in the quiet of his cell in the Convent of S. Sigismondo 
set himself the task of writing brief notices of Cremonese 
worthies. The MS. is dated 1720, and includes a most 
interesting account of the patronage enjoyed by Antonio 
Stradivari, together with several items of information of 
more or less worth, relative to the famous Violin-maker. 
In passing, it may be mentioned that Don Desiderio Arisi 
was intimate with Stradivari, and gained his knowledge of 
the facts he recorded from the artist himself. The second- 
named MSS., from which extracts have been made, are 
dated 1823. These contain references to the principal 
makers of Cremona, combined with critical remarks on their 
works from the pen of Vincenzo Lancetti, a Cremonese 
poet and biographer. The information contained in these 
MSS. was chiefly received from Count Cozio di Salabue 
in the course of correspondence between him and Lancetti. 
Nearly the whole of the extracts to which the reader's at- 
tention has been directed were given to me as far back as 
the year 1875, when the original edition of this work was in 
the press. Finding it impossible to make adequate use of 
them, in consequence of the volume being partly printed, 
I decided to insert a few items at the end of the notice of 
Antonio Stradivari, and to hold over the remainder in order 
to distribute the information among the notices of the several 
makers in a future edition. 


I am indebted for the knowledge of the existence of the 
Arisi and Lancetti MSS., and for their contents, to my friend, 
Signor Federico Sacchi,' who during his researches among 
the Robolotti collection had free access to all the original 
documents, and whose family has long lived near the house 
occupied by Stradivari. With these advantages, it is almost 
needless to remark that my friend possessed ample means 
of aiding me in my endeavours to learn much concerning 
the makers of his native city. Taking as he does a deep 
and enthusiastic interest in the past history of Cremonese art, 
he spared no effort to obtain for me all the information 
possible. To him I am also indebted for the contents of 
the correspondence relative to the purchase, by Count Cozio 
di Salabue, of the tools used by Antonio Stradivari, and for 
the same having been placed at my disposal by the Marquis 
dalla Valle. In making these acknowledgments, I desire to 
tender Signor Sacchi my warmest thanks for the interest he 
has taken in my undertaking. 

The Section containing the Anecdotes has been recruited 
by additional Miscellanea, including " Hudibras and the 
Champion Crowdero." In placing this piece of wit and 
humour before my readers, I have endeavoured to do so in 
a form as connected as possible, by the selection of passages 
likely to conduce to that end, without trespassing too much 
on space, and on the reader's patience. 

' Signor Sacchi is the author of — 

1 . " Cenni suUa vita e le opere di Agostino Aglio pittor Cremonese." 
Cremona, 1868'. 8vo. 

2. " Notizie pittoricljf Cremonesi." Cremona, 1872. 4to. 

3. "I Tipografi Ebrei di Soncino." Cremona, 1877. 4to. 

4. " Annali Tipografici dellaCittae provincia di Cremona" (a work 
now under press), and many other memoirs on Cremonese printers and 


I am indebted to Mr. G. D. Bishopp for the table con- 
taining the amount of tension of Violin strings, and their 
downward pressure. The information therein contained 
will doubtless be acceptable to many of my readers. 

I owe to M. le Chevalier Kraus, of Florence, the pleasure 
of including among the engravings those of the instruments 
made by Antonio Stradivari for the Grand Duke of 
Florence, he having obtained for me the necessary photo- 

In conclusion, I have to thank my young friend, Mr. 
Allan Fea, for the two illustrations forming the head and 
tail-piece to " Hudibras and the Champion Crowdero." 

28, Wardour Street, 
London, 1884. 


Section I. — The Early History of the Violin. 


I. — General observations — Early Historyinvolved in obscurity and 
Vague conjecture — Jubal, Orpheus, and Apollo — Views 
of Early Historians of Music, as to Asiatic and Scandina- 
vian origin -respectively — Ravanon, King of Ceylon, and 
The " Ravanastron '' — Researches of Sanscrit Scholars — 
Suggested Arabian origin of the Ribeca, or Rebec, and 
the Rehab of the Moors — Early Egyptian instruments — 
Moorish musical influence in Spain — The Troubadours 
and Trouveres in Northern France, and the Gigeours of 
Germany 37 — 45 

2. — Early evidence of Bowed Instruments in the North of Europe 
— Presumed Scandinavian origin of the German Geige — 
The Hon. Roger North's " Memoirs of Music " — Martinus 
Gerbertus, his "De Cantu et Musici SacrS," — Paul La- 
croix' "Arts of the Middle Ages" — Earliest known 
representations of Bowed Instruments, sixth to ninth 
century — The Manuscript of St. Blasius — The Cheli or 
Chdys — Saxon Fiddle in the Cottonian Manuscripts, and 
in Strutt's "Sports and Pastimes" — The early Saxons*^ 
love of Music — The Saxon Fithele in the time of the 
Norman Conquest — The G^igc in France, and the 
Jongleurs, "dancers, jugglers, and buffoons" — Domestic 
Music in Germany and the Low Countries in the sixteenth 
century — The Viol and the Madrigal — Music in Italy — 
Adrian Willaert, " The Father of the Madrigal "— 
Northern Musicians attracted to Italian Courts — Develop- 



ment of the Madrigal in Italy — High standard of early 
Italian work, but under German teaching — The Viols of 
Brensius of Bologna — Silvestro Ganassi, his work on the 
Viol — Duiffoprugcar and Gasparo da Sal6 and the 
development of the Violin — The Fretted Finger-board — 
The Violono or Bass Viol — Five-stringed Viols — The 
three-stringed Fiddle, or Geige, attributed to Andrea 
Amati, altered by the Brothers Mantegazza to a four- 
stringed Violin — Advent of the four-stringed Violin 
ascribed to Gasparo da Salo 46 — 57 

Section II. — The Construction of the Violin. 

The present form of the Violin the result of much research and 
experiment, but perfected by the great Cremonese makers 
— Hogarth's " Line of Beauty " exemplified in the Violin 
— The requisites necessary to the due appreciation of the 
grace and properties of the Violin, and its exquisite power 
of expression — ^Its acoustical properties — Varieties of 
woods used in its construction — Methods adopted, and 
choice of material, by the great Brescian and Cremonese 
makers— The "whole-back" and "slab-back" — The 
constituent parts of the Violin — System of placing the 
sound-bar-^Properties and position of the sound-post, 
and of the bridge ; the neck ; the finger-board ; purfling, 
&c., &c. — The sound -holes of different makers — Needed 
cautions as to repairing good instruments ... ,..58 — 70 

Section III. — Italian and other Strings. 

Importance of the Strings in the economy of the Violin — Adrien 
Le Roy's instructions " How to know Strings " — Thomas 
Mace and "Venetian Catlins '' — Character of the diffe- 
rent manufactures of Strings — Superiority of the Italian — 
The raw material not supplied by the feline race — Rules 
to be observed in choosing Strings — Modern improve- 
ments in Stringing — The strings of Lindley and Dragonetti 
— Covered Strings — Experiments on the strain and pres- 
sure of Strings 71 — 82 


Section IV.— The Italian School. 


A glance at the rise, culmination, and decadence of Italy, 
and the Violin as connected therewith — The Italians far 
in advance of other nations in the manufacture — The five 
Schools of Italian makers — Roger North on the demand 
for Italian Violins — Brescia the cradle of the manufac- 
ture ' 83 — 92 

Section V. — The Italian Varnish. 
The formation of the Italian Varnish, a secret lost to the viforld 
— Lustrous character of that of Cremona — Characteristics 
of the four classes of Italian Varnish — Conjecture as to 
the loss of the secret — Influence of the different Varnishes 
on the tone of the Violin 93 — 98 

Section VI. — Italian Makers. 
Acevo — Albanesi — ^Albani — Aletzie — Alvani — Amati, Andrea; 
evidence as to date of birth ; his Violins small ; founded 
the School of Cremona ; probably a pupil of Gasparo da 
Salo ; his model high, and sound-hole inelegant ; his 
varnish deep golden ; his " Charles IX. Set " of twenty- 
four Violins, six Tenors and eight Basses — Amati, Niccol6 
— Amati, the Brothers Antonio and Girolamo ; pro- 
bable date of birth ; comparison of the respective work, 
material, and tone of the two brothers — Amati Niccol6, 
son of Girolamo ; date of birth and death ; the greatest of 
his illustrious family ; gradual change in style ; the 
" Grand Amati," followed by his great pupil, Stradivari ; 
its exquisite proportions and character ; singular beauty 
of his material, and elegance of design ; differences be- 
tween Niccolo Amati and his several copyists, Italian, 
German, and English — Amati, Girolamo ; date of birth ; 
his work ascribed to other makers ; character of his 
instruments a,nd his varnish ; the last of the Amatis — 
Ambrosi, Pietro — Anselmo, Pietro — Antoniazzi, Gaetano 
— Antonio of Bologna — Antonio, Ciciliano — Assalone, 
Gasparo 99— "3 



Bagatella, Antonio — Bagatella, Pietro — Balestrieri, Tom- 
MASO ; probably a pupil of Stradivari ; his work rough, 
but vigorous, tone and varnish good ; his instruments 
rising in value — Bassiano, Lute-maker, Rome — Bellosio, 
Anselmo — Bente, Matteo — Bergonzi, Carlo, pupil of 
Antonio Stradivari ; his work closely resembling that of 
his great master, and of the highest class ; increasing 
appreciation ; comparison of his instruments with those 
of Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri ; character of his 
varnish, &c. ; Violoncellos and Double-Basses of this 
maker — Bergonzi, Michel Angelo — Bergonzi Niccoi-6 ; 
character of his work — Bergonzi, Zosimo — Bergonzi, Carlo 
— Bergonzi, Benedetto — Bertassi, Ambrogio — Borelli, An- 
drea — Brensio Girolamo — Brescia, da, Battista— Broschi, 
Carlo — Budiani, Giovita — Busseto, Giovanni ... 113 — 120 

Calcagni, Bernardo — Calvarola, Bartolommeo — Camilli, Ca- 
millo — Cappa, Gioffredo, pupil of the Brothers Amati ; 
character of his work, in Violins and Violoncellos — Casini, 
Antonio — Castro -r Catenar, Enrico — Celioniati, Gian 
Francesco — Cerin, Marco Antonio — Ceruti, Giovanni 
Battista, a prolific workman — Ceruti, Giuseppe — Ceruti, 
Enrico, son of Giuseppe ; his work much valued by Italian 
players; exhibited in London and Milan Exhibitions — 
Cristofori, Bartolommeo — Circapa, Tommaso — Cocco, 
Cristoforo^Contreras, Joseph — Cordano, Jacopo Filippo 
— Costa, Pietro Antonio dalla ; skilful copier of Amati 120 — 1 25 

Dardelli, Pietro ; a Franciscan Monk .; his Viols and Lutes — 
Dominicelli, Ferrara — Dujffoprugcar, Magno (Magnus 
Tieffenbrucker)— DuiFFOPRUGCAR, Caspar; high cha- 
racter of his Viols 126, 127 

Farinato, Paolo — Ficker, Johann Christian^Ficker, Johann 
Gottlieb — Fiorillo, Giovanni — Frei, Hans, Lute and Viol- 
maker 127 

(iABRiELLi, Giovanni Battista ; his Violoncellos and Violins 
of high character — Gaffino, Giuseppe — Gagliano, Ales- 
SANDRO, pupil of Antonio Stradivari; character of his 
Work — Gagliano, Gennaro — Gagliano Niccol6 — Gagliano, 
Ferdinando — Gagliano, Giuseppe — Gagliano, Giovanni, 


Antonio, and Raffaele — Galbusera, C. A. — Garani, 
Michel Angelo — Garani, Nlccol6 — Gaspara da Sal6 (see 
Sal6) — Gatinari, Francesco — Geroni,, Domenico Ostiano 
— Gibertini, Antonio — Gobetti ( Gobii) Francesco ; 
comparison of his work with those of Montagnana, Santo 
Serafino, and Ruggeri — Gofriller, Matteo — Gofriller, 
Francesco — Gragnani, Antonio — Grancino, Paolo, 
pupil of NiccQl6 Amati ; a true artist ; classed with Stra- 
divari, Bergonzi, Amati, and Guameri; his Violas and 
Violoncellos — Grancino, Giovanni — Grancino, Giovanni 
Battista — Grancino, Francesco — GruUi, Pietro — GUA- 
DAGNINI, Lorenzo and Giovanni Battista; high cha- 
racter of their work — Gnadagnini, Gaetano — Guadagnini, 
Giuseppe — Guadagnini, Carlo — Guadagnini, Antonio — 
GuARNERi, Andrea, th^pioneer of his family ; worked 
with Stradivari and Niccolo Amati — Guarneri, Giu- 
seppe, son of Andrea ; his Violins, Violas, and Violon- 
cellos — Guarneri, Pietro, brother of Andrea — Guar- 
neri, Pietro, grandson of Andrea — Guarneri Giuseppe 
Antonio (del Gesii) ; his monogram and cypher ; evi- 
dence of his birth ; sketch of his life, and characteristics 
of his work ; comparison with Stradivari and Gasparo da 
Salo ; his " three epochs ; " lustrous quality of his varnish; 
different characters of his wood ; the tradition of his 
"Prison Fiddles;" a "Prison Joseph" — Guidanti, 

Giovanni 128 — 155 

Harton, Michael .. ... ■ 155 

Kerlino, Joan » 155 

Lagetto, LuigirrrLandolfi, Carlo Ferdinando ; original and gene- 
rally good quality of his y/jyck — Lanza, Antonio Maria — 
Lavazza, Santino — Lavazza, Antonio — LinaroUi, Ven- 

turo — Loly, Jacopo .. 155, 156 

Maggini, Giovanni Paolo, follower of Gasparo da Salo ; 
other makers' productions frequently attributed to him ; 
comparison of his work with that of Da Salo — Maggini, 
Pietro; high character of his instruments — Maler 
(Lutinist) ; termed the " Stradivari of Lutes ; " Thomas 
Mace on the art of judging Lutes and Viols — Mante- 



GAZZA, PiETRO GIOVANNI ; eminent as a restorer — 
Maratti — Mariani, Antonio — Meiberi, Francesco — Meza- 
dri, Alessandro — Mezadri, Francesco — Montagnana, 
DOMENico, pupil of Antonio Stradivari ; splendid speci- 
mens of his art still extant ; his cognomen, " The Mighty 
Venetian ; " rising value of his instruments ; comparison 
with Stradivari and Bergonzi ; superior character of his 

varnish — Montaldi, Gregorio — Morella ^, 156 — 163 

Nadotti, Giuseppe — Nella, Raffaele 163 

Ortega 163 

Pandolfi, Antonio — Panormo, Vincenzo ; foUov^fer of Antonio 
Stradivari ; residence in London and in Ireland ; his 
struggles with adversity ; light and graceful character of 
his work — Pansani, Antonio — Pasta, Antonio — Pasta, 
Domenico — Picino — Platner, Michel — Pollusca, Antonio 
^-Pressenda, Giovanni Francesco ; superior work 
and varnish studied in Cremona ; contrast with contem- • 
porary workers ; humble origin ; his connection with 
Storioni, and with Polledro, the Violinist ; his models, 

Stradivari and Amati ...- 163 — 168 

Racceris — Rinaldi, Gioifredo — Rota, Giovanni — Rovetta — 
RuGGERi, Francesco (" II Per ") ; early artistic genius ; 
foremost position of his family in Cremona; pupil of 
Niccolo Amati, and worthy of him ; brilliancy of his 
varnish — Ruggeri, Giacinto — Ruggeri, Vincenzo — 
RoGERi, Pietro Giacomo — Ruggeri, Giambattista 
— Rogeri, Giovanni Battista (" Bononiensis," from 
or settled in Bologna) ; his instruments of large Amati 

pattern 168 — 171 

Sal6, Gasparo da ("The Great Brescian"); essentially a 
maker of Viols ; primitive character of his instruments ; 
evidence as to date of his work ; Ganassi's work on the 
Art of Playing the Viol ; six-stringed and four-stringed 
Viols ; Martin Agricola and his " Musica Instrumentalis ; " 
Quatuor of instruments, Decantus, Altus, Tenor, and 
Bassus ; foundation by Da Salo of Italian Violin-making ; 
gradual and tentative development of his system ; high 
value of his labours as a pioneer ; chief characteristics of 



his work ; his nice discrimination in choice of material ; 
Signor Dragonetti's four Double-Basses of this maker, 
and his presentation of one of them to the Monastery of 
St. Mark's, Venice ; present possessors of several of his 
best instruments — Sanoni, Giovanni Battista ■ — • Santo, 
Giovanni — ^Sanzo — Sapino — Sardi — Sellas, Matteo — 
Serafino, Santo ; exquisite finish of his vfork ; varia- 
tion of model ; high character of varnish and work ; his 
method of cutting ; copied Amati and Stainer ; present 
possessor of a high-class specimen — Sneider, Josefo — 
Socchi, Vincenzo — Stregner, Magno — Storioni ; foUowfer 
of Guameri del Gesii ; his freak as to placing the sound- 
holes ; creditable character of his work in several respects 
— Stradivari, Antonio ;.his renown beyond that of all 
others ; researches as to records of his life ; evidence as 
to date of birth, marriage, and death ; Genealogical Table 
of his family ; the inventory of his work remaining at his 
death ; similarity bf his early work to that of his master, 
Niccol6 Amati ; evidences as to later changes of style ; his 
inheritance of his aged master's tools and models ; his 
purchase of his house in Cremona ; contemporary appre- 
ciation of his merits ; his set of Violins, Altos, and 
Violoncellos for King James of England; valuable evi- 
dence of Desiderio Arisi, and of Vincenzo Lancetti; 
Count Cozio's purchase of Stradivari's models, tools, and 
drawings, and their present possession by the Marquis 
Dalla Valle ; instruments made for the Duke of Natalona, 
the Duke of Savoy, and the Duke of Modena ; the 
" Long Strad," why so called ; instruments for the Spanish 
Court; letter from the Marquis Ariberti ; a "Chest of 
Viols;" a "Concerto;" Stradivari's "golden period," 
1700; description of his instruments of this date; the 
" Betts Strad ; " guiding principles as to differences of 
construction and quality of material; the "Dolphin 
Strad," its exquisite beauty ; tranquil character of Stradi- 
vari's life ; war in Cremona ; Prince Eugene and Villeroy ; , 
visit of Philip V, of Spain to Italy, and entry into 
Cremona ; set bf instruments for Charles III. of Spain, 


and for Archduke Charles of Austria ; letter from Lorenzo 
Giustiniani ; set of Violins for Augustus, King of Poland ; 
Veracini, the Solo-Violinist, and Stradivari ; last epoch 
of the great maker ; quality of his instruments at this 
period ; comparison with those of contemporaries ; place 
of his burial, in the Chapel of the Rosary, with diagram ; 
PoUedro's description of the personality of Stradivari ; 
singular apathy of the Cremonese as to their great deceased 
citizen— Stradivari, Francesco and Omobono, sons 
and successors of Antonio ; character of their work ; 
correspondence between his son and grandson, Paolo and 
Antonio, and the agents of Count Cozio di Salabue, 
relative to the purchase of the models, tools, and dravrings 

of the Maestro^Sursano, Spirito ... , 171 — 214 

Tanegia, Carlo Antonio — Taningard, Giorgio — Tecchler, 
David ; his instruments of German and Italian styles, 
finely formed, and of good quality ; his Violoncellos of 
large size — Testore, Carlo Giuseppe — Testore, Carlo 
Antonio — Testore, Paolo Antonio — ■ Tieffenbrucker, 
Leonardo — Todini, Michele ; his method of stringing the 
Violono — Tononi, Carlo — Tononi, Carlo- Antonio — 
Tononi, Giovanni — Tononi, Felice — Tononi, Guido — 

Trapani, Raffaele 214 — 217 

Vetrini, Battista— Vimercati 217 

Wenger 217 

Zannetto, Pellegrino — Zanola, Giovanni Battista — Zanotti, 
'Antonio— Zanti, Alessandro — Zanure, Pietro — Zenatto, 
Pietro 217 

Section VIL— -The French School. 

Origin of the French School in the 17th century ; followers of 
the Brescian and Cremonese types ; mediocre character of 
their earlier efforts, with a few exceptions — De Comble 
and the second French School ; Pique, Lupot, and 
Fran9ois Gand ; Silvestre, of Lyons— 'Introduction of the 
practice of Fiddle-baking ; its failure — The copyist, and 



the Mirecourt factory, the "Manchester of Fiddle- 
making ; " its destructive influence on the interests of 
true art 218 — 223 

Section VIII. — French Makers. 

Aldric — Allard — Amelot — Aubry — ^Augifere 224 

Uachelier — Bassot — Bemadel, Sebastien Philippe — Bertrand, 
Nicolas — Boivin, Claude — Boquay, Jacques ; follower of 
Girolamo Amati — Borlon, Artus, or Amould — Borlon (or 
Porlon), Pierre, Viol-maker — Borlon, Jean — Borlon, 
rran90is — BouUangier, C. — Boumeester — Bourdet, 
Sebastien— Bourdet, Jacques — Boussu, Eterbeck — Breton, 
Le — Calot — Castagnery, Andrea — Castagnery, Jean Paul 
— Champion, Rene — Chanot, Franjois — Chanot, 
Georges ; an indefatigable worker, and close copier of 
Stradivari and Guarneri — Chanot, Georges, fils — Chanot, 
F. — Chanot, G. A. — Chappuy, Nicolas Augustin — Char- 
don, Joseph — Charotte — Chevrier, Andre Augustin — 
Claudot, Charles — Claudot, Augustin — Clement — Cliquot, 

Henri — Cliquot, Louis Alexandre — Cuny 224 — 228 

Daniel — David — De Comble, Ambroise ; said to have worked 
with Stradivari ; a skilful worker ; good material and 
varnish — Delanoix — Delaunay — Deleplanque, Gerard — 
Derazey — Despons, Antoine — Dieulafait — Droulot — 
Ducheron, Mathurin — Du Mesnil, Jacques ... 228 — 230 

Eesbroek, Jean Van, Lute-maker 230 

Falaise — Fendt, or Fent — Fleury, Benoist — Fourrier, Nicolas ... 230 
Gand, Francois, pupil and successor of Nicolas Lupot ; an 
excellent maker and repairer — Gand, Adolphe — Gand, 
Eugene — Gavinies, Fran9ois — Germain, Joseph Louis — 
Germain, Emile — Gossehn — Grand-Gerard — Grandson 
/Fils — Grosset, Paul Fran9ois — Guersan, Louis ... 230 — 232 
Hel-/-Henry, Jean Baptiste Fehx — Henry, Charles — Henry, 

Octave — Henry, Eugtee — Hofman, Mathias ... 232, 233 

Jticobs, Peeter ; his work often mistaken for that of Niccolo 
Amati — Jacobs — ^Jacquot, Charles (pere) — Jacquot, Charles 

(yf/j)— Jeandel, P. N 233 

Koeuppers, Jean — Koliker 233 



Lambert, Jean Nicolas — Lapaix — Laprevotte, Etienne — Leclerc 
— Lecomte — Leduc, Pierre — Lefebvre — Le Jeune, Fran- 
9ois — Le Pileur, Pierre — Lesclop, Francois Henry — 
Louis — Louvet, Jean — Lupot, Jean — ^Lupot, Laurent — 
Lupot, Francois — Lupot, Nicolas ; maker to the Con- 
servatoire ; an excellent workman, and named "-The 
French Stradivari," and " The king of modem makers ;" 
characteristics of his work 233 — 236 

Marquis de Lair — Mast, Jean Laurent — Mast — Maucotel, Charles 
— Maucotel, Charles Adolphe — Medard, Fran9ois — 
Medard, Nicolas — Medard, Jean — Menn^gand, Charles ; 
distinguished as a maker and repairer, and also as a 
"cutter"' — Miremont, Claude AugustiS— Modessier 237, 238 

Namy — Nezot — Nicolas, rran9ois — Nicolas, Fourrier — Nicolas, 

Didier — Nicolas, Joseph 238, 239 

Pacherele, Michel — Pacherel — Paul, Saint — Pierray, Claude ; 
an excellent workman, following Amati — Piete, N. — 
Pique, F. L. ; close copyist of Stradivari ; excellent work 
and material — Pirot, Claude — ^Pons, Cesar — Pons 239, 240 

Rambaux, Claude Victor — Raut, Jean— Remy — Remy, Jean 
Mathurin — Remy, Jules — Remy — Renaudin, Leopold- 
Renault, Nicolas — Rombouts, Peeter — Roze ... 240, 241 

Sacquin — Salle — Salomon; Jean Baptiste — Saunier — Schnoeck, 
Egidius— SiLVESTRE, Pierre ; a true artist, follower of 
Stradivari — Silvestre, Hippolyte — Silvestre, Hippolyte 
Chretien — Simon — Simonin, Charles — Socquet ... 241, 242 

Theress, Charles — Thibout, Jacques Pierre ; an excellent work- 
man, and well-known dealer ; his relations with Luigi 
Tarisio — Thomassin — -Tywersus 242, 243 

Vaillant, Fran9ois — Viron, Pierre — Vibrecht, Gysbert — 
Vuillaume, Jean— Vuillaume, J. B. ; n prolific and 
skilful inaker ; associated with Tarisio, and purchaser of 
his collection — Vuillaume, N. F. — Vuillaume, Claude 
rran9ois — Vuillaume, Sebastien 243 

Section IX.^The German School. 
No trace of Violin manufacture in Germany previous to the 
middle of the seventeenth century — Perva:ding influence 



of Jacob Stainer in the constitution of the German School 
— Popularity of his model — Mediocre character of the 
school, with some notable exceptions 244 — 246 

Section X. — German Makers. 

Albani, Mathias {pire) — Albani, Mathias {^/s) ; ■ his style 
Italian, and workmanship excellent — Albani — AUetzie, 
Paolo — Artmann ... 247, 24S 

Bachmann, Garl Ludwig ; maker to the Court of Frederick the 
Great ;- founder of Concerts for Amateurs at Berlin — 
Bachmann, O. — Bausch, Ludwig C. A. — Bausch, Ludwig 
B. — Bausch, Otto B.— ^Beckmann — Bedler — Bindernagel ; 
made in both German and Italian styles — Buchstadter 248, 249 

Christa, Joseph Paul 249 

Darche — Diel (or Diehl), Martin — Diel, Nicolaus — Diel, Johann 
— Diel, Jacob — Diehl, Nicolaus Louis — Diehl, Friedrich 
— ^Diehl,- Johann — Diehl, Heinrich — Dopfer, Nicolaus — 
Durfel 249, 250 

Eberle, J. Ulric; good Copyist; form Italian; made also 'Viols 
d'Amour — Edlinger, T. — Ediinger, Joseph Joachim — 
Elsler, Joseph ; made Viols da Gamba — Ernst, Franz 
Anton ; pupil of Antonio LoUi ; Court Musician at 
Gotha ... ... .• 250 

Felden, M. — Fichold, Hans — Fichtl, Martin — Ficker, Johann 
Christian — Ficker, Johann Gotlieb — Fischer, Zacharie — 
Frey, Hans ; maker of Lutes ; related to Albert Durer — 
Fritzche 250, 251 

Gedler, Johann A. — Gedler, Johann B. — Geiffenhof, Franz ; 
Stradivari model — Gerle, Johann, Lute-maker — Griesser, 
Matthias — Grimm, Carl — Grobitz, A. — Gugemmos ... 251 

Haensel, Johann A. ; his " Ueber den Bau der Violin — Ham- 
berger, Joseph — Hamm, Johann Gottfried — Hassert — 
Hassert — Helmer, Carl — Hildebrandt — Hiltz, Paul — 
Hoflfmann, Martin — Hoffinan, Johann Christian — 
Horenstainer, Joseph — Horenstainer, Matthias — Horil, 
Jacob — HuUer, August — Humel, Christian — Hunger, 
. Christoph Freidrich ' 251,252 

Jais, Johann — ^Jauch, Johann 252 



Karb — Kambl, Johann A. — Kembter — Kiaposse, Sawes — 
Kirchschlag — Kloz, Matthias; pupil of Stainer — Kloz, 
Sebastian ; superior model, form flat — Kloz, George — 
Kloz, Egidius — Kloz, Joseph — Kloz, J. Karl — Kohl, 
Johann— Kolditz, Mathias Johann — Kolditz, J. — Knittle, 
Joseph — Knitting — Kramer, H. — Kriner, Josfeph 252, 253 

I^aska, Joseph 253 

Mann, Hans — Maussiell, Leonard ; Stainer model ; excel- 
lent workmanship ; style of Tecchler — Maher (Maier) — 
Meusidler — Mohr, Philip — Moldonner 253, 254 

Niggel, Simpertus ; good workmanship 254 

Ohberg, Johann — Ott, Johann — Otto, Jacob August ; maker to 
the Court of Weimar ; author of " Ueber den Bau und 
die Ehrhaltung der Geige und aller Bogeninstrumente " — 
Otto, Georg August — Otto, Christian — Otto, Heinrich — 
Otto, Carl— Otto, C. U. F.— Otto, Ludwig— Otto, Louis 
— Otto, Hermann 254, ,255 

Parth, Andreas Nicholas — Pfretzschner, Gottlob — Pfretzschner, 

Carl Friedrich — Plack, F. — Possen, L 255 

Kauch — Ranch, Jacob ; Court Violin-maker — Rauch, Sebas- 
tian — Rauch — Reichel, Johann Gottfried — Reichel, 
Johann Conrad — Reichers, August — Riess — Roth, Chris- 
tian Ruppert ... ... 25s 

Sainprae, Jacques ; Baryton Viol-maker — Sawicki — Scheinlein, 
Mathias — Scheinlein, Johann Michael — Schell, Sebastian 
— Schlick — Schmidt — Schonfelder, Johann A. — Schonger, 
Franz — Schonger, Georg — Schorn, Johaim ; excellent 
work ; high model — Schorn, Johann Paul ; court- instru- 
ment-maker — Schott, Martin — Schweitzer — Stadelmann, 
Daniel ; good work ; Stamer model — Stadelmann, 
Johann Joseph — Stainer, Jacob ; the greatest of Ger- 
man makers, and a thorough artist ; his model original ; 
sketch of his history and work ; great popularity of his 
style ; his " Elector Stainers ; '' Herr S. Rufs personal 
history of Stainer's life, and the romance founded thereon ; 
Counsellor Von Sardagna's contributions to his history ; 
Rabenalt's drama, "Jacob. Staiiier," and other poems 
. thereon : "Der Geigenmacher Jacob Stainer von Absam ; " 



said to have been a pupil of Niccol6 Amati ; his marriage ; 
his appointment as Court Violin-maker ; accused of 
heresy, and imprisoned ; pecuniary difficulties, and sad 
end ; his good name frequently clouded by inferior work 
falsely attributed to him — Stainer, Markus — Stainer, 
Andreas — Staugtinger, Mathias W. — Steininger, Jacob ; 
related to Dopfer and Nicholas Diel — Steininger, Franz — 
Stoss — Stoss, Martin — Straube — Strauss, Joseph... 256 — 265 

TiELKE, Joachim (i.). Lute and Guitar-maker ; rich and 
chaste ornamentation of his work ; description of examples 
extant in England — Tielke, Joachim (ii.) ; fine examples 
of a later maker of this name at South Kensington and 
elsewhere ; 265, 266 

VoEL, E. ; excellent work ; Stradivari model — Vogel, Wolfgang 

— ^.Vogler, Johann Georg — ^Voight, Martin ... .... 266 

Wagner, Joseph — ^Weickert — Weigert — ^Weiss, Jacob — ^Wenger, 
G. F. — Widhalm, Leopold ; follower of Stainer ; careful 
finish and good varnish — Wyemann, Cornelius ... 266,267 

Zwerger, Antoni ' 267 

Section XI. — The English School. 

Non-rec<^nition of English makers by Continental writers on the 
Violin — Causes of the partial decadence of the art in this 
country as on the Continent — Earliest English makers, 
and their several models; School of English copyists 268 — 275 

Section XII. — English Makers. 

Absam, Thomas — Adams — Addison, William — Aireton, 
Edmund, an excellent copyist of Amati — Aldred — Askey, 
Samuel .-. 276 

•Baines— Baker — Ballantine— Banks, Benjamin; the foremost 
English maker, and termed " The English Amati ; " high 
character of his work and varnish —Banks, Benjamin (2) 
— Banks, James and Henry — Barnes, Robert — Barrett, 
John, follower of Stainer ; good quality of work — Barton, 
George — Belts, John, pupil of "Richard Duke — Betts, 
Edward, pupil of Duke, and an excellent copyist ; high 



finish ; Amati model — Bolles — Booth, William — Booth — 
Boucher — Brown, James — Brown, James (2) — Browne, 
John ... 276— 2S1 

Cahusac — Carter, John — Challoner, Thomas — Cole, Thomas — 
Cole, James — Collier, Samuel — ColUer, Thomas — Col- 
lingwood, Joseph — Conway, William — Corsby, George — 
Cramond, - Charles— Crask, George — Cross, Nathaniel 
— Crowther, John — Cuthbert ; good quality of work 281, 2S2 

Davidson, Hay — Davis, Richard — Davis, William — Dearlove, 
Mark — Delany, John ; his peculiar label— Dennis, Jesse 
Devereux, John — Dickinson, Edward — Dickeson, John ; 
excellent copyist of Amati — Ditton — DoDD, Thomas ; 
not a maker, but an employer of makers of highest 
class, and especially famous for the high character of his 
varnish-^Dodd, Thomas (2)— Dorant, William — DuKE, 
Richard; his name a " household word " with English 
Violinists ; high character of his real work, but frequently 
and badly counterfeited ; his models both Amatese and 
Stainer — Duke, Richard (2)r-TDuncan 282 — 2SO 

Eglington — Evans, Richard 286 

J-'ENDT, Bernard ; a born Fiddle-maker ; a fellow workman 
with John F. Lott ; his instruments copies of Amati, 
bearing the labels of Thomas Dodd or John Betts, and 
highly valued — Fendt, Bernard Simon ; good work, 
but sometimes artificially " matured ; " his Violins, Tenors, 
Violoncellos, and Double-Basses ; follower of the Guarneri 
and Gasparo da Sal6 models ; his quartett of instruments 
in the London Exhibition of 1851 — Fendt, Martin — 
Fendt, Jacob ; his worlc -finely finished ; skilful copies of 
Stradivari, but artificially and cleverly "aged" — Fendt, 
Francis — Fendt, William — Ferguson, Donald — Firth — 
Forster, John — Forster, WiUiam (i.), spinning-wheel and 
Violin-maker— Forster, William (ii.), also- a maker 
of spinning-wheels and Violins, and amateur Fiddler ; an 
excellent copyist of Stainer and of the Amati models ; high 
character of his work and varnish ; his Double-Basses for 
Ihe Band of George the Third ; his instruments highly 
-valued by Robert Lindley — Forster William (iii.) ; ex- 



cellent work — Forster, William (iv.) — Forster, Simon 
Andrew — Frwkland — Furber, John — Furber, Henry 
John 286 — 292 

Gibbs, James — Gilkes, Samuel ; a thorough artist, and pupil 

of William Forster — Gilkes, William — Gough, Walter 292, 293 

Harbour — Hardie, Matthew ; Scotland's best maker — Hardie, 
Thomas — Hare, John — Hare, Joseph — Harris, 
Charles ; genuine character of work, of Amati and 
Stradivari type ; exquisite finish and good varnish — • 

Harris, Charles (2) — Hart, John Thomas ; pupil of 
Samuel Gilke? ; specially known as connoisseur, collector, 
and dealer — Heesom, Edward — Hill, Joseph — Hill, 
William— Hill, Joseph — Hill, Lockey— Hill, William 
Ebsworth — Holloway, J. — Hume, Richard ... 293 — 296 

Jaye, Henry, Viol-maker — Jay, Thomas— Jay, Henry, maker 
of Kits — ^Johnson, John, music-seller and dealer, referred 
to by Dibdin in his Autobiography 296,297 

Kennedy, Alexander — Kennedy, John — Kennedy, Thomas ... 298 

Lentz, Johann Nicolaus — Lewis, Edward — Longman and 
Broderip, music-sellers and publishers — LoTT, John 
Frederick ; a finished workman, employed by Thomas 
Dodd ; splendid character of his work ; the " King of 
English Pouble-Bass makefs '' — Lott, George 'Frederick 
— Lott, John Frederick ; his chequered career, and 
Charles Read's novel thereon 298 — 300 

Macintoch — Marshall, John — Martin — Meares, Richard — Mier 

— Morrison, John ... , 300 

Naylor, Isaac — Norborn, John — Norman, Barak ; probably a 
pupil of Urquhart ; follower of Maggini ; excellent quality 
of his Violoncellos and Tenors ; his partnership with 
Nathaniel Cross — Norris, John ... 300, 311 

Pamphilon, Edward — Panormo, Vincent — Panormo, Joseph ; 
excellent character of work — Panormo, Gfiorge Lewis — • 
Panormo^ Louis — Parker, Daniel^Pearce, James — Pem- 
berton, Edward — Perry and Wilkinson — Powell — Preston, 
John 302, 303 

Rawlins, Henry — Rayman, J^icob ; founder of Violin-making in 
England — lUchards, Edwin — Rook, Joseph — Rosse (or 



Ross), John — Ross, John (2) ; good character of work 

and varnish 303, 304. 

Shaw — Simpson— Smith, Henry-^Smith, Thomas — Smith Wil- 
liam 304> 30s 

Taylor — Thompson— Thorowgood, Henry — Tilley, Thomas — 

Tobin, Richard— Tobin ... 305 

Urquhart ; excellent character of his work 305 

Valentine, William 305 

•Wamsley, Peter ; superior character of his work — Wise, Chris- 
topher — Withers, Edward — Withers, Edward (2) ... 305 

Young, father and son, and Purcell's Catch 306 

Section XIII. — The Violin and its Votaries. 
Sterne on Hobby-horses — Tender relationships between the 
Violin and its Votaries — Wendell Holmes on the Violin — 
Thomas Mace on early prices of instruments — Early 
makers, continental and English — Advent of the Stainer 
model, and its temporary preference over those of the 
Italian masters ; its depressing influence on prices of 
Ainatis and Stradivaris — Guameri del Gesii brought to the 
front by Paganini, and Maggini by De Beriot — Recogni- 
tion of the merits of Bergonzi, Guadagnini, and Montag- 
nana — Luigi Tarisio, and his pilgrimages in -search of 
hidden .treasures ; his progress as amateur, connoisseur, 
devotee; his singular enthusiasm, and Charles Reade's 
anecdote thereon ; the Spanish Bass in the Bay of Biscay ; 
Tarisio's visit to England, and the Coding collection ; his 
hermit life ; purchase of his collection by M. Vuillaume — 
Principal buyers of Italian instruments at this period, con- 
tinental and English — Charles Reade as a connoisseur — 
Count Cozio di Salabue, an ardent votary of the Cremonese 
Violin ; his purchase of Stradivari's instruments, patterns, 
tools, &c. ; his correspondence with Paolo Stradivari re- 
lating thereto — ^William Corbett, and his " Gallery of 
Cremonys and Stainers" — The collections of Andrew 
Fountaine and James' Coding — The Gillott Collection ; 
its curious origin, its unique character and interesting 
circumstances attending its sale ... 307 — -541 


Section XIV.— Sketch of the Progress of the Violin. 


Date of the first appearance of the instrument — The Violin of 
Leonardo da Vinci — Paolo Veronese's picture, " The 
Marriage at Cana" (with engraving) — Baltazarini, the 
earliest known player — The " Concert Orchestra " and 
the Duke of Ferrara — First use of stringed instruments in 
the Opera ; the " Orfeo " of Claudio Monteverde — Intro- 
duction of the Sonata ; Dr. Burney thereon — Corelli, and 
the " Balletti da Camera "—Dibdin on Corelli's Concertos 
— ^Jean Baptiste LuUi, and the Legend of the Stewpans ; 
his influence on early French Violin music — Progress of 
the Violin in England ; Dr. Rogers and John Jenkins — 
Samuel Pepys on the emoluments of the Royal Band — 
John Bannister and the earliest English public concerts — 
Henry Purcell ; his Sonatas, and his royal patron, Charles 
II. — Thomas Britton, the " musical small-coal man," and 
his concerts in Clerkenwell — ^John Henry and Thomas 
Eccles, and itinerant musicians — Francesco Gaminiani; 
his Sonatas and musical works — Progress of the instru- 
ment in Italy ; Tartini and his compositions ; Locatelli, 
Lolli, and Giardini ; Boccherini and his Quintets ; Viotti, 
his School of Violin-playing, and! his concerts ; Campag- 
noli, and his " Studies on the Seven Positions of the 
Violin," and other works ; Paganini, and his imitators ; 
Sivori, Ole Bull, Leclair, GavinJs, and other leaders in 
the art — Violin-playing in France and Belgium ; M. Rode, 
M, Alard, M. Sainton, De B^riot, and Vieuxtemps — 
Polish Violinists of note — Lord Chesterfield's instructions 
to his son relative to Fiddling — Michael Festing and 
Thomas Britton ; origin of " The Philharmonic Society," 
and of the " Royal Society of Musicians " — Handel legacy 
to the Royal Society — Early musical proclivities of the 
Earl' of Mornington — Salomon and the Philharmonic; 
negociations with Haydn — Influence of Salomon on the 
development of musical taste in England — The Cramers 
— Nicholas Mori and others — Dando — Henry Blagrove, 
and his " Concerti da Camera " — Mr. Chappell and his 
" Monday Popular Concerts ''—Henry C. Cooper, •and the 


34 ' CONTENi;S. 


"Qnartett Association "-j^M. Sainton, Hill, Piatti ; John 
Carrodus, Herr Molique, and the Brothers Holmes — Pro- - 
gress of the Violin in Germany : Graun and Benda ; John 
Sebastian Bach as Violinist and composer ; Herr Joachim 
— Handel, influence of his compositions on the progress 
of the Violin — Haydn, and his Symphonies and Quartetts ; 
A Lady's ideal thereof— Mozart, a.nd his* " Method " for 
the Violin ; his early attachment to the instrument — 
Schubert, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Fesca, and their in- 
fluence — Louis Spohr and his works — Bernard Molique — 
Joseph Mayseder — Kalliwoda — Herr Ernst, Joachim and . 
Strauss, with Herr Wilhelmj, and their Concerts of the 
present day , 342 — 370 

Section XV. — Anecdotes and Miscellanea connected 
WITH THE Violin. 

Hudibras and thf Champion Crowdero — George Herbert's refer- 
ences to Music — Christopher Simpson's Trinity in Unity — 
Shakespeare's Sonnet VIIL — Violins from a medical point 
of view — "A Musician" — Origin of Tartini's "Sonato 
del Diavolo '' — Dr. Johnson and the Violin — Dr. Johnson 
on the Difficulty of Playing the Violin — Dr. Johnson's * 
Epitaph on Phillips, the Welsh Violinist — Dr. Johnson's 
Knowledge of Music — Dr. Johnson on Fiddling and Free- 
will — Haydn in London : a " Sweet Stradivari ; " Letters 
of the Rev. Thomas Twining— Gainsborough as a musician 
Garrick and Cervetto — The King and the Player — Sir 
Walter Scott on Music and Fiddles ; the Duke of 
Hamilton's passion for the Violin^A Cinderella Violon- 
cello— A Stolen "Strad"— The Missing Scroll— Another 
Wandering Scroll — A Montagnana Instrument shot 
through the body— Fiddle Marks and the Credulous. 
Dabblers — " Guarneri " at a Discount — Dragonetti's 
Gasparo : Letter thereon by Mr. Samuel Appleby — , 
The Betts Stradivari : Letter by the late Charles Reade, 
—Leigh Hunt on Paganini— Thackeray on Orchestral 
Music— £pohr and his Guarneri— Spohr-and the Collector 



—The Ettrick Shepherd and the Violin— The Fiddle 
Trade: "Old Borax," and "Michael Schnapps," the 
Fiddle-ogre— The Prince and the "Fugal Vortex"— Sale 
of Cremonese Instruments at Milan in 1790 — An Inde- 
fatigable Violinist — A Wish — Living Stradivaris — Plea- 
sures of Imagination — A Royal Amateur — Pius IX. and 
the Musician — Ole Bull and Fiddle Varnish — Letter from 
Tartini on the Treatment of the Violin 371 — 450 




%\z (Carl? llisJtocg of t!)t Saiolm. 

THE early history of the Violin is involved in obscurity, 
and in consequence, much diversity of opinion 
exists with regard to it. The chief object of the writer of 
these pages is to throw light upon the instrument in its 
perfected state. It is, therefore, unnecessary to enter at 
great length upon the vexed question of its origin. The 
increased research attendant upon the development of 
musical history generally could hardly fail to discover facts 
of more or less importance relative to the origin of instru- 
ments played with a bow ; but although our knowledge in 
this direction is both deeper and wider, the hght shed upon 
the subject has not served to dissipate the darkness attend- 
ing it. Certain parts have'been illumined, and qonclusions of 
more or less worth have been drawn therefrom ; for the rest. 


all remains more hopelessly obscured and doubtful than the 
identity of the "Man in the Iron Mask" or the writer of the 
" Letters of Junius." 

It is satisfactory to know that the most valuable and 
interesting part of our subject is comparatively free from 
that doubt and, tradition which necessarily attaches to the 
portion belonging to the Dark or Middle Ages. When we 
reflect that Music--^as we understand it — is a modern art, 
and that all instruments of the Viol and Fiddle type, as far 
as the end of the fifteenth century, were rude if not bar- 
barous, it can scarcely excite surprise that our interest 
should with difficulty be awakened in subtle questions per- 
taining to the archaeology of bowed instruments. 

The views taken of the early history of the leading 
instrument have not been more multiform than remote. 
The Violin has been made to figure in history sacred and 
profane, and in lore classic and barbaric. That an instru- 
ment which is at once the most perfect and the most 
difficult, and withal the most beautiful and the most strangely 
interesting, should have been thus glorified, hardly admits 
of wonder. Enthusiasm is a noble passion, when tempered 
with reason. It cannot be saidj however, that the necessity 
of this qualification has been invariably recognized by 
enthusiastic inquirers into the history of instruments played 
with a bow. We have a curious instance of its non-recog^ 
nition in a treatise on the Viol,' written by a distinguished 
old French Violist named Jean Rousseau. The author, 
bent upon going to the root of his subject, begins with the 
Creation, and speaks of Adam as a Violist. Perhaps 
Rousseau based his belief in the existence of Fiddling at 
this early period of the world's history on the words " and 
' " Traits de la Viole," Paris, 1687. 


his brother's name was Jubal; from him descended the 
Flute players and Fiddlers," as rendered by Luther. 

The parts Orpheus and Apollo have been made to play 
in infantile Fiddle history have necessarily been dependent 
upon the license and the imagination of the sculptor and 
the medallist. Inferences of antiquity, however, have been 
drawn from such representations. Tracings of a bow among 
the sculpture of the ancients have been sought for in vain : 
no piece is known upon which a bow is distinguishable. 
A century since, an important discovery was thought to 
have been made by musical antiquarians in the Grand 
Duke's Tribuna at Florence, wherein was a small figure of' 
Apollo playing on a kind- of Violin with something of the 
nature of^ bow. Inquiry, however, njade it clear that the 
figure belonged to modern art. Orpheus has been repre- 
sented holding a' Violin in one hand and a bow in the 
other ; inquiry again showed that the Violin and the bow 
were added by the restorer of the statue. 

The views held by musical historians regarding the origin 
of the Violin may be described by the terms, Asiatic, and 
Scandinavian. The Eastern view, it need scarcely be said, 
is the most prolonged, exceeding some five thousand years 
along the vista of time, where little else is discoverable but 
what is visionary, mythical, arid unsubstantial. It is related 
— traditionally of course — that some three thousand years 
before our era there lived a king of Ceylon named Ravanon,' 
who invented a four-stringed instrument played with a bow, 
and which was name(f after the inventor "the Ravanastron." 
If it were possible to identify the instrument of th^ n^me, 
now known to the Hindoos, as identical with that of King 
Ravanon — as M. Sonnerat declares it to be — the Eastern 
' M. Sonnerat, "Voyage aux Ind'es Orientales," 1806. 


view of our subject would be singularly clear and defined. 
A declaration, however, resting on tradition, necessarily 
makes the gathering of evidence in support of it a task 
both dubious and difficult.' 

It is said that Sanscrit scholars have met with names for 
the bow in Sanscrit writings dating back nearly two thousand 
jyears. If this information could be supplemented by 
reliable monumental evidence of the existence of a bow of 
some rude kind among the nations of the East about the 
commencement of the Christian era, its value would neces- 
sarily be complete. In the absence of such evidence we 
are left in doubt as to what was intended to be understood 
by the reported references to a bow in ancient Sanscrit 
literature. The difficulty of understanding what Greek and 
Roman authors meant, in reference to the same subject, must 
be gieatly intensified in the works of ancient Eastern writers.'^ 

^ In Mr. Engel's *' Researches into the Early History of the Violin 
Family," 1883 — a book containing much valuable evidence on the 
subject — the author rightly remarks : " Now, this may be true ; still it 
is likewise true that most of the Asiatic nations are gifted with a 
remarkably powerful imagination, which evidently induces them some- 
times 'io assign a fabulously high age to any antiquity of theirs the 
origin of which dat-es bade to a period where history merges in myth. 
At the present daj the Hindoos possess, among their numerous rude 
instruments of the Fiddle class,, an extraordinarily primitive contri- 
vance, whidh they believe to be the instrument invented by Ravanon. 
Their opinion has actually been adopted by some of our modern 
musical historians as if it v/eie a well established truth." 

" In the " Reflections " at the end of Vol. I., " Bumey's History of 
Music," we read, "The ancients had instead of a bow, the Plectrum." 
" It appears too clumsy to produce from the strings tones that had 
either the sweetness or brilliancy of such as are drawn from them by 
means of the bow or quill. But, notwithstanding it is represented so 
massive, I should rather suppose it to have been a quill, or piece of 
ivory in imitation of one, than a stick or blunt piece of wood or 


The inquiry is simplified from the point of view of a 
Violinist if we reject all bow-progenitors but those which 
have been strung with fibre, silk, hair, or other material, 
the properties of which would permit of the production of 
sustained sounds. Implements less developed belong to a 
separate order of sound-producing contrivances, namely 
plectra, and may be described as permitting strumming by 
striking in place of twanging or twitching the strings. The 
imperfect knowledge we have of instruments of the Fiddle 
kind in Europe, belonging to a period many centuries later 
than that we are now considering, points to their having 
been struck or strummed, and not bowed with a view to the 
sounds being sustained. 

The oldest known representation of a contrivance or 
instrument upon which a string is stretched with a peg to 
adjust its tension, is probably that described by Dr. Burney 
as having been seen by him at Rome on an Egyptian obelisk. 
In a notice of Claudius Ptolemeus, an Egyptian, who wrote 
upon harmonic sounds about the middle of the second 
century, we have an illustration of an instrument of a 
similar character to that found on the obelisk above 
noticed.' In all probability neither of these contrivances 
was intended to be used as a musical instrument further 
than for scientific purposes, as a means of testing the tension 
of strings and the division of the scale : in short, they were 
monochords and dichords. 

In following the Eastern branch of our subject, it is 
necessary to refer to the suggested Arabian origin of the 
Ribeca of the Italians and the Rebec of the French — a 
little bowed instrument, shaped like the half of a pear, and 
having therefore something of the character of the mando- 
' Sir John Hawkins' History. 


line. We have early mention of this particular view of 
Violin history among the valuable and interesting manu- 
script notes of Sir John Sawkins.' The author states that 
the Rebab was taken to Spain by the Moors, "from whence 
it passed to Italy, and obtained the appellation of Ribeca." 
He also refers to a work entitled " Shaw's Travels," in 
which mention is made of the Rebeb or Rebab as an 
instrument common in the East in the eighteenth century. 
It is, however, upon turning to the dissertation on the 
invention and improvement of stringed instruments by John 
Gunn, published in 1793, that we first find a lucid account 
of Eastern influence in connection with bowed instruments." 
•The author refers to the monochord as the invention of the 
Arabians : he then says, " The early acquaintance which it is 
probable the Egyptians had of the science and practise of 
music, was the source whence the Arabians might derive 
their knowledge. There is a remarkable correspondence 
between the dichord of the Egyptians and an instrument of 
the like number of strings of the Arabians. This instru- 
ment was played with a bow, and was probably introduced 
into Europe by the Arabians of Spain, and well known 
from the Middle Ages down to the. last century by the 
name of the Rebec j it had probably on its first introduction 

" Hawkins' ' ' History of Music '' was published in the year 1 776. 
The MS. notes, which are attached to the author's copy in the British 
Museum, were included in the edition published in 1853 by Novello 

^ It may be remarked that nineteen years prior to the publication of 
John Gunn's dissertation was published the valuable work of Martinus 
Gerbertus, "De Cantu et MusicS Sacra," dated 1774. The volumes of 
Gerbertus were evidently perused with care and attention by Gunn. 
The references of John Gunn to the work are the earliest I have met 


only two strings, as it still has among the Moors, and soon 
after had the number increased to three. Dr. Shaw, who 
had seen it, calls it a Violin with three strings, which is 
played on with a bow, and called by the Moors Rebebb." 
In passing it may be said that the translators of the Bible, 
historians, painters, and poets have in many instances con- 
tributed greatly to the confusion attending the history of 
bowed instruments from their inability to correctly name 
and depict corded instruments. About a century after the 
publication of Dr. Shaw's " Travels in the East," appeared 
Lane's " Modern Egypt," wherein reference is made to an 
instrument named Rebab. It is described as being made 
partly of parchment, and mounted with one or two strings, 
played on with a bow. These instruments appear to . be 
identical. We do not usually look to the East for pro- 
gressiveness, and would therefore not expect to discover 
much difference between a Rebab of the nineteenth century 
and one of the eighth century. In taking this view we 
may, therefore, assume that the existing Rebab has nearly 
all in common with its Eastern namesake of the eighth 
century. The rude and gross character of the instrument 
is remarkable, and renders any connection between it and 
the Rebec of Europe in the Middle AgeS somewhat difiScult 
to realize. Having no certain knowledge of the forin of the 
ancient Rebab, our views regarding its connection with the 
Rebec must necessarily be speculative, and mainly depen- 
dent upon the etymological thread which is drawn between 
the words Rebec and Rebab. It is worthy of notice in 
relation to the opinion held by Sir John Hawkins and many 
other musical historians as to a bowed instrument of the 
Fiddle kind having been introduced into Spain from the 
East in the eighth century, that; we possess no certain 


evidence of bowed instrument cultivation in Spain between 
the eighth and twelfth centuries, whilst we have proof of 
the use of bowed instruments both in Germany and in 
England within that period.' The evidence we have of the 
use of a description of Viol at that time from the carvings 
on the Portico della Gloria of the Church of Santiago da 
Compostella, does not carry conviction that a bow was used, 
since none is represented.^ 

That the Spanish were influenced by their Moorish con- 
querors with regard to music, minstrelsy, and dancing is 
certain. The origin of such movements as the Saraband, 
the Morisca (or Morris dance), and the Chaconne, 3 has 
been traced to the East. That such dances should have 
been accompanied by instruments of Eastern origin of the 
Lute kind -may be assumed. Both in Spain and southern 
France accompanying instruments struck with plectra or 
twanged with the fingers were adopted at a very early period, 
and the people of those parts attained to a high state of 
proficiency — so much so indeed as to have rendered the 
cultivation of this description of music a national charac- 
teristic with them in the use of such instruments. The 
usage of the bow, however, does not appear to have been 

' Mention is made of Ash-Shakandi, who wrote on Moorish musid 
in Spain in the thirteenth century, named the Rebab. If this instrument 
was not more developed than its modern namesake, we have evidence 
of the Saxons being in possession of bowed instruments infinitely 
superior at a much earlier date. 

° In "The Violin and its Music," 1881, page 50, I have assumed 
their use by the performers on the above mentidned arch, believing it 
not improbable that the use of the bow was introduced by the settlers 
in Spain from the North. 

3 It need scarcely be said that the Eastern and Spanish ancestor of 
Bach's Chaconne was terpsichorean, andwas unconnected with any kind 
of scientific musical treatment. 


cultivated sufficiently, if at all, to leave its traces in history, 
until about the twelfth century, when the Troubadours 
sought the aid of the Trouvferes and Jongleurs. The 
Trouvferes were minstrel poets belonging to Northern France. 
The Jongleurs entertained their patrons with jests and arch 
sayings, and were often joined by the Gigeours of Germany 
to accompany their lays with their Geigen and kindred 

The foregoing remarks point to the absence of reliable 
evidence of the existence of a bow — worthy of the name 
from the point of view of a Violinist— among the Asiatic 
nations in the early centuries of our era. The Ravanastron 
of India, the Rebab of Arabia, and other stringed instru- 
ments used by the Persians and the Chinese, hardly admit 
of being looked upon as links in the genealogical Fiddle 
chain. Whatever the shape and use of ancient Eastern 
instruments — having something in common with the Euro- 
pean Viohn — may have been, the slight apparent affinity is 
accidental, and no real relationship exists between the 
European and the Asiatic Fiddle.' 

' Mr. Engel, " Researches into the Early History of the Violin 
Family," page 104, remarks : " It is rarely that the name of an Asiatic 
musical instrument can be traced to a European origin. There are, 
however, one or two instances in which this seems to be possible. 
Thus, the Chinese name Ye-Yia, by which they occasionally designate 
their Fiddle, may' possibly be a corruption oigiga or geige, considering 
that the common name of the Chinese Fiddle is Unheen, and that 
Macao, where this instrument is said to be called Ye- Yin, has been 
above three hundred years in the possession of the Portuguese, and in 
constant communication with European nations." This seems to de- 
prive the argument of the Eastern origin of the Fiddle of weight, and 
favours the already strong evidence of Scandinavian origin centred in 
the word Geige. 


The survey of the early history of bowed instruments in 
the North of Europe necessarily discovers a broader field of 
ostensible data than is possible to be found in the Asiatic 
view of the subject. Tradition, accompanied by its atten- 
dant uncertainties, gives place to facts recorded in illumi- 
nated manuscripts of the Middle Ages, on sculptured stone, 
on engraved brasses, in the lay of the minstrel, in the song of 
the poet, and, finally, in the works of the painl^ and of the 
niusician. The information obtainable from these several 
sources is often of the slightest kind, and admits of little 
else than a rude historical outline being drawn. The varied 
character of the evidence, however, serves in some instances 
to counterbalance the lack of detail. 

Enquiry into the history of any science seldom fails to 
make us acquainted with men whose views and opinions 
were formulated prior to the production of well-digested 
evidence in favour of their premises — a condition of things 
resulting oftentimes in their judgments being post-dated, and 
their names in consequence severed from them ; in short — 

" Elder times have worn the same, 
_ Though new ones get the name." 

In relation to our subject, the Hon. Roger North, Attor. 
ney-General to King James the Second, occupies a position 
of the kind described. In his work entitled " Memoirs of 
Music," written in the early part of the eighteenth century, 
we have the mgenious author's views as to the source from 
whence sprung the progenitor of the long line of Fiddle and 
Viol. His treatment of the subject displays a truly com- 
mendable amount of skill and judgment, and more so when - 


we. consider the limited sources of information at his disposal 
in comparison with those at the service of subsequent 
musical authors. He says, "There is no hint where the 
Viol kind came first in use." "But as to the invention 
which is so perfectly novel as not to have been heard of be- 
fore Augustulus, the last of the Roman Emperors, I cannot 
but esteem it perfecdy Gothic." " I suppose that at first 
it was like its native country, rude and gross, and at the 
early importation it was of the lesser kind which they called 
Viola da Bracchia, and since the Violin." He concludes 
by expressing his belief that the Hebrews did not sound 
their " lutes and guitars with thft^cratch of an horse-tail 
bow." These opinions of Rog^rMorth are for the most 
part identical with those held by well-known promotes of 
the Northern view of our subject.f 

About fifty years later than the date of North's " Memoirs 
of Music " appeared the famous work of Martinus Gerbertus, 
entitled, " De Cantu et Music^ Sacrl" Among the valu- 

' Paul Lacroix remarks, in " The Arts of the Middle Ages " : 
" Stringed instruments that were played on by means of bows were not 
known before the fifth century, and belonged to the Northern races." 
Sir Gore Ouseley, in his English edition of Naumann's "History of 
Music," commenting upon the author's statement that " the E#bab was 
introduced by Arabs into Southern Europe, and may be the precursor of 
all our modern stringed instruments," says, "From this view !• am 
compelled to dissent," aad^^[)^l»rf(jJ^vour of the Northern origin. 
William ChaQjM|lg#T6pularMusiGof the Oldeii Times," remarks: 
" I will not iBBpfe^gtirifffrsnewIy aaoyfei»Easteim||flieory of the 
bow. The onlfevidence he adduces is its present use'fipfllf fia^and 
the primitive form of Eastern instruments. " "I would ask hoWS&Bjes 
it that the bow was unknown to fhe Greeks and the Romans, Di?l 
not Alexander the Great conquer India and Persia? And were not 
those countries better known to the ancients than to the modern until 
within the last three hundred years? The Spaniards derived their 
instruments from the Moors, but the bqw was not among them," 


able manuscripts referred to by the autlior is one which 
supplies the earliest known representation of a bow instru- 
ment of the Fiddle kind, and which may be accepted as a 
description of German Fiddle. The date of this particular 
manuscript has been ascribed by M. F^tis to the ninth cen- 
tury. It may possibly have belonged to an earlier period.' 
The instrument was described in the manuscript of St. 
Blasius as a Lyre. Gerbertus rightly observes that it has 
only one string, and is more like a Cheli.=' He quotes 

' As the manuscript was destroyed by the fire which burnt nearly 
the whole of the buildings, Abbey, Church, and Library of St. Blasius 
in the Black Forest in 1768, the language of Gerbertus, who examined 
the original manuscript, is worthy of some attention. After referring 
to certain plates, copied from a manuscript of the year 600, he says 
" that the other twenty-three representations on the following eighth 
plate" (in which is included the early German Fiddle) '-are from a 
manuscript a little more recent." Whether the period of three centuries 
Wamed by M. Fetis can be considered recent is at least questionable, 
"file information taken from this manuscript is of paramount importance, 
with reference to the Asiatic and Northern views «f the origin of the 
Violin. The view taken by some authorities, that the Europeans jre- 
ceived their earliest instructions in infantile Fiddling from the Moors, 
when they conquered Spain in the eighth century, is already over-clouded 
by the representation of a Fiddle and bow on this German Manuscript, 
even assuming it to be of the ninth century ; but if its date be given 
prior to the appearance of the Moors in Europe, the Eastern view of the 
subject is naturally further darkened. 

" The aiicient name of corded instruments of the Lute, Mandoline, 
and Guitar kinds. Tradition has it that the Nile, having overflowed 
Egypt, left on shore a dead Cheli (tortoise), the flesh of which being the sun, nothing was left within the shell but nerves and carti- 
lages, and these being braced and contracted were rendered sonorous. 
Mercury, in walking, struck his foot against the shell of the tortoise, 
and was delighted with the sound produced, which gave him the idea 
of a Lyre that he later constructed in the form of a tortoise, and strung 
with the dried sinews of dead animals. This account of the origin of 
Lutes, Fiddles, and catgut is classic and picturesque. Tradition and. 


writers of different epochs relative to the meaning of the 
word Lyre as used by them, the tendency of his remarks 
apparently being to establish a connection between the 
German Fiddle named a Lyre in the manuscript) and the 
Rebec. The representation we have of the instrument 
certainly conveys the idea of its having been a progenitor of 
the Rebec of the French, the Ribeca of the Italians, and 
the Fithele and Geige of the Germans. The mention of an 
instrument of the kind in a German manuscript, discovered 
in an ancient German monastery, together with the record 
being dated by Gerbertus as not. far removed from the sixth 
century, lends much weight to the opinion of Roger North 
with regard to the part played by the Teutonic race in the 
early history of bowed instruments. 

It is now necessary to refer to the well-known repre- 
sentation of a Saxon Fiddle contained in the Cottonian 
manuscripts in the British Museum. Strutt, in his " Sports 
and Pastimes,'' supplies us with a copy of the illustration, 
which is that of a juggler throwing balls and knives to the 
accompaniment of an instrument of the Fiddle kind. Strutt 

myth have played parts of much consequence in the work of civilization : 
they have, however, at length fallen upon a critical and remarkably 
sceptical age, and rapidly fade and die under the inquisitorial torture of 
modern inquiry — a result at least to be expected Trom the contact of 
their own dreamy and delicate nature with unromantic matter. It is 
perhaps safer to refer the origin of the name Cheli or tortoise, as applied 
to corded instruments, to the fact of their having sound chambers, con- 
structed with the tortoise-shell, as was the case with the Greek Lyre, or 
to the circumstance of the bodies of the instruments being shaped like 
the tortoise. The Germans used the word Chelys to designate their 
Viols; and Christopher Simpson, in his famous treatise on the "Viol 
da Gamba," names it Chelys. The application of the word Chelys to 
bowed instruments is] suggestive of their remote connection with the 
ancient Lyre, 



ascribes the manuscript to the tenth century. The form of 
this Fiddle is in advance of that supplied in the St. Blasius 
manuscript, there, being four strings, but there is no bridge 
indicated, and, had there been, it would not have evidenced 
a Saxon knowledge of tuning the strings to given intervals, 
and playing upon each string. The little light which has 
been thrown on the condition of instrumental music at the 
time renders it doubtful whether any bowed instrument was 
used, other than for the purpose of rendering a rude extem- 
poraneous accompaniment to the voice or the dance. 

The chief authorities upon ancient minstrelsy agree that 
the Saxon's love of music was cultivated for centuries with 
ardour by his Saxon ancestors ; it would therefore be reason- 
able to believe that his knowledge of rude Fiddles was 
derived from the land of his forefathers, and not from any 
instrument he discovered in Britain.' The similarity of the 
instrument of the St. Blasius manuscript and of that in the 
■ hands of the Saxon Gleeman in the Cottonian manuscript is 
evidence of Teutonic origin. It is, moreover, strengthened 
by the fact of the use of the word Fithele by the Anglo- 
Saxons for nearly two centuries after the Norman Conquest, 
which name was adopted with but little variation by the 
whole of the Teutonic race.^ In Germany the word was 
used as late as the twelfth century. About this period the 
word Geige appears to have been applied in Germany to 
designate a Fiddle. It is described as an improved Rebec, 

' In Carl Eagel's " Researches into the Early History of the Violin 
Family," 1883, the author disbelieves in the Crwth having been the 
lineal ancestor of the Violin, and there can be but little doubt of the 
correctness of his opinion. 

= It is worthy of remark that the Northmen who invaded and gave 
their name to Normandy, carried from their Scandinavian homes a love 
of minstrelsy. 


and Strung with three strings.' The use of the word Geige 
in Germany instead of Fithele in the twelfth century, is 
worthy of attention as bearing upon Teutonic origin. The 
earliest information we have of the use of the Geige in 
France is in connection with the Jongleurs. The Geige was 
popular in France until the fifteenth century, when, as M. 
Lacroix says, it disappeared, leaving its name " as the desig- 
nation of a joyous dance, which for a considerable period 
was enlivened by the sound of the instrument." The word 
Geige,' I am inclined to think, is important as furnishing 
evidence of historical value in relation to the ancestry of the 
Violin. Lacroix believes that Germany created the Geige ; 
other authorities are of opinion that it originated among the 
people of Provence. The former view is supported by the 
strongest evidence. Some inquirers derive the word Geige 
from the French and Italian words for leg of mutton. '^ 
Wigand, however, supposes it to be derived from the old 

' Sebastian Wirdung, a priest, published a work in 1511, in which 
he describes the bow instruments of his time by the names Gross- 
Geigen and Klein-Geigen. The illustration of the Klein-Geige differs 
but little from the Rebec ; it has three strings, whilst the Gross-Geige 
has nine. Further information is supplied by the work of Martin 
Agricola, published in 1529. — Mendel's German Musical Dictionary, 
article " Violine." 

*■" Almost all our musical writers state, as if it were a well-ascer- 
tained fact, that the German word Geige is derived from the Gipte of 
the French Minstrels, who, during the 13th and 14th centuries had a 
sort of Rebec which they called by that name, and which, according to 
some commentators, resembled in outward appearance the shank of a 
goat or ram, called Gigot, and hence the origin of all the similar words 
occurring in different European languages. These commentators have, 
however, neglected to prove that the old French word Gigue occurs 
before the 13th century, or that it is earlier than the Middle High 
German Gige." — Angels "Researches into the History of the Violin 


northern word Getga, meaning trembling, or from Gigel, to 
quiver. If we consider the nature and character of the 
instrument, this view of the derivation of the word appears 
both ingenious and correct. Roger North shrewdly con- 
jectured that the " rude and gross " Gothic Fiddle " used to 
stir up the vulgar to dancing, or perhaps to solemnize their 
idolatrous sacrifices." In the Dark Ages dancing may have 
been regarded as bi-pedal trembling. I have remarked in 
another place,' " In the early ages of mankind dancing or 
jigging must have been done to the sound of the voice, next 
to that of the pipe, and when the bow was discovered to 
that of Si stringed instrument which was named the Geige 
from its primary association with dancing." The evidence 
we have of the use to which the leading instrument was put 
in the days of its adolescence, is indicative of its having 
grown up among' dancers, jugglers, and buffoons. In 
Germany its players gave fame and name to a distinct class 
of itinerant minstrels named the Gigeours, who were often 
associated with the Jongleurs in their perambulations. In 
France, from the days of the Jongleurs to those of Henry IV., 
and later to those of Louis XIV., the instrument was wedded 
to the dance. In England to the time of Charles II. it was 
in the hands of the Fiddler who accompanied the jig, the 
hornpipe, the round, and the north country frisk. 

In pursuing the course of our subject, our inquiries have 
hitherto been mainly concerned with the leading instrument 
in a barbarous and semi-barbarous state. We now reach 
what may be termed the transition stage of the question. 
The information relative to the appearance of the Geige or 
Violin tuned in fifths, is of the slenderest kind. To obtain 
evidence of much worth it is necessary to ireflect upon the 
' " The Violin and its Music," 1881, page 19. 


condition of instrumental music about the sixteenth century, 
together with the form and character of bowed instruments 
belonging to the same period. The manners and customs 
of peoples have also to be considered. We have hitherto 
found the Geige or Fiddle among minstrels and itinerant 
musicians in countries where music and minstrelsy had 
become an institution with the people. The instrument was 
rude and gross, and its office was to play extemporaneous 
accompaniments with considerable licence. At length 
domestic music began to be zealously cultivated in Germany 
and the Low Countries, to which important circumstance 
the rapid development of stringed instruments is traceable. 
Viols of various kinds supported the voices, and an im- 
portant manufacture of such instruments took root in 
Nuremberg and other German cities. In following the 
history of the Madrigal much light is thrown upon that of 
the Viol, to which it is necessary to give attention in order 
to follow in some degree the development of the Violin. 

The condition of music in Italy previous to the time 
when the father of the Madrigal, Adrian Willaert, followed 
in the steps of his countrymen and made Italy his home, 
presents a great contrast to the state of the art in Germany 
and the Netherlands about the same period. The love of 
music in these countries had been growing among the 
people from the days of their minstrel poets and their 
wandering musicians. In Italy minstrelsy received but 
little attention or encouragement. The effect of this was 
probably felt when that extraordinary love of culture and 
admiration for art manifested itself amid the courts of her 
princes, about the middle of the fifteenth century. The 
-love of melody then, as now, was deeply rooted in the nature 
of her people. Musical composition, however, of a high 


order, and able executants, were to be found elsewhere, and 
in Flanders in particular, and there the principal music and 
musicians were sought by the Italian dilettanti. To this 
fortuitous combination of melody and musical learning we 
owe the greatest achievements in the art of music. Upon it 
was raised the work of Palestrina, Scarlatti, and. Corelli, 
which their distinguished followers utilized with such judg- 
ment and effect. The progress and development of the 
Madrigal in Italy may be said to have be.en co- equal with 
that of the Viol, for which its music served, and ,to which 
the Italians gave the same beauty of form and exquisite 
refinement. The ingenuity and skilfulness of the early 
German Viol makers was not less speedily recognized by 
the Italians than was the learning and power manifested by 
the Flemish motet writers. The work of the Italians with 
regard to both the Madrigal and the Viol was artistic in the 
highest degree, and such as could alone have been accom- 
plished by men nourished on the teachings of the Renais- 
sance, and surrounded by its chief glories. 

There is evidence of German influence over the Italian 
Viol manufacture at the end of the fifteenth century, in the 
German-sounding names of makers located in Italy, and 
likewise in the character and construction of the oldest 
Italian Viols : notably, there is the crescent-shaped sound- 
hole common to the German Grosse-Geige and Klein-Geige. 
The most ancient Viols in existence are those by Hierony- 
mus Brensius of Bologna, two of which are in the Museum 
of the Academy of Music at Bologna, and a third is in my 
possession. They have labels printed in Roman letters, and 
doubtless belong to the end of the fifteenth century. These 
instruments serve to illustrate the condition of the art of 
Viol-making in Italy at that period. They are rude in form 


and workmanship, and present a marked contrast to the high 
artistic work associated with the Italians in other branches 
of industry. This rudeness is indicative of this particular 
manufacture being of recent importation, and of its having 
been received from Germany, and partly perhaps from the , 
Low Countries, where instrumental music was 'cultivated 
chiefly by the people, in which case utility would naturally 
have priority of design and workmanship. With the intro- 
duction of Viols in connection with the Madrigal into the 
palaces of Italy, together with their increased use in 
connection with the service of the Church, a demand 
speedily arose for instruments of elegant design and finished 
workmanship, in keeping with the high standard raised by 
Italian, artists in every direction. The work on the Viol by 
SJlvestro Ganassi, published at Venice in 1543, furnishes us 
with ample proof of the advance made by the Italians in 
Viol-making since Brensius worked. We see from a repre- 
sentation of a Viol ia the above-mentioned work that the 
sound-holes are better formed, the scroll is artistically 
designed, and the whole harmonious. These steps towards 
perfection ' were mounted by Duiffoprugcar and Gasparo da 
Salb, both of- whom rapidly developed the art. With 
Gasparo da Salb or a contemporary, was witnessed the 
rejection of the crescent-formed sound-hole, and the 
adoption of that which has held its own for upwards of 
three centuries. The sound-holes of the Amati and of 
Stradivari are but those of Gasparo and his contempo- 
raries marked with their own individuality. All Viols until 
about 1520 were furnished with pieces of gut tied round 
the neck and fingerboard to mark the divisions of the scale 
— in short, were fretted. From the work of Ganassi we 
learn that the use of these divisions was optional, thus 


supplying us with authentic information of considerable 
value with regard to the gradual emancipation of this class 
of instrument from frets, and foreshadowing the union of 
the Geige or Fiddle withthe Viol. Passing ^to the question 
of form given by the Italians early in the sixteenth century 
to Viols, we find the Violono or Bass Viol with its upper 
and lower sides, middle bouts, belly, and sound-holes almost 
Identical with those of the Tenor Viols, the chief difference 
being in the back of the latter, which is modelled, whilst 
the former is flat. This was the f6rm given to the Violono 
by Gasparo da Salo, and which has been changed in the 
upper portion of the body of the instrument, to perrgit of 
modern passages being executed with greater facility. The 
original finger-board was short, and generally fretted. The 
number of strings was five or more, and not as we now 
string them with three. It will be seen that this form of 
instrument gives us what Mr. Charles Reade describes as 
the invention of Italy, namely " the four 'corners." ' The 
same author in speaking of the order of invention remarks 
that he is puzzled " to time the Violono, or as we childishly 
call it (after its known descendant) the Double Bass. If I 
were so presumptuous as to trust to my eye alone, I should 
say it was the first of them all." With this opinion I 
entirely agree, and I am also in unison with Mr. Reade in 
believing that the large Viola (played on or between the 
knees) was the next creation, the design of which was that 
of the Violono or Double Bass already referred to. The 
next and most important step was in all probability to make 

' " Cremona Violins," Pall Mall Gazette, 1872. This reference 
applies to the corners and corner-blocks as made by Gasparo and all 
makers to the present time, in contradistinction to those seen in the 
Viol da Gamba and early German Viols. 


the common Geige or three>'striie(ged Fiddle of the same 
shape as these Tenor and^ Contralto Viols, thus handing to 
us the present-shaped Violin. In the MSS. notes of 
Lancetti, reference is made to a three-stringed Violin in the 
collection of Count Cozio di Salabue, which throws some 
light upon the question as to three-stringed Violins, of the 
form of the Italian Viola, having been made prior to the 
introduction of those with four strings tuned in fifths. The 
instrument to which Lancetti refers was dated i54'6, and 
was attributed to Andrea Amati. Until the beginning of 
the present century, this instrument remained in its original 
condition, when it ■vjjas altered by the Brothers Mantegazza 
of Milan into a Violin with four brings. Mention of this 
curious and valuable fact furnishes us with the sole record 
of a three-stringed Violin having been in existence during 
the present century, and also supplies the link needful to 
connect the old type of Fiddle with the perfect instrument 
of the great Italian makers. When or where the four- 
stringed Violin tuned in fifths first appeared in Italy is a 
question, the answer to which must ever remain buried in 
the past. It may have seen the light in Mantua, Bologna, 
or Brescia. The last-mentioned town is usually associated 
with its advent, and to Gasparo da Salo is given the credit 
of its authorship. 


%^z ConiStruction of t^t WLiolin. 

THE construction of the present form of the Violin has 
occupied the attention of many scientific men. It 
cannot be denied that the subject possesses a charm 
sufficiently powerful to induce research, as endeavour is 
made to discover the causes for the vast superiority of the 
Violin of the seventeenth century over the many other 
forms of bow instruments which it has survived. The- 
characteristic differences of the Violin have been obtained 
at the cost of many experiments in changing the outline 
and placing the sound-holes in various incongruous positions. 
These and the many similar freaks of inventors in their 
search after perfection have signally failed, a result to be 
expected when it is considered that the changes mentioned 
were unmeaning, and had nothing but novelty to recommend 
them. But what is far more extraordinary is the failure of 
the copyist, who, vainly supposing that he has truthfully 
followed the dimensions and general features of the Old 
Masters, at last discovers that he is quitfrunable to construct 
an instrument in any way deserving of comparison with tlje 
works of the period referred to. The Violin has thus 
hitherto baffled all 'attempts to force it into the " march of 


progress" which most things are destined to follow. It 
seems to scorn complication in its structure, and success- 
fully holds its own in its simplicity. There is in the Violin, 
as perfected by the great Cremonese masters, a simplicity 
combined with elegance of design, which readily courts the 
attention of thoughtful minds, and gives to it an air of 
mystery that cannot be explained to those outside the Fiddle 
world. Few objects possess so charming a display of 
curved lines as the members of the Violin family. Here 
we have Hogarth's famous line of beauty worked to per- 
fection in the upper bouts,' in the lower bouts, in the outer 
line of the scroll, in the sound-hole. Everywhere the 
perfection of the graceful curve is to be seen. It has been 
asserted by Hogarth's enemies that he borrowed the famous 
line from an Italian writer named Lomazzo, who introduced 
it in a treatise on the Fine Arts. We will be more charitable, 
and say that he obtained it from the contemplation of the 
beauties of a Cremonese Violin. 

In looking at a VioUn we are struck with admiration at a 
sight of consummate order and grace ; but it is the grace of 
nature rather than of mechanical art. The flow of curved 
lines which the eye detects upon its varied surface, one 
leading to another, and all duly proportioned to the whole 
figure, may remind us of the windings of a gentle stream or 
the twine of tendrils in the trellised vine. 

Often is the question asked, What can there be in. a 
simple Violin to attract so much notice ? What is it that 
causes men to treat this instrument as no other, to view it 
as an art picture, to dilate upon its form, colour, and date ? 
To the uninitiated such dwotion appears to be a species of 

' A technical term for the sides. 


monomania, and attributable to a desire of singularity. It 
needs but little to show the inaccuracy of such hypotheses. 
In the first place, the true study of the Violin is a taste 
which needs as much cultivation as a taste for poetry or any 
other art, a due appreciation of which is impossible without 
such cultivation. Secondly, it needs, equally with these 
arts, in order to produce proficiency, that spark commonly 
known as genius, without which cultivation, strictly speaking, 
is impossible, there being nothing to cultivate. We find 
that the most ardent admiration for the Violin regarded as 
a work of art has ever been found to emanate from those 
who possessed tastes for kindred arts. Painters, musicians, 
and men of refined minds have generally been foremost 
among the admirers of the Violin. Much interest attaches 
to it from the fact of its being the sole instrument incapable 
of improvement, whether in form or in any other material 
feature. The only difference between the Violin of the 
sixteenth century and that of the nineteenth lies in the 
arrangement of the sound-bar (which is now longer, in order 
to bear the increased pressure caused by the diapason being 
higher than in former times), and the comparatively longer 
neck, so ordered to obtain increased length of string. 
These variations can scarcely be regarded as inventions, but 
simply as arrangements. The object of them was the need 
of adapting the instrument to modern requirements, so that 
it might be used in concert with others that have been 
improved, and allow the diapason to be raised. Lastly, it 
must be said that, above all, the Violin awakens the interest 
of its admirers by the tones which it can be made to utter 
in the hands of a skilful performer. It is, without doubt, 
marvellous that such sounds should be derivable from so 
small and simple looking an instrument. Its expressiveness, 


power, and the extraordinary combinations whicH its 
stringing admits of, truly constitute it the king of musical 
instruments. These somewhat desultory remarks may 
suffice to trace the origin of the value set upon the 
Violin both as a work of art and as a musical instru- 

We will now pi-oceed to consider the acoustical properties 
of the Violin. These are, in every particular, surprisii;gly 
great, and are the results of many tests, the chief of which 
has been the adoption of several varieties of wood in its 
construction. In Brescia, which was in all probability the 
cradle of Violin manufacture, the selection of the material' 
of the sides and back from the pear, lemon, and ash trees 
was very general, and there is every reason to believe that 
Brescia was the first place where such woods were used. It 
is possible that the makers who chose them for the sides 
and backs of their instruments considered it desirable to 
have material more akin to that adopted for the bellies, 
which was the finest description of pine, and that the result 
was found to be a tone of great mellowness. If they used 
these woods with this intention their, calculations were un- 
doubtedly correct. They appear to have worked these 
woods with but few exceptions for their Tenors, Violoncellos, 
and Double Basses, while they adopted the harder woods 
for their Violins, all which facts tend to show that these 
rare old makers did not consider soft wood eligible for the 
back and sides of the leading instrument ; and later experi- , 
ment has shown them to have arrived at a correct conclusion 
on this point The experiments necessary to obtain these 
results have been effected by cutting woods of several kinds 
and qualities into various sizes, so as to give the sounds of 
the diatonic scale. By comparing the intensity and quality 



of tone produced by each sample of wood, plane-tree ' and 
sycamore have been found to surpass the rest. The 
Cremonese makers seem to have adhered chiefly to the use 
of maple, varying the manner of cutting it. First they made 
the back in one piece, technically known as a " whole 
back ; " secondly, the back in two parts ; thirdly, the cutting 
known as the " slab back." There being considerable doubt 
as to the mode of dividing the timber, the woodcuts given 
will assist the reader to understand it. Fig. i represents 
the cutting for the back in two pieces — the piece which is 
separated from the log is divided. Fig. 2 shows the method 
adopted to obtain the slab form. 


Fig. 2. 

This mode of cutting is constantly met with in the works 
of the Brescian makers, and likewise in those of the early 
Cremonese. Andrea Amati invariably adopted this form. 
Stradivari rarely cut his wood slab-foi-m. Joseph Guarneri 
made a few Violins of his best epoch with this cutting, the 
varnish on which is of an exquisite orange colour, so trans- 

' The Germans call the plane-tree " morgenldndischer aharn " — i.e., 
"oriental maple." From the German word a/iom is probably derived 
the term "air-wood," often corrupted into "hair-wood." Thomas 
Mace says, respecting the lute, " the air-wood is absolutely the best ; 
and next to that our English ma.p\e."—£nge/, "Researches into the 
Early History of the Violin Family." 


parent that the curls of the wood beneath resemble richly 
illuminated clouds. 

There can be no doubt whatever that the Cremonese and 
Brescian makers were exceedingly choice in the selection of 
their material, and their discrimination in this particular 
does not appear to have arisen so much from a regard to 
the beauty as to the acoustic properties of the wood, to 
which they very properly gave the first place in their con- 
sideration. We have evidence of much weight upon this 
interesting question iu the frequent piecings found on the 
works of Cremona makers, pointing to a seeming preference 
on their part to retain a piece of wood of known 
acoustic properties rather than to work in a larger or 
better preserved portion at the probable expense of tone. 
The time and care required for such a delicate operation 
must have been sufficient to have enabled the maker, 
had he been so minded, to have made a complete instru- 
ment There is also ample proof that Joseph Guarneri 
possessed wood to the exceptional qualities of which 
he was fully alive, and the same may be said of 
Stradivari, Ruggeri, and others. It is scarcely reasonable 
to suppose that in the seventeenth century there was a 
dearth in Italy of timber suitable for the manufacture of 
Violins, and that in consequence these eminent makers were 
compelled to patch and join their material to suit their 
purpose. They were men who were in the enjoyment of a 
patronage certainly sufficient to enable them to follow their 
calling without privation of any kind. Scarcity of pine and 
sycamore, good or bad, could not have been the cause, since 
we find Italian cabinet-work of great beauty that was manu- 
factured at this same period. The plane-tree and pine used 
by the Amati, Stradivari, and the chief masters in Italy, was 


of foreign growth, and was taken from the Tyrol and Istria. 
Its value was, therefore, in advance of Italian wood, but 
hardly so much as to place it beyond the reach of the 
Cremonese masters. It is, further, improbable that these 
masters of the art should have expended such marvelldus 
care and toil over their work, pieced as it frequently was 
like mosaic, when for a tr-ifling sum they could have avoided 
such a task to their ingenuity by purchasing fresh wood. 
We are therefore forced to admit that there must have been 
some cause of great weight which induced them to apply so 
much time and labour, and that the problem can only be 
accounted for by the solution before proposed, viz., that 
external appearance was of less importance than the posses- 
sion of acoustic properties thoroughly adapted to the old 
makers' purpose, and that the scarcity of suitable wood was 
siich as to make them hoard and make use of every particle. 
The selection of material was hence considered to be of 
prime importance by these makers ; and by careful study 
they brought it to a state of great perfection. The know- 
ledge they gained of this vital branch of their art is enveloped 
in a similar obscurity to that which conceals their famous 
varnish, and in these branches of Violin manufacture rests 
the secret of the Italian success, and until it is rediscovered 
the Cremonese will remain unequalled in the manufacture 
of Violins. 

We may now pass to the consideration of the various con- 
stituent parts of a Violin. It will be found, if a Violin be 
taken to pieces, that it is constructed of no less than fifty- 
eight separate parts, an astonishing number of factors for so 
small and simple-looking an instrument. The back is made 
of maple or sycamore, in one or two parts ; the belly of the 
finest quality of Swiss pine, and from a piece usually divided ; 


the sides, like the back, of maple, in six pieces, bent to the 
required form by means of a heated iron ; the linings, which 
are used to secure the back and belly to the sides, are twelve 
in number, sometimes made of lime-tree, but also of pine. 
The bass or sound-bar, is of pine, placed under the left foot 
of the bridge in a slightly oblique position, in order to facili- 
tate the vibration by giving about the same position as the 
line of the strings. The divergence is usually one-twelfth of 
an inch, throughout its entire lehgth of ten inches. It is 
curious to discover that this system of placing the bar was 
adopted by Brensius of Bologna, a Viol-maker of the fifteenth 
century, and by Gasparo da Salb. The later Violin- makers,' 
however, for the most part, do not appear to have followed 
the example, they having placed it in a straight line, thus 
leaving the system to be, re-discovered. The bar of the 
Violin not only serves the purpose of strengthening the 
instrument in that part where the pressure of the bridge is 
greatest, but forms a portion of the structure at once curious 
and deeply interesting ; it may indeed be called the nervous 
system of the Violin, so exquisitely sensitive is it to external 
touch. The slightest alteration in its position will effect 
such changes in the tone as often to make a good Violin 
worthless. Those troublesome notes technically known as 
"wolf notes" by its delicate arrangement are sometimes 
removed, or passed to intervals where the disagreeable sound 
is felt with less intensity. Numerous attempts have been 
made to reduce these features to a philosophy, .but the 
realization of the coveted discovery appears as, distant as 
ever. The most minute variation in the construction of the 
instrument necessitates a different treatment of this active 
agent as regards its conjunction with the bridge ; and when 
it is considered, that scarcely two Violins can be found of 



exactly identical structure,, it must be admitted that the diffi- 
culties in the way of laying down any set of hard and fast 
rules for their regulation seem to be insuperable, 

The next important feature of the internal organism is the 
sound-post, which serves many purposes. It is the medium 
by which the vibratory powers of the instrument are set in 
motion ;, it gives support to the right side of the belly, it 
transmits vibrations, and regulates both the power and 
quality of tone. The terms used for this vital factor of a 
Violin on the Continent at once prove its importance. The 
Italians and French call it the " Soul," and the Germans the 
" Voice." If we accept the sound-bar as the nervous system 
of a Violin, the sound-post may be said to perform the 
functions of the heart with unerring regularity. The pulsa- 
tions of sound are regulated by this admirable contrivance. 
If mellowness of quality be sought, a slight alteration of its 
position or form will produce a favourable change of singular 
extent ; if intensity of tone be requisite, the sound-post is 
again the regulator. It must, of course, be understood that 
its power of changing the quality of the tone is limited in 
proportion to the constitutional powers of the instrument in 
each case. It is not pretended that a badly constructed in- 
strument can be made a good one by means of this subtle 
regulator, any more than a naturally weak person can be 
made robust by diet and hygiene. 

The position of the sound-post is usually one-eighth to 
three-eighths of an inch behind the right foot of the bridge, 
the distance being variable according to the model of the 
instrument. If the Violin be high-built, the post requires 
to be nearer the bridge, that its action may be stronger; 
whilst flat-modelled instruments require that the post be set 
further away from the bridge. It is not possible to have 


any uniform arrangement of the sound-post in all instru- 
ments ; as we have remarked before in reference to the bass- 
bar, the variations in the thickness, outline, model, etc., of 
the Violin are so frequent as to defy identity of treatment ; 
uniformity has been sought for, but without success. 

The post can only be adjusted by a skilful workman who 
either plays himself or has the advantage of having the 
various adjustments tested by a performer. The necessity 
of leaving this exceedingly delicate matter in practised hands 
cannot be too strongly impressed upon the amateur, for the- 
damage done in consequence of want of skill is often, 

There are two methods of setting the sound-post in the 
instrument : the first fixes it in such a position as to place 
the grain of the post parallel with the grain of the belly ; 
the second sets it crosswise. 

The next important feature to be mentioned is the 
bridge, which forms no small part of the vibrating mecha- 
nism of the instrument, arid needs the utmost skill in its 
arrangement. Its usual position is exactly between the two 
small niches marked in each sound-hole, but this arrange- 
ment is sometimes altered in the case of the stop beiiig 
longer or shorter. Many forms of bridges have been in use 
at different periods, but that now adopted is, without doubt, 
the best. In selecting a bridge great care is requisite that 
the wood be suitable to the constitution of the Violin. If 
the instrument is wanting in brilliancy, a bridge having 
solidity of fibre is necessary ; if wanting in mellowness, on^ 
possessing soft qualities should be selected. 

We now pass to the neck of the Violin, which is made of, 
sycamore or plane-tree. Its length has been increased since ■ 
the days of the great Italian masters, who seem, to have paid 



but little attention to this portion of the instrument, • in 
regards to its appearance, and as to the wood used fot its 
manufacture, which was of the plainest description. It may 
be. observed that in those times the florid passages which we 
now hear in Violin music were in their infancy, the first and 
second positions being those chiefly used ; hence the little 
attention paid to the handle of the instrument. Modern 
requirements have made it imperative that the neck should 
be well shaped, neither too flat nor too round, but of a happy 
medium. ' The difficulties of execution are sensibly lessened 
when due attention is paid to this requirement. 

The finger-board is of ebony, and varies a little in length 
according to the position of the sound-holes. ' To form the 
board "properly is a delicate operation, for if it be not 

. carefully made the strings jar against it, and the move- 
ments of the bow are impeded. The nut, or rest, is that 
sttiall piece of -ebony over which the strings pass on the 

The purfling is composed of three strips of lime-tree, two 
of which are stained black. Whalebone purfling has been 
frequently used, particularly by the old Amsterdam makers. 
The principal parts of the instrument have now been 
described, and there remain only the pegs, blocks, strings, 
and tail-piece, the sum of which makes up the number of 
fifty-eight constituent parts as before mentioned. There is 
still, however, one item of the construction to be men- 
tioned which does not form a separate portion of the Violin, 
but which is certainly worthy of notice, viz., the button, 
which is that small piece of wood against which the heel of 
the neck rests. The difficulty of making this apparently 

■insignificant piece can only be understood by those who 
have gone through the various stages of Violin manufacture. 


The amount of finish given to the button affects in a great 
measure the whole instrument, and if there is any defect of 
style it is sure to be apparent here. It is a prominent 
feature, and the eye naturally rests upon it : as the key-stone 
to the arch, so is the button to the Violin. 

The sound-holes, or /Wholes, it is almost needless to 
remark, are features of vital importance. Upon the form 
given to them, and the manner of cutting them, largely 
depend the volume and quality of tone. The Italian makers ■ 
of Brescia and Cremona appear to have been aware of the 
singular influence the formation of the sound-hole has upon 
the production and quality of sound. The variety of 
original shapes they gave to them is evidence of their know- 
ledge. Appearance in keeping with the outline of their 
design may have influenced them in some measure, but not 
'entirely. Most makers used patterns from which to cut 
their sound-holes ; Joseph Guarneri and some others appear 
to have drawn them on the belly, and cut them accordingly. 

From the foregoing remarks upon the various portions of 
the Violin it may be assumed that the reader has gained 
sufficient insight into the process of its manufacture to 
enable him to dispense with a more minute description of 
each stage. 

In conclusion, I cannot refrain from cautioning possessors 
of good instruments against entrusting them into the bar- 
baric hands of pretended repairers, who endeavour to 
persuade them into the belief that it is necessary to do this, 
that, and the other for their benefit. The quack doctors of 
the Violin are legion — they are found in every town and 
city, ready to prey upon the credulity- of the lovers of 
Fiddles, and the injury they inflict on their helpless patients 
is frequently irreparable. Unfortunately, amateurs arp often 


prone to be continually unsettling their instruments by 
trying different bars, sound-posts, etc., without considering 
the danger they run of damaging their property instead of 
improving iti Should your instrument need any alteration, 
no matter how slight, consult only those who have made the 
subject a special study. There are a few such men to be 
found in the chief cities of Europe, men whose love for the 
instrument is of such a nature that it would not permit them 
to recommend alterations prejudicial to its well-being. 


Italian anU otljer »)tn'ng:0. 

UPON the strings of the Violin depends in a great 
measure the successful regulation of the instrument. 
If, after the careful adjustment of bridge, sound-post, and 
bass-bar, strings are added which have not been selected 
with due care and regard to their relative proportion, the 
labour expended upon the important parts named is at once 
rendered useless. Frequently the strings are the objects 
least considered when the regulation of a Violin is attempted ; 
but if this be the case, results anything but satisfactory 
ensue. It is, therefore, important that every Violinist should 
endeavour to make himself acquainted with the different 
varieties and powers of strings, that he may arrange his 
instrument with every facility. 

The remarkable conservatism attending the structural 
formation of the Violin exists more or less in the appliances 
necessary for the awakening of its dormant music. If we 
turn to its pegs we find them of the same character as the 
peg of its far-removed ancestor, the monochord, and if we 
compare the Italian peg of the seventeenth century with a 
modern one, the chief difference lies in the latter being 
more gross and ugly. Upon turning to the bridge, we see 


that the bridge of to-day is almost identical with the bridge 
of Stradivari ; and when we come to the strings of the 
Violin we discover that we have added but little, if anything, 
to the store of information regarding them possessed by our 

In, perhaps, the earliest book on the Lute, that of. Adrian 
Le Roy, published in Paris in 1570, and translated into 
English in 1574,' we read^" I will not omit to give you to 

' Fetis, in his notice of Le Roy, states that the first edition of 
this rare book was published in 1557, and was translated by T. 
Alford into English in 1568. 


understand how to know strings." " It is needful to prove 
them between the hands in the manner set forth in the 
figures hereafter pictured, which show on the finger and to 
the eye the difference from the true with the false." The 
instructions here given, it will be seen, are those set forth by 
Louis Spohr in his Violin School. In the famous musical 
work of Merseene, published in 1648, we find an interesting 
account of strings ; he says they are of " metal, and the 
intestines of sheep." "The thicker chords of the great 
Viols and of Lutes aire made of thirty or forty single intes- 
tines, and the best are made in Rome and some other 
cities in Italy. This superiority is owing to the air, the 
water, or the herbage on which the sheep of Italy feed." 
He adds "that chords may be made of silk, flax, or other 
material, but that animal chords are far the best." The ex- 
perience of upwards of two centuries has not shaken the 
soundness of Merseene's opinion of the superiority of gut 
strings over those made of silk and steel. Although strings 
of steel and silk are made to some extent on account of 
their durability and their fitness for warm climates, no 
Violinist familiar with the true quality of tone belonging to 
his instrument is likely to torture his ears with the sound of 
strings made with thread or iron. Continuing our inquiries 
among the old musical writers in reference to the subject of 
itrings, we find Doni says in his musical treatise, published 
in 1647, "there are many particulars relating to the con- 
struction of instruments which are unknown to modern 
artificers, as namely, that the best strings are made when 
the north, and the worst when the south wind blows," a 
truism well understood by experienced string manufacturers. 
Thomas Mace, in his curious book on the Lute, enters at 
some length into the question of strings, and speaks in 


glowing terms of. his Venetian Catlins. The above refer- 
ences to strings met with in the writers of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries indicate a full knowledge of the most 
important facts concerning them on the part of the musicians 
and makers of those days ; and notwithstanding our superior 
mechanical contrivances in the manufacture, it is doubtful 
whether modern strings are generally equal to those made in 
times when leisure waited on quality in lieu of speed on 

Musical strings are manufactured in Italy, Gerroany, 
France, and England. The Italians rank first, as in past 
times, in this manufacture, their proficiency being evident 
in the three chief requisites for strings, viz., high finish, great 
durability, and purity of sound. There are manufactories 
at Rome, Naples, Padua, and Verona, the separate charac- 
teristics of which are definitely marked in their produce. 
Those strings which are manufactured at Rome are exceed- 
ingly hard and brilliant, and exhibit a slight roughness of 
finish. The Neapolitan samples are smoother and softer 
than the Roman, and also whiter in appearance. Those of 
Padua are highly polished and durable, but frequently false. 
The Veronese strings are softer than the Paduan, and 
deeper in colour. The variations described are distinct, and 
the more remarkable that all the four kinds are produced by 
one and the same nation ; as, however, the raw material is 
identical throughout Italy, the process of manufacture must 
be looked upon as the real cause of the difference noticed. 
The German strings now rank next to the Italian, Saxony 
being the seat of manufacture. They may be described as 
very white and smooth, the better kinds being very durable. 
Their chief fault arises from their being over- bleached, and 
hence faulty in sound. The French take the third place in 


the manufacture. Their strings are carefully made, and 
those of the larger sizes answer well ; but the smaller strings 
are wanting in durability. The English manufacture all 
qualities, but chiefly the cheaper kinds ; they are durable, 
but unevenly made, and have a dark appearance. 

The cause of variation in quality of the several kinds 
enumerated arises simply from the difference of climate. 
In Italy an important part of the manufacture is carried on 
in the open air, and the beautiful climate is made to effect 
that which has to be done artificially in other countries. 
Hence the Italian superiority. Southern Germany adopts, 
to some extent, similar means in making strings ; France, to 
a less degree ; while England is obliged to rely solely on ar- 
tificial processes. It therefore amounts to this — the further 
from Italy the seat of manufacture, the more inferior the 

From the foregoing references we find that strings, although 
called " catgut," are not made from the intestines of that 
domestic animal Whether they were originally so made, 
and hence derive their name, it is impossible to learn. 
Marston, the old dramatist, says — 

" How the musicians 
Hover with nimble sticks o'er squeaking Crowds," 
Tickling the dried guts of a mewing cat." 

We may be sure, however, that had the raw material been 
drawn from that source up to the present time, there would 
have been no need to check the supply of the feline race 
by destroying nine kittens out of ten ; on the contrary, the 
rearing of cats would indeed have been a lucrative occupa- 

' The old English name for a Fiddle. 


tion. A time-honoured error is thus commemorated in a 
word, the origin of which must be ascribed to want of thought. 
If the number of cats requisite for the string manufacture be 
considered for a moment, it is easy to see that Shylock's 
" harmless necessary " domestics are under no contribution 
in this matter. Strings are made from the intestines of 
the sheep and goat, chiefly of the former:. The best qualities 
are made from the intestines of the lamb, the strength of 
which is very great if compared with those of a sheep more 
than a year old. This being so, the chief manufacture of 
the year is carried on in the month of September, the Sep- 
tember string-makings being analogous to October brewings. 
The demand for strings made at this particular season far 
exceeds the supply, and notably is this the case with regard 
to strings of small size, which have to bear so great a strain, 
that if they were not made of the best material there would 
be little chance of their endurance. To enter into a de- 
scription of the various processes of the manufacture is un- 
necessary, as it would form a subject of little interest to 
the general reader ; we may therefore conclude this brief 
notice of strings by a few rules to be observed in their selec- 

Endeavour to obtain strings of uniform thickness through- 
out ; a requisite which can only be insured by careful gauging. 
In selecting the E string, choose those that are most trans- 
parent ; the seconds and thirds, as they are made with several 
threads, are seldom very clear. The firsts never have more 
than a few threads in them, and hence, absence of transpa- 
rency in their case denotes inferior material. Before putting 
on the first string, in particular, in order to test its purity it 
will be well to follow Le Roy's advice, which is to hold be- 
tween the fingers of each hand a portion of the string suffi- 


cient to stretch from the bridge to the nut, and to set it in 
vibration. If two lines only be apparent, the string is free 
from falseness ; and if a third line be produced, the contrary 
conclusion must be assumed. In the case of seconds and 
thirds we cannot always rely on this test, as the number of 
threads used in their manufacture frequently prevents the 
line from being perfectly clear. The last precaution of mo- 
ment is to secure perfect fifths, which can only be done by 
taking care that the four strings are in true proportion and 
uniform with each other. To string a violin correctly is a 
very difficult undertaking, and requires considerable patience. 
The first consideration should be the constitution of the 
Violin : the strings that please one instrument torture 
another. Neither Cremonese Violins nor old instruments 
in general require to be heavily strung ; the mellowness of 
the wood and their delicate construction require the string- 
ing to be such as will assist in bringing out that richness of 
tone which belongs to first-rate instruments. If" the bridge 
and sound-board be heavily weighted with thick strings, 
vibration will surely be checked. In. the case of modern 
instruments, heavy in wood, and needing constant use to 
wear down their freshness, strings of a large size may be used 
with advantage, and particularly when such instruments are 
in use for orchestral purposes. 

Vast improvements have been effected in the stringing of 
Violins within the last thirty years. Strings of immense size 
were used alike on Violins, Violoncellos, Tenors, and Double 
Basses. Robert Lindley, the king of English Violoncellists, 
used a string for his first very nearly equal in size to the 
second of the present time, and the same robust proportion 
was observed in his other strings. The Violoncello upon 
which he played was by Forster, and would bear much 


heavier stringing than an Italian instrument; and, again, he 
was a most forcible player, and his power of fingering 
quite exceptional. Dragonetti, the famous Double-Bass 
player, and coadjutor of Lindley, possessed similar powers, 
and used similar strings as regards size. Their system of 
stringing was adopted indiscriminately. Instruments whether 
weakly or strongly built received uniform treatment, the 
result being in many cases an entire collapse, and the most 
disappointing effects in tone. It was vainly supposed that 
the ponderous strings of Dragonetti and LindJey were the 
talisman by use of which their tone would follow as a matter 
of course," whereas in point of fact it was scarcely possible to 
make the instruments utter a sound when deprived of fhe 
singular muscular power possessed by those famous players. 
After Lindley's death his system passed away gradually, and 
attention was directed to the better adaptation of strings 
to the instrument, and also to the production of perfect 

We have now only to speak of covered strings, iii which it 
is more difficult to obtain perfection than in the case of those 
of gut. There are several kinds of covered strings. There 
are those of silver wire, which are very durable, and have 
a soft quality of sound very suitable to old instruments, and 
are therefore much used by artistes ; there are those of copper 
plated with silver, and also of copper without plating, which 
have a powerful sound ; and, lastly, there are those which are 
made with mixed wire, an arrangement which prevents in a 
measure the tendency to rise in pitch, a disadvantage com- 
mon to covered strings and caused by expansion of the 
metals ; these strings also possess a tone which is a cornbina- 
tion of that produced by silver and copper strings. Here 
again, however,, great discrimination is needed, vi«., before 


putting on the fourth string. The instrument must be un- 
derstood. There are Violins which will take none but fourths 
of copper, there are others that would be simply crippled by 
their adoption. It cannot be too much impressed upon the 
mind* of the player, that the Violin requires deep and 
patient study with regard to every point connected with its 
regulation. So varied are these instruments in construction 
and constitution, that before their powers can be successfully 
developed they must be humoured) and treated as the 
child of a skilful educator, who watches to gain an insight 
into the character of his charge, and then adopts the best 
means for its advancement according to the circumstances 

The strain and pressure of the strings upon a Violin being 
an interesting subject of inquiry, I give the annexed parti- 
culars {see Table on page 80) from experiments made in 
conjunction with a friend interested in the subject, 'and 
possessed of the necessary knowledge to arrive at accurate 

The Violin being held in a frame in a nearly upright posi- 
tion, so that the string hung just clear of the nut to avoid 
friction, the note was obtained by pressing the string to 
the nut. 

When the Violin was laid in a horizontal position, and the 
string passed over a small pulley, an additional weight of 
two or three pounds was required to overcome the friction on 
the nut and that of the pulley. Therefore it is probable that 
the difference in the results obtained by other experimenters 
may have arisen from the different methods employed. But 
with a dead weight hung on the end of each string, there 
could be no error. 


Tension of Violin Strings. 
Ascertained by hanging a dead weight on the end of the string. 






v bjo 


hi o u 

|i< o b.0 

'2 A 

1st Thick 

2nd Thick 

3rd Thick 

4th . Thick 

The total of four Thick 
Strings is 

Do. Four Small Strings 







Say 10 



lbs. ozs. 

10 3i 
9 12 
8 o 

6 14 
6 \il 
6 o 

S 14 
S lo* 

4 14 

4 14 
4 loj 
4 7 

27 i3i 

23 S 

lbs. ozs. 

10 3i 
9 12 
8 o 

4 9i 
4 7i 
4 o 

I iSi 
I 13I 
I 10 

16 12 
13 10 

lbs. ozs. 

2 4J 
2 4 

2 O 

3 14I 

3 I2| 

3 4 

4 14 
4 loj 
4 7 

II ij 

9 II 


B A C is the average angle fonned by a string passing over the 
bridge of a Violin, and the tension acts equally in the direction A B, 
A C. 

Take A C=A B. 

From the point B draw B D parallel to A C. And from the point C 
draw C D parallel to A B, cutting B D at D. 

Join A D. 

Then, if a force acting on the point A, in the direction of A B, be re- 
presented in magnitude by the line A B, an equal force acting in the 
direction A C, will be represented by the. line A C, and the diagonal 
A D will represent the direction and magnitude of the force acting on 
the point A, to keep it at rest^ 

N.B. — -The bridge of a Violin does not divide the angle BAG 
quite equally, but so nearly that A D may be taken as the position 
of the bridge. 

Also, the plane passing through the string of a Violin, on both sides 
of the bridge, is not quite perpendicular to the belly. To introduce this 
variation into the calculation, would render that less simple, and it will 
be sufficient to state, that about the 150th part must be deducted from the 
downward pressures given in the above table from the 1st and 4th strings, 
and about the 300th part for the 2nd and 3rd strings. The total to be de- 
ducted for the four strings will not exceed three ounces. 

On th6 line A B or A C set off a scale of equal parts, beginning at A, 
and on A D a similar scale beginning at A. 

Mark off on the scale A B as many divisions as there are lbs. in the 
tension of a string, for example 18, and from that point draw a line 
parallel to B D, cutting A D at the point 8 in that scale. Then, if the 
tension of a string be 18 lbs., the downward pressure on the bridge will 



be 8 lbs. ; and therefore for the above angle, the downward pressure 
of any string on the bridge will be l-i8th = 4-9ths of the tension 
of that string. 

The whole of the downward pressure of the 1st string falls Upon 
the Treble Foot of the Bridge. 

The downward pressure of the 2nd string is about 2-3rds on the 
Treble Foot of the Bridge, and I -3rd on the Bass Foot. 

The downward pressure of the 3rd string is about l-3rdonthe Treble 
Foot, and 2-3rds on the Bass Foot. 

The whole of the downward pressure of the 4th string falls upon the 
Bass Foot of the Bridge. 


- 'W-lz 3Italian fetcJooU 

THE fifteenth century may be considered as the period' 
when the art of making instruments of the Viol class 
took root in Italy, a period rich in men labouring in the 
cause of Art The long list of honoured oames connected 
with Art in Italy during the fifteenth, sixteenth, and, seven- 
teenth centuries, is a mighty roll-call indeed ! The memory 
dwells upon the number of richly-stored minds that havQ, 
within the limits of these three centuries, bequeathed their 
art treasures to all time ; and if here we cannot suppress a 
comparison of the art world of the present Italy with that 
of the periods named, still less can we fail to be astonished 
as we discover the abyss into which Italy must be judged to 
have sunk in point of merit, when measured by the high 
standard which in former days she set herself. But perhaps 
the greatest marvel of all is the rapidity of the decadence 
when it once set in, as it did immediately after the culmi- 
nating point of artistic fame had been reached. 

To reflect for a moment upon the many famous men in 
Italy engaged in artistic vocations contemporary with the 
great Viol and Violin makers cannot fail to be interesting 
to the lovers of our instrument^ for it has, the effect of suj. 


rounding their favourite with an interest extending beyond 
its own path. It also serves to make prominent the curious 
fact that the art of Italian Violin-making emerged from its 
chrysalis state when the painters of Italy displayed their 
greatest strength of genius, and perfected itself when the, 
Fine Arts of Italy were cast in comparative darkness. It is 
both interesting and remarkable that the art of Italian 
Violin-making — which in its infancy shared with all the 
arts the advantage attending the revival of art and learning 
—^should have been the last to mature and die. 

Whilst the artist, scientist, and musician, Leonardo da 
Tinci, was painting, inventing, and singing his sonnets to 
the accompaniment of his Lute ; whilst Raphael was exe- 
cuting the commands of Leo the Tenth, and Giorgio was 
superin,tending the manufacture of his inimitable majolica 
ware, the Viol-makers of Bologna were designing their in- 
struments and assimilating them to the registers of the 
human voice, in order that the parts of Church and chamber 
madrigals might be played instead of sung, or that the 
voices might be sustained by the instruments.' 

If we turn to the days of Gasparo da Salo, Maggini, and 
Andrea Amati, we find that while they were sending forth 
their Fiddles, Titian was painting his immortal works, and 

■ The importance of this epoch in its bearings upon instrumental 
music generally, and stringed instrument music in particular, can hardly 
be over-estimated. It may be said that in the Middle Ages no written 
music for instruments existed. The melodies and accompaniments pro- 
duced from instruments were either extemporaneous or parrot-like 
imitations of vocal music. Madrigals and a few dances constituted the 
food upon which instruments were nursed until towards the close of the 
sixteenth century, when Gabriellij or a contemporary musician, pre- 
pared a special and distinct aliment, the outcome of which is found in 
the symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. 


Benvenuto Cellini, the greatest goldsmith of his own or any 
age, was setting the jewels of Popes and Princes, and en- 
amelling the bindings of their books. Whilst the master- 
minds of Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del 
Gesli were occupied with those instruments which have 
caused their names to be known throughout the civilized 
world (and ««civilized too, for many thousands of Violins 
are yearly made into which their cherished names are 
thrust, after which they are despatched for the negro's use), 
Canaletto was painting his Venetian squares and canals, 
Venetians whose names are unrecorded were blowing glass 
of wondrous form and beauty. At the same time, in the 
musical world, Corelli was writing his jigs and sarabands, 
Geminiani penning one of the first instruction books for the 
Violin, and Tartini dreaming his " Sonata del Diavolo ; " 
and while Guadagnini and the stars of lesser magnitude were 
exercising their calling, Viotti, the originator of a school of 
Violin-playing, was writing his concertos, and Boccherini 
laying the foundation of classical chamber-music of a light 
and pleasing character. It would be easy to continue this 
vein of thought, were it not likely to become irksome to the 
reader ; enough has been said to refresh the memory as to 
the flourishing state of Italian art during these times. 
What a mine of wealth was then opened up for succeeding 
generations ! and how curious is the fact that not only the 
Violin, but its music, has been the creature of the jnost 
luxurious age of art ; for in that golden age musicians con- 
temporary with the great Violin-makers were writing music 
destined to be better understood and appreciated when the 
Violins then made should have reached their maturity. 

That Italy's greatest Violin-makers lived in times favouj- 
able to the production of works possessing a high degree of 


merit, cannot be doubted. They were surrounded by com- 
posers of rare powers, and also by numerous orchestras. 
These orchestras, composed mainly of stringed instruments, 
were scattered over Italy, Germany, and France, in churches, 
convents, and palace^, and must have created a great 
demand for bow instruments of a high class. 

The bare mention of a few of the names of composers 
then existing will be sufficient to bring to the mind of the 
reader well versed in musical matters the compositions to 
which they owe their fame. In the sixteenth century, 
Orlando di Lasso, Isaac, and Palestrina were engaged in 
writing Church music, in which stringed instruments were 
heard ; in the seventeenth, lived Stradella, Lotti, Bononcini, 
Lully, and Corelli. In the eighteenth century, the period 
when the art of Violin-making was at its zenith, the list is 
indeed a glorious one. At this point the constellation of 
Veracini, Geminiani, Vivaldi, Locatelli, Boccherini, Tartini, 
Viotti, Nardini, among the Italians ; while in France it is 
the epoch of Leclair and Gavinifes, composers of Violin 
music of the highest excellence. Surrounded by these 
men of rare genius, who lived -but to disseminate a taste for 
the king of instruments, the makers of Violins must cer- 
tainly have enjoyed considerable patronage, and doubtless 
those of tried ability readily obtained highly remunerative 
prices for their instruments, and were encouraged in their 
march towards perfection both in design and workmanship. 
Besides the many writers for the Violin, and executants, 
there were numbers of ardent patrons of the Cremonese and 
Brescian makers. Among these may be mentioned the 
Duke of Ferrara, Charles IX., Cardinal Ottoboni (with 
whom Corelli was in high favour). Cardinal Orsini (after- 
wards Pope Benedict XIII.), Victor Amadeus Duke of 


Savoy, the Duke of Modena, the Marquis Ariberti, Charles 
III. (afterwards Charles VI. Emperor of Germany), and the 
Elector of Bavaria, all of whom gave encouragement to the 
art by ordering complete sets of gtringed instruments for 
their chapels and for other purposes. By the aid of such 
valuable patronage the makers were enabled to centre-their 
attention on their work, and received reward commensurate 
with the amount of skill displayed. This had the effect of 
raising them above the status of the ordinary workman, and 
permitted them as a body to pass their lives amid compara- 
tive plenty. There are, without doubt, instances of great 
results obtained under trying circumstances, but the genius 
required to combine a successful battle with adversity with 
high proficiency in art is indeed a rare phenomenon. 
Carlyle says of such minds : " In a word, they willed one 
thing, to which all other things were subordinate and made 
subservient, and therefore they accomplished it. The 
wedge will rend rocks, but its edge must be sharp and single ; 
if it be double, the wedge is bruised in pieces, and will rend 
nothing." It may, therefore, be affirmed that the greatest 
luminaries of the art world have shone most brightly under 
circumstances in keeping with their peaceful labours, it not 
being essential to success that men highly gifted for a 
particular art should have this strength of will unless there 
were immediate call for its exercise. 

Judging from the large number of bow-instrument makers 
in Italy, more particularly during the seventeenth century, 
we should conclude that the Italians must have been con- 
sidered as far in advance of the makers of other nations, 
and that they monopolized, in consequence, the chief part of 
the manufacture. The city of Cremona became the seat 
of the trade, and the centre whence, as the manufacture 


developed itself, other less famous places maintained then 
industry. In this way there arose several distinct schools 
of a character marked and thoroughly Italian, but not 
attaining the high standard reached by the parent city. 
Notwithstanding the inferiority of the makers of Naples, 
Florence, and other homes of the art as compared with the 
Cremonese, they seem to have received a fair amount of 
patronage, the number of instruments manufactured in these 
places of lesser fame being considerable. 

To enable the reader to understand more readily the 
various types of Italian Violins, they may be classed as the 
outcome of five distinct schools. The first is that of Brescia, 
dating from about 1520 to 1620, which includes Gasparo da 
Salo, Maggini, and a few others of less note. The next, 
and most important school, was that of Cremona, dating 
from 1550 to 1760, or even later, and including the follow- 
ing makers : Andrea Amati, Girolamo Amati, Antonio Amati, 
Niccolb Amati, Girolamo Amati son of Niccolo, Andrea 
Guarneri, Pietro Guarneri, Giuseppe Guarneri the nephew 
of Andrea, Giuseppe Guarneri the son of Andrea, Antonio 
Stradivari, and Carlo Bergonzi. Several well-known makers 
have been omitted in the foregoing list simply because they 
were followers of those mentioned, and therefore cannot 
be credited with originality of design. The makers of 
Milan and Naples may be braced together as one school, 
under the name of Neapolitan, dating from 1680 to 1800. 
This school contains makers of good repute, viz., the 
members of the Grancino family, Carlo Testore, Paolo 
Testore, the Gagliano family, and Ferdinando Landolfi. 
The makers of Florence, Bologna, and Rome may likewise 
be classed together in a school that dates from 1680 to 
1760, and includes the following names : Gabrielli, Anselmo, 


Tecchler, and Tononi. The Venetian school, dating from 
1690 to 1764, has two very prominent members in Do- 
menico Montagnana and Santo Seraphino : but the former 
maker may, not inappropriately, be numbered with those 
of Cremona, for he passed his early years in that city, and 
imbibed all the characteristics belonging to its chief makers. 

Upon glancing at this imposing list of makers, it is easy 
to understand that it must have been a lucrative trade which 
in those days gave support to so many ; and, further, that 
Italy, as compared with Germany, France, or England at 
that period, must have possessed, at least, more makers by 
two-thirds than either of those three countries. And this 
goes far to prove, moreover, that the Italian makers received 
extensive foreign patronage, their number being far in excess 
of that required to supply their own country's wants in the 
manufacture of Violins. Roger North, in his " Memoirs of 
Musick," evidences the demand for Italian Violins in the 
days of James the Second : he remarks, " Most of the 
young nobility and gentry that have travelled into Italy, 
affected to learn of Corelli, and brought home with them 
such favour for the Italian music, as hath given it possession 
of our Parnassus. And the best utensil of Apollo, the 
Violin, is so universally courted and sought after, to be had 
of the best sort, that some say England hath dispeopled 
Italy of Violins." We also read of William Corbett, a 
member of the King's band, having formed about the year 
1 7 10 a "gallery of Cremonys and Stainers" during his 
residence in Rome. 

Brescia was the cradle of Italian Violin- making, for the 
few makers of bowed instruments (among whom were 
Gaspard DuifFoprugcar, who established himself at Bologna, 
Dardelli of Mantua, LinaroUi and Mailer of Venice) cannot 


be counted among Violin makers. The only maker, there- 
fore, of the Violin of the earliest date, it remains to be said, 
was Gasparo da Salo, to whom belongs the credit of raising" 
the manufacture of bowed instruments from a rude state to 
an art. There may be something in common between the 
early works of Gasparo da Sal6 and Gaspard Duiffoprugcar, 
but the link that connects these two makers is very slight, 
and in the absence of further information respecting the 
latter as an actual maker of Violins the credit of authorship 
must certainly belong to Gasparo da Salp. 

We are indebted to Brescia for the many grand Double- 
basses and Tenors that were made there by Gasparo da Salo 
and Maggini. These instruments formed the stepping- 
stones to Italian Violin-making, for it is evident that they 
were in use long before the first era of the Violin. The 
Brescian Violins have not the appearance of antiquity that 
is noticeable in the Double-basses or Tenors, and for one 
Brescian Violin there are ten Double-basses, a fact which 
goes far to prove that the latter was the principal instrument 
at that time. — 

From Brescia came the masters who established the 
School of Cremona. The Amatis took the lead, their 
founder being Andrea Amati, after whom each one of the 
clan appears to have gained a march on his predecessor 
until the grand masters of their art, Antonio Stradivari and 
Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesh advanced far beyond the reach 
of their fellow makers or followers. The pupils of the 
Amati, Stradivari, and Guarneri, settled in Milan, Florence, 
and other cities previously mentioned as centres of Violin 
making, and thus formed the distinct character or School 
belonging to each city. A close study of the various 
Schools shows that there is much in common among them. 


A visible individuality is found throughout the works of the 
Italian makers which is not to be met with in anything 
approaching the same degree in the similar productions of 
other nations. Among the Italians each artist appears to 
have at first implicitly obeyed the teachings of his master ; 
afterwards, as his knowledge increased, striking out a path 
for himself. To such important acts of self-reliance rhay 
be traced the absolute perfection to which the Italians at 
last attained. Not content with the production of instru- 
ments capable of producing the best tone, they strove to 
give them the highest finish, and were rewarded, possibly, 
beyond their expectation. The individuality noticed as 
belonging in a high degree to Italian work, is in many 
instances very remarkable. How characteristic is the scroll 
and the sound-hole of each several maker ! The work of 
master and pupil differs here in about the same degree as 
the handwriting of father and son, and" often more. Al- 
though Stradivari was a pupil of Niccolo Amati, yet how 
marked is the difference between the scrolls and sound-holes 
of these two makers ; Carlo Bergonzi worked with Stradivari, 
yet the productions of these two are more easily known 
apart. A similarly well-defined originality is found in a 
more or less degree to pervade the entire series of Italian 
Violins, and forms a feature of much interest to the con- 

In closing my remarks upon the Italian School of Violin- 
making, I cannot withhold from the reader the concluding 
sentences of the Cremonese biographer, Vincenzo Lancetti, 
as contained in his manuscript relative to the makers of 
Cremona. He says : " I cannot help but deeply deplore 
the loss to my native city (where for two centuries the 
manufacture of stringed instruments formed an active and 


profitable trade) of the masterpieces of its renowned Violin- 
makers, together with the drawings, moulds, and patterns, 
the value of which would be inestimable to those practising 
the art. Is it not possible to find a citizen to do honour to 
himself and his city by securing the collection of instru- 
ments, models, and forms brought together by Count Cozio 
di Salabue, before the treasure be lost to Italy ? I have the 
authority of Count Cozio to grant to such a patron every 
facility for the purchase and transfer of the collection, 
conditionally that the object be to resuscitate the art of 
Violin-making in Cremona, which desire alone prompted 
the Count in forming the collection." These interesting 
remarks were written in the year 1823, with a view to their 
publication at the end of the account of Italian Violin- 
makers which Lancetti purposed publishing. As the work 
did not see the light, the appeal of the first writer on the 
subject of Italian Violins was never heard. Had it been, 
in all probability Cremona would at this moment have been 
in possession of the most remarkable collection of instru- 
ments and models ever brought together, and be maintain- 
ing in at least some measure the prestige belonging to its 
past. in Violin-making. 


'2Ete 3|taliati mavni0% 

A WORD or two must be said upon the famous varnish 
of the Italians, which has hitherto baffled all attempts 
to solve the mystery of its formation. Every instrument 
belonging to the school of Cremona has it, more or less, 
in all its marvellous beauty, and to these instruments the 
resolute investigator turns and turns, promising himself the 
discovery of its constituent parts. The . more its lustre 
penetrates his soul, the more determined become his efforts. 
As yet, however, all such praiseworthy researches have been 
futile, and the composition of the Cremonese varnish re- 
mains a secret lost to the world — as much so as the glorious 
ruby lustre of Maestro Giorgio and the blue so coveted by 
connoisseurs of china. Mr. Charles Reade truly says, " No 
wonder, then, that many Viohn-makers have tried hard to 
discover the secret of this varnish : many chemists have 
given anxious days and nights to it. More than once, even 
in my time, hopes have run high, but only to fall again. 
Some have even cried 'Eureka' to the pubhc; but the 
moment others looked at their discovery and compared- it 
with the real thing, 

' Inextinguishable laughter shook the skies.' 


At last despair has succeeded to all that energetic study, 
and the varnish of Cremona is sullenly given up as a lost 

Declining, therefore, all speculation as to what the varnish 
is or what it is not, or any nostrums for its re-discovery, we 
will pass on at once to the description of the different Italian 
varnishes,. which may be divided into four distinct classes, 
viz., the Brescian, Cremonese, Neapolitan, and Venetian. 
These varnishes are quite separable in one particulalr, which 
is, the depth of their colouring ; and yet three of them, the 
Brescian, Cremonese, and Venetian, have, to all appearance, 
a common basis. This agreement may be accounted for 
with some show of reason by the supposition that there 
must have been a depot in each city where the varnish was 
sold in an incomplete form, 'and that the depth of colour 
used, or even the means adopted for colouring, rested with 
the maker of the instrument If we examine the Brescian 
varnish, we find an almost complete resemblance between 
the material of Gasparo da Sal6 and that of his coadjutors, 
the colouring only being different. Upon turning to the 
Cremonese, we find that Guarneri, Stradivari, Carlo Ber- 
gonzi, and a few others, used varnish having the same cha- 
racteristics, but, again, different in shade j possibly the 
method of laying it upon the instrument was peculiar to 
each maker. Similar facts are observable in the Venetian 
specimens. The varnish of Naples, again, is of a totally 
different composition, and as it was chiefly in vogue after 
the Cremonese was lost, we may conclude that it was 
probably produced by the Neapolitan makers for their own 

If we reflect -for a moment upon the extensive use which 
these makers made of the Cremonese varnish, it is reason- 


able to suppose that it was an ordinary commodity in their 
days, and that there was then no secret in the matter at all. 
To account for its sudden disappearance and -total loss, is, ' 
indeed, not easy. After 1760, or even at an earlier date, all 
trace of it is obliterated. The demand for it was certainly 
not so great as it had been, but quite sufficient to prevent 
the supply from dying out had it been possible. The 
problem of its sudden disappearance may, perhaps, be 
accounted for without overstepping the bounds of possi- 
bility, if we suppose that the varnish was composed of a 
particular gum quite common in .those days, extensively 
used for other purposes besides the varnishing of Violins, 
and thereby caused to be a marketable article. Suddenly, 
we will suppose, the demand for its supply ceased, and the 
commercial world troubled no further about the matter. 
The natural consequence would be non-production. It is 
well known that there are numerous instances of commodi- 
ties once in frequent supply and use, but now entirely 
obsolete and extinct. 

While, however, our attention has been mainly directed 
to the basis of the celebrated varnish, it must not be 
supposed that its colouring is of no importance. In this 
particular. each maker had the opportunity of displaying his 
skill and judgment, and probably it was here, if anywhere 
that the secret rested. The gist of the matter, then, is 
simply that the varnish was common to all, but the colour- 
ing and mode of application belonged solely to the maker, 
and hence the varied and independent appearance of each 
separate instrument. With regard, however, to the general 
question as to what the exact composition of the gum was 
or was not, I shall hazard no further speculation, and am 
profoundly conscious of the fact that my present guesses 


have gained no nearer approaches to the re-discovery of the 
buried treasure. 

A description, however, of the various Italian varnishes 
may not be inappropriate. The Brescian is mostly of a 
rich brown colour and soft texture, but not so clear as the 
Cremonese. The Creraonese is of various shades, the early 
instruments of the school being chiefly amber-coloured, 
afterwards deepening into a light red of charming appear- 
ance, later still into a rich brown of the Brescian type, 
though more transparent, and frequently broken up, while 
the earlier kinds are velvet-like. The Venetian is also of 
various shades, chiefly light red, and exceedingly trans- 
parent. The Neapolitan varnish (a generic term including 
that of Milan and a few other places) is very clear, and 
chiefly yellow in colour, but wanting the dainty softness of 
the Cremonese. It is quite impossible to give such a 
description of these varnishes as will enable the reader at 
once to recognize them ; the eye must undergo considerable 
exercise before it can discriminate the various qualities; 
practice, however, makes it so sharp that often from a piece ' 
of varnishing the size of a shilling it will obtain evidence 
sufficient to decide upon the rank of the Violin. 

And here, before we dismiss the subject of the varnisTi, 
another interesting question occurs — What is its effect, apart 
from the beauty of its appearance, upon the efficiency of the 
instrument? The idea that the varnish of a Violin has 
some influence upon its tone has often been ridiculed, and 
we can quite understand that it must appear absurd to those 
who have not viewed the question in all its bearings. Much 
misconception has arisen from pushing this theory about the 
varnish either too far or not far enough. What seems some- 
times to be implied by enthusiasts is, that the form of the 


instniment is of little importance provided the varnish is 
good, which amounts to saying that a common Violin may 
be made good by means of varnishing it. The absurdity of 
such a doctrine is self-evident. On the other hand, there 
are rival authorities who attach no importance to varnish in 
relation to tone. That the varnish does influence the tone 
there is strong proof, and to make this plain to the reader 
should not be difficult The finest varnishes are those of 
oil, and they require the utmost skill and patience in their 
use. They dry very slowly, and may be described as of a 
soft and yielding nature. The common varnish is known 
as spirit varnish ; it is easily used and dries rapidly, in con- 
sideration of which qualities it is generally adopted in these 
days of high pressure. It may be described as precisely 
the reverse of the oil varnish; it is hard and unyielding. 
Now a Violin varnished with fine oil varnish, like all good 
things, takes time to mature, and will not bear forcing in 
any way. At first the instrument is somewhat muffled, as 
the pores of the wood have become impregnated with oil. 
This makes the instrument heavy both in weight and sound ; 
but as time rolls on the oil dries, leaving the wood mellowed 
and wrapped in an elastic covering which yields to the tone 
of the instrument and imparts to it much of its own softness. 
We will now turn to spirit varnish. When this is used a 
diametrically opposite effect is produced. The Violin is, as 
it were, wrapped in glass, through which the sound passes, 
imbued with the characteristics of the varnish. The 
result is, that the resonance produced is metallic and 
piercing, and well calculated for common purposes; if, 
however, richness of tone be required, spirit-varnished 
instruments cannot supply it. From these remarks the 
reader may gather some notion of the vexed "question 



of varnish in relation to tone, and be left to form his 
own opinion. 

The chief features of the Italian School of Violin-makers 
having been noticed, it only remains -to be said that the 
following list of makers is necessarily incomplete. This 
defect arises chiefly from old forgeries. Labels used as the 
trade marks of many deserving makers have from time to 
time been removed from their lawful instruments in order 
that others bearing a higher marketable value might be sub- 
stituted. In the subjoined list will be found all the great 
names, and every care has been taken to render it as 
complete as possible. Several names given are evidently 
German, most of which belong to an early period, and are 
chiefly those in connection with the manufacture of Lutes 
and Viols in Italy. These are included in the Italian list, 
in order to show that many Germans were engaged in 
making stringed instruments in Italy, about the period when 
Tenor aftd Contralto Viols with four strings were manufac- 
tured there — a circumstance worthy of note in connection 
with the history of Viol and Violin making in Italy, bearing 
in mind that foui--string Viols were used in Germany when 
Italy used those having six strings. 


Italian Sl^afeersJ, 

ABATI, Giambattista, Modena, about 1775 — 1793. 
AcEVO, Saluzzo. Reference is made in the "Bio- 
graphic Universelle des Musiciens " to this, maker having 
been a pupil of Gioff:.edo Cappa, and M. Fetis mentions his 
having seen a Viol da Gamba dated 1693 of this make, 
which belonged to Marin Marais, the famous perforrper on 
the Viol. 

Albanesi, Sebastiano, Cremona,. 1.72.0 — 1744^ The 
pattern is bold and the model flat. Although made at 
Cremona, they do not properly belong to the school of 
that place, having the characteristics ofj Miknese work. 
The varnish is quite unUke that of. Cremona. 

Albani, Paolo, Palermo, 1650-^1680, Is said to have 
been a pupil of Niccolb Amati, The pattern is broad and 
the work carefully executed. 

Alessandro, named "II Veneziano," i6th century-. 

Aletzie, Paolo, Munich, 1720 — 1736. He made chiefly 
Tenors and Violoncellos, some of which are well-finished 
instruments. The varnish is inferior, both as regards quality 
and colour. The characteristics of this maker are German^ 
and might be classed with that school.. 


Alvani, Cremona. Is said to have made instruments in 
imitation of those of Giuseppe Guarneri. 

Amati, Andrea, Cremona. The date of birth is unknown. 
it is supposed to have occurred about 1520. M. Fetis gave 
this date from evidence furnished by the list of instruments 
found in the possession of the banker Carlo Carli, which 
belonged to Count Cozio di Salabue. Mention is made of 
a Rebec, attributed to Andrea Amati, dated 1546. Upon 
reference to the MSS. of Lancetti, I find the following 
account of the Rebec: "In the collection of the said 
"Count, there exists also a Violin believed to be by Andrea 
Amati, with the label bearing the date 1546, which must 
huve been strung with only three strings, and which at that 
epoch was called Rebec by the French. The father of 
Mantegazza altered the instrument into one of four strings, 
by changing the neck and scroll." From these remarks we 
gather that the authorship of this interesting Violin is 
doubtful. There is however some show of evidence, to 
connect Andrea Amati with Rebecs and Geigen, in the 
notable fact that most of his Violins are small, their size 
being that known as three-quarter, which was, I am inclined 
to believe, about the size of the instruments which the four- 
stringed Violin succeeded. As to the time when Andrea 
Amati worked, I am of opinion that it was a little later than 
has hitherto been stated. We have evidence of his being 
alive in the year 161 1, from an entry recently discovered in 
the register of the parish in which Andrea Amati lived, to 
the effect that his second wife died on the loth of April 
161 1, and that Andrea was then living. The discovery of 
this entry (together with many important and interesting- 
ones to which I shall have occasion to refer), we owe to 
the patience and industry of Monsignor Gaetano Baizzi, 


Canon of the Cathedral of Cremona. ' Andrea Amati 
claims attention not so much on account of his instruments, 
as from his being regarded as the founder of the school of 
Cremona. There is no direct evidence as to the name of 
the master from whom he learnt the art of making stringed 
instruments. If his work be carefully examined, it will 
appear that the only maker to whose style it can be said to 
bear any resemblance is Gasparo da Salb, and it is possible 
that the great Brescian may have instructed him in his art. 
It is unfortunate that there are no data for our guidance in 
the matter. These men often, like their brothers in Art, 
the painters of olden times, began to live when they were 
dead, and their history thus passed without record. Andrea 
Amati may possibly have been self-taught, but there is much 
in favour of the view given above on this point. His early 
works are so Brescian in character as to cause them to be 
numbered with the productions of that school. For a 
general designation of the instruments of this maker the 
following notes may suffice. The work is carefully executed. 
The model is high, and, in consequence, lacks power of 
tone ; but the Violins possess a charming sweetness. The 
sound-hole is inelegant, has not the decision of Gasparo da 
Salb, although belonging to his style, and is usually broad. 
His varnish^ may be described as deep golden, of good 
quality. His method of cutting his material was not 
uniform, but he seems to have had a preference for cutting 
his backs in slab-form, according to the example set for the 
most part by the Brescian makers. The sides were also 
made in a similar manner, the wood used being both syca- 
more and that known to makers as pear-tree. The instru- 

' The extracts were published by Signer Piccolellis at Florence in 


ments of Andrea Amati are now very scarce. Among the 
famous instruments of this maker were twenty-four Violins 
(twelve large and twelve small pattern), six Tenors, and 
eight Basses made for Charles IX., which were kept in the 
Chapel Royal, Versailles, until October, 1790, when they 
disappeared. These were probably the finest instruments 
by Andrea Amati. On the backs were painted the arms of 
France and other devices, with the motto, " FietaU et Jus- 
titia." In the " Archives Curieuses de I'Histoire de France," 
one Nicolas Delinet, a member of the French King's band, 
appears to have purchased in 1572 a Cremona Violin for 
his Majesty, for which he paid about ten pounds — a large 
sum, it must be confesse'd, when we think of its purchasing 
power in the sixteenth century. Mr. Sandys, who cites this 
curious «ntry, rightly conjectures it may have included in- 
cidental expenses. No mention is made of the maker of 
the Violin in question; we "find, however, that in the collec- 
tion of instruments which belonged to Sir William Curtis, 
there was a Violoncello having the arms of France painted 
on the back, together with the motto above noticed. The 
date of the instrument was 1572. We may therefore assume 
that the Violin purchased by Nicolas Delinet in the same 
year, was the work of Andrea Amati, and belonged to the 
famous Charles IX. set. > 

Amati, Niccolo, Cremona, brother of Andrea. Very 
little is known of this maker or of his instruments. 

Amati, Antonio and Girolamo, sons of Andrea Amati, 
Cremona, There does not exist certain evidence as to the 

^ . . date of the birth and death 
Antonius et Hieronymus Fr. Amati /-»,.. . „, , 

CremonenAndr^fiLF. of Antonio Amati. We have 

information of the dates on 

which his brother Girolamo died in extracts from parish 


registers ; also the date of his marriages, which took place 
in the year 1576, and on the 24th of May, 1584. By his 
second wife, Girolamo had a family of nine children ; the 
fifth child was Niccolo, who became the famous Violin- 
maker. The mother of Niccolo died of the plague on the 
27th of October, 1630, and her husband Girolamo died of 
the same disease six days later, viz., November 2nd, 1630, 
and was buried on the same day. Girolamo is described in 
the register as "Misser Hieronimo Amati detto il leutaro 
della vie di S. Faustino," (viz., maker to the Church). Vin- 
cenzo Lancetti states that " Count Cozio kept a register of 
all the instruments seen by him, and from which it appeared 
that the earhest reliable date of the brothers Amati is 1577, 
and that they worked together until 1628; that Antonio 
survived Jerome and made instruments until after the year 
1648 — a fine Violin bearing the last-named date having been 
recently seen with the name of Antonio alone." This 
information serves in some measure to set at rest much of 
the uncertainty relative to the period when these makers 
lived. These skilful makers prodiiroed some of the most 
charming specimens of artistic work. To them we are 
indebted for the first form of the instrument known as 
" Amatese." The early efforts of the brothers Amati have 
many of the characteristics belonging to the work of their 
father Andrea; their sound-hole is similar to his, and in 
keeping with the Brescian form, and the model which they 
at first adopted is higher than that of their later and better 

Although these makers placed their joint names in their 
Violins, it must not be supposed that each bore a propor- 
tionate part of the manufacture in every case ; on the con- 
trary there are but few instances were such association is 

104 THE VIOLIN. , 

made manifest. The style of each was distinct, and one 
was immeasurably superior to the other. Antonio deviated 
but little from the teaching of his father. The sound-holes 
even of his latest instruments partake of the Brescian type, 
and the model is the only particular in which it may be said 
that a step in advance is traceable ; here he wisely adopted 
a flatter form. His work throughout, as regards finish, is 

Girolamo Amati possessed in a high degree the attri- 
butes of an artist. He was richly endowed with that rare 
•poi<Ne.x— originality. It is in his instruments that we dis- 
cover the form of sound-hole which Niccolb Amati im- 
proved, and after him, the inimitable Stradivari perfected. 
Girolamo Amati ignored the pointed sound-hole and width 
in the middle portions observable in his predecessor's 
Violins, and designed a model of extremely elegant propor- 
tions. How graceful is the turn of the sound-hole at both 
the upper and lower sections ! With what nicety and dainti- 
ness are the outer lines made to point to the shapely 
cur\e ! Niccolo Amati certainly improved even upon 
Girolamo's achievements, but he did not add more grace ; 
and the essential difference between the instruments of the 
two is, that there is more vigour in the sound-hole of 
Niccolb than that of his father Girolamo. 

The purfling of the brothers Amati is very beautifully 
"executed. The scrolls differ very much, and in the earlier 
instruments of these makers are of a type anterior to that 
of the bodies. Further, the varnish on the earlier specimens 
is deeper in colour than that found on the later ones, 
which have varnish of a beautiful orange tint, sparingly laid 
on, and throwing up the markings of the wood with. much 
distinctness. The material used by these makers and the 


mode of cOtting it also varies considerably. In some 
specimens we find that they used backs of the slab-form ; 
in others, backs worked whole; in others, backs divided 
into two segments. The belly-wood is in every case of the 
finest description. The tone is far more powerful than that 
of the instruments of Andrea, and this increase of sound is 
obtained without any sacrifice of the richness of the quality. 

Am ATI, Niccolb, Cremona, born December 3rd, 1596, 
died April 12th, 1684. Son of Girolamo Amati. It is 
Nicolaus Amatus Cremonen, Hier- gratifying in the notice of 

onymi Fil. ac Antonij Nepos this famous Violin-maker to 
Fecit. 16 be able to supply dates of 

his birth, marriage, and death. Niccolb was christened 
on the 6th of December, 1596. His marriage took 
place on May 23, 1645, ^^'^ it is interesting to record 
that his pupil Andrea Guarneri witnessed the ceremony, 
and signed the register. The information recently sup- 
plied by Canon Bazzi of Cremona, relative to the pupils 
and workmen of Niccolb Amati, who were duly registered 
in the books of the parish of SS. Faustino and Giovita, 
is fraught with interest. It seems to carry us within 
the precincts, if not into the workshop of the master. 
Andrea Guarneri heads the list in the year 1653, age 
twenty-seven, and married ; next cornes Leopoldo Todesca, 
age twenty-eight ; and Francesco Mola, age twelve. In the 
following year, Leopoldo Todesca appears to have been the 
only name registered as working with Amati. In the year 
1666 we have the name Giorgio Fraiser, age eighteen. In 
1668, no names of workmen seem to have been registered. 
In 1680 the name of Girolamo Segher appears, age thirty- 
four, and Bartolommeo Cristofori, age thirteen. In 1681 
another name occurs, namely Giuseppe Stanza, a Venetian, 


age eighteen. In the following year the only name entered 
was that of Girolamo Segher, age thirty-six. Niccolb 
Amati was the greatest maker in his illustrious family, and 
the iinest of his instruments are second only to those of his 
great pupil, Antonio Stradivari. His early eiforts have all 
the marks of genius upon them, and clearly show that he 
had imbibed much of the taste of his father Girolamo. 
He continued for some time to follow the traditional pattern 
of the instruments labelled, "Antonius and Hieronymus 
Amati," and produced many Violins of small size, of which 
a large number are still extant. He appears to have 
laboured assiduously during these early years, with the view 
of making himself thoroughly acquainted with every portion 
of his art. We find several instances in which he has 
changed the chief principles in construction, particularly 
such as relate to the arching and thicknesses, and thereby 
shown the intention which he had from the first of framing 
a new model entirely according to the dictates of his own 
fancy. The experienced eye may trace the successive steps 
taken in this direction by carefully examining the instru- 
ments dating from about 1645 downwards. Prior to this 
period, there is a peculiarly striking similarity in his work 
and model to that of his father, but after this date we can 
watch the gradual change of form and outline which culmi- 
nated in the production of those exquisite works of the art of 
Violin-making known as " grand Amatis " (a name which 
designates the grand proportions of the instruments of this 
later date). It may be said that the maker gained his great 
reputation from these famous productions. They may be 
described as having an outline of extreme elegance, in the 
details of which the most artistic treatment is visible. The 
corners are drawn out to points of singular fineness, and 



this gives them an appearance of prominence which serves 
to throw beauty into the entire work. The model is raised 
somewhat towards the centre, dipping rather suddenly from 
the feet of the bridge towards the outer edge, and forming 
a slight groove where the purfling is reached, but not the 
exaggerated scoop which is commonly seen in the instru- 
ments of the many copyists. This portion of the design 
has formed the subject of considerable discussion among 
the learned in the Violin world, the debatable points being 
the appearance of this peculiarity, and its acoustic effect. 
As regards the former question, the writer of these pages 
feels convinced that the apparent irregularity is in perfect 
harmony with the general outline of the great Amati's instru- 
ment, and that it pleases the eye. From the acoustical 
point of view, it may be conceded that it does not tend to 
increase of power; but, on the other hand, probably the 
sweetness of tone so common to the instruments of Niccolb 
Amati must be set to its credit ; for, in proportion as the 
form is departed from, the sweetness is found to decrease. 
The sound-hole has all the character of those of the pre- 
ceding Amatis, together with increased boldness; in fact, 
it is a repetition of that of Girolamo, with this excep- 
tion. The sides are a shade deeper than those of the 
brothers Amati. The scroll is exquisitely cut. Its outline 
is perhaps a trifle contracted, and thus is robbed of the 
vigour which it would otherwise possess. From this circum- 
stance it differs from the general tenor of the body, which 
is certainly of broad conception. The maker would seem 
to have been aware of this defect, if we may judge from the 
difference of form given to his earlier scrolls, as compared 
with those of a later date, in which he seems to have at- 
tempted to secure increased boldness, as more in keeping 


with the character of the body of the instiument. It must 
be acknowledged, however, that these efforts did not carry 
him fai: enough. The surface of the scroll is usually in- 
clined to flatness. The wood used by Niccolb Amati for 
his grand instruments is of splendid quahty, both as regards 
acoustical requirements, and beauty of appearance. The 
grain of some of his backs have a wave-like form of much 
beauty, others haVe markings of great regularity, giving to 
the instrument a highly finished appearance. The bellies 
are of a soft, silken nature, and usually of even grain. A 
few of them are of singular beauty, their grain being of a 
mottled character, which, within its transparent coat of 
varnish, flashes light here and there with singular force. The 
colour of the varnish varies in point of depth, sometimes it 
is of a rich amber colour, at others reddish-brown, and in a 
instances light golden-red. 

These, then, are the instruments which are so highly 
esteemed, and which form one of the chief links in the 
Violin family. The highest praise must be conceded to the 
originator of a design which combines extreme elegance 
with utility ; and, simple as the result may appear, the suc- 
cessful construction of so graceful a whole must have been 
attended with rare ingenuity and persevering labour. 

Here, again, is evidence of the master mind, never resting, 
ever seeking to improve ; evidence, too, that mere elabora- 
tion of work was not the sole aim of the Cremonese makers. 
They designed and created as they worked ; and their 
success, which no succeeding age has aspired to rival, en- 
titles them to rank with the chief artists of the world. 

On the form of the instrument known as the "grand 
Amati," Stradivari exerted all the power of his early years ; 
and the fruits of his labours are, in point of finish, unsur- 


passed by any of his later works. Where Niccolb Amati 
failed, Stradivari conquered ; and particularly is this victory 
to be seen in the scrolls of his instruments during the first 
period, which are masterpieces in themselves. How bold 
is the conception, how delicate the workmanship, what a 
marvel of perfection the sound-hole ! But as these Violins 
are noticed under the head of " Stradivari," it is unnecessary 
to enter into details here. Besides Stradivari, many makers 
of less importance followed the "grand Amati" pattern, 
among whom may be mentioned Jacobs, of Amsterdam, 
who takes a prominent place as a copyist. The truthfulness 
of these copies, as regards the chief portions of the instru- 
ment, is singularly striking, so much so, indeed, as to cause 
them to be frequently mistaken for the original by those 
who are not deeply versed in the matter. The points of 
failure in these imitations may be cited as the scroll and 
sound-hole. The former lacks ease, and seems to defy its 
author to hide his nationality. The scroll has ever proved 
the most troublesome portion of the Violin to the imitator. 
It is here, if anywhere, that he must drop the mask and show 
his individuality, and this is remarkably the case in the in- 
stance above mentioned. A further difference between 
Amati and Jacobs lies in the circumstance that the latter 
invariably used a purfling of whalebone. Another copyist 
of Amati was Grancino. As the varnish which he used was 
of a different nature from that of his original, his power of 
imitation must be considered to be inferior to that of some 
others. Numerous German makers, whose names will be 
found under the " German School," were also liege subjects 
of Amati, and copied him with much exactness ; so also, last, 
but not least, our own countrymen, Forster, Banks, and 
Samuel Gilkes. 


Lancetti, writing of Niccolb Amati in 1823, says : "Some 
masterpieces by him still remain in Ital^, among which is 
the Violin dated 1668, in the collection of Count Cozio. It 
is in perfect preservation, and for workmanship, quality, and 
power of tone, far surpasses the instruments of his predeces- 
sors." The same writer remarks that " Niccolb Amati put 
his own name to his instruments about 1640." It was upon 
a Violoncello of this make that Signer Piatti played when he 
first appeared at the concert of the Philharmonic Society, on 
June 24, 1844. The instrument had been presented to 
him by Liszt, and is now in the possession of the Rev. 
Canon Hudson. In an entry in the Cathedral Register at 
Cremona, the name of the wife of Niccolb Amati is given 
as Lucrezia Paliari. The meagreness of accounts of a 
documentary character in relation to the famous makers of 
Cremona, naturally renders every contribution of the kind 
of some value. The following extract, taken from the 
State documents in connection with the Court of Modena, 
serves to indicate the degree of esteem in which the 
instruments of Niccolb Amati were held during his life- 
time in comparison with those of his contemporary and 
pupil, Francesco Ruggieri. Tomaso Antonio Vitali, the 
famous Violinist, who was the director of the Duke of 
Modena's Orchestra, addressed his patron to this effect : — 
" Please your most Serene Highness, Tomaso Antonio 
Vitah, your highness's most humble servant, bought of 
Francesco Capilupi, through the agency of the Rev. 
Ignazio Paltrineri, for the price of twelve doublons, a Viohn, 
and paid such price on account of its having the name 
inside of Niccolb Amati, a maker of great repute in. his pro- 
fession. The petitioner has since found that this Violin 
has been wrongly named, as underneath the label is the 


signature of Francesco Ruggieri detto il Pero, a maker of 
less credit, whose Violins do not scarcely attain the price of 
three doublons." " Vitali closes his letter with an appeal to 
the Duke for assistance to obtain redress. 

Amati, Girolamo, Cremona, born 1649, third son of 
Niccolb. The labels which I have seen in a Violin and a 
Tenor, bear the name " Hieronymus Araati," and describe 
the maker as the son of Niccold. He was born on the 26th 
of February, 1649, married in 1678. In 1736 he, together 
with his family, removed to another parish, as shown by the 
original extract from the books of the Cathedral at Cremona, 
sent by Canon Manfredini to Lancetti. Girolamo Amati 
died in the year 1 740. There appears to have been some 
doubt as to whether Girolamo Amati, the son of Niccolb, 
made Violins, according to Lancetti. He says, " Those 
seen with his label, dated between 1703 and 1723, were 
ascribed by some to Sneider, of Pavia, and by others to 
J. B. Rogeri, of Brescia." In a letter of Count Cozio di 
Salabue, to Lancetti, dated January 3, 1823, he states that 
" in May, 1806, Signor Carlo Cozzoni gave an old Amati 
Violin for repair to the Brothers Mantegazza, dealers and 
restorers of musical instruments, in Milan, and upon their 
removing the belly they were pleased to discover, written 
at the base of the neck, ' Revisto e cofetto da me Girolamo 
figlio di Niccolb Amati, Cremona, 17 10.'" 

In some instances the instruments of this maker do not 
resemble those of Niccolb Amati, or indeed those of the 
Amati family. The sound-holes are straight, and the space 
between them is somewhat narrow. In others there is merit 
of a high order — the pattern is large, broad between the 
sound-holes, and very flat in model, and resembling the form 
' " Luigi F. Valdrighi Nomocheliurgografia," Modena, 1884. 


of Stradivari rather than that of Amati. These differences' 
are accounted for by the fact made known by Lancetti, that 
the tools and patterns of Niccolb Amati passed into the 
possession of Stradivari, and are therefore included with 
those now in the keeping of Count Cozio's descendant, the 
Marquis Dalla Valle. The varnish of Girolamo Amati 
shows signs of decadence ; in some instances, however, we 
find it soft and transparent. The few which have this 
quality of varnish I am inclined to think were made in the 
time of Niccolb, since the instruments of a later date have 
a coating of varnish of an inferior kind. This maker — as 
with the Bergonzis — seems, therefore, to have been either 
ignorant of his parent's mode of making superior varnish, 
or was unable to obtain the same kind or quality of ingre- 
dients. With Girolamo closes the history of the family of 
the Amatis as Violin-makers. Girolamo had a son, Niccolb 
Giuseppe, born in 1684, who removed with his father to 
another parish in 1736, as mentioned above, but he was not 
a maker of Violins. 

Ambrosi, Pietro, Rome and Brescia, about 1730. Aver- 

B ^ . , . , .^ ^ . . _ age merit. The workmanship 
Petrus Ambrosi fecit Brixiae 17 , , , , . 

resembles that of Balestrieri, 

as seen in the inferior instruments of that maker-. 

Anselmo, Pietro, Cremona, 1701. The instruments of 
this maker partake of the Ruggeri character. The varnish 
is rich in colour and of considerable body. Scarce. I have 
met with two, excellent Violoncellos by this maker. Anselmo 
is said to have worked also in Venice. 

Antoniazzi, Gaetano, Cremona, i860. The work is 
passable, but the form faulty. The sound-holes are not 
properly placed. ■ I 

Antonio of Bologna (Antonius Bononiensis). There 


is a Viol da Gamba by this maker at the Academy of Music, 

Antonio, Ciciliano, an Italian maker of Viols. A speci- 
men exists at the Academy of Bologna, without date. 

AssALONE, Gasparo, Rome, i8th century. The model is 
high and the workmanship rough. Thin yellow varnish. 

Bagoni, Luigi (or Bajoni) Milan, from about 1840. Was 
living in 1876. 

Bagatella, Antonio, Padua, made both Violins and 
Violoncellos, a few of which. have points of merit. He 
wrote a pamphlet in 1782 on a method of constructing 
Violins by means of a graduated perpendicular line similar 
to Wettengel's ; but no benefit has been derived from it. 

Bagatella, Pietro, Padua, is mentioned as a maker who 
worked about 1760. 

Balestrieri, Tommaso, middle of the i8th century. 

Said to have been a pupil of Stradivari, which is probable. 

The instruments of Bales- 
Thomas Balestrieri Cremonensis ... , .-i j .. 
„ ., ,, ^ A - trieri may be likened to 
Fecit Mantuae. Anno 17 ■' 

those of Stradivari which 
were made during the last few years of his life, 1730 — 1737. 
The form of both is similar, and the ruggedness observable 
in the latter instruments is found, but in a more marked 
degree, in those of Balestrieri. These remarks, however, 
must not be considered to suggest that comparison can 
fairly be made between these two makers in point of merit, 
but merely to point out a general rough resemblance in the 
character of their works. The absence of finish in the 
instruments of Tommaso Balestrieri is in a measure com- 
pensated by the presence of a style full of vigour. The 
wood which he used varies very much. A few Violins are 
handsome, but the majority are decidedly plain. The bellies 



were evidently selected with judgment, and have the neces- 
sary qualities for the production of good tone. The varnish 
seems to have been of two kinds, one resembling that of 
Guadagnini, the other, softer and richer in colour. The 
tone may be described as large and very telling, and when 
the instrument has had much use there is a richness by no 
means common. It .is singular that these instruments are 
more valued in Italy than they are either in England or 

Balestrieri, Pietro, Cremona, about 1725. 

Bassiano, Rome. Lut'e maker. 1666. 

Benedetti. See Rinaldi. 

Bellosio, 'Anselmo, Venice, i8th century. About 1788. 
Similar to Santo Serafino in pattern, but the workmanship 
is inferior ; neat purfling ; rather opaque, varnish. 

Bente, Matteo, Brescia, latter part of the i6th century. 
M. F6tis mentions, in his "Biographie Universell'e des 
Musiciens," a Lute by this maker, richly ornamented. 

Bergonzi, Carlo, Cremona, 1716 — 1747. Pupil of An- 
tonio Stradivari. That he was educated in Violin-making 

by the greatest master of his 

Anno 17 Carlo Bergonzi, fece ^^^ j^ evidenced beyond 
in Cremona. ' 

doubt. In his instruments 

may be clearly traced the teachings of Stradivari. The 

model, the thicknesses, and the scroll, together with the 

general treatment, all agree in betokening that master's 

influence. Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesli here stands in 

strong contrast with Bergonzi. All writers on the subject 

of Violins assume that Guarneri was instructed by Stradivari, 

a statement based upon no reasons (for none have ever been 

adduced), and apparently a mere repetition of gome one's 

first guess, or error. As before remarked, Carlo Bergonzi, 


in his work, and in the way in which he carries out his ideas» 
satisfactorily shows <he source whence his early instructions 
were derived, and may be said to have inscribed the name 
of his great master, not in print, but in the entire body of 
every instrument which he made. This cannot be said of 
Giuseppe Guarneri. On the contrary, there is not a point 
throughout his work thaf can be said to bear any resem- 
blance to the sign manual of Stradivari. As this interesting; 
subject is considered at length in the notice of Giaseppe- 
Guarneri, it is unnecessary to make further comment in this, 

The instruments of Carlo Bergonzi are justly celebrated, 
both for beauty of form and tone, and are rapidly gaining, 
the appreciation of artistes and amateurs. Commercially,, 
no instruments have risen more rapidly than those of this 
maker; their value has increased within the past twenty- 
years fourfold, more particularly in England, where their 
merits were earliest acknowledged — a fact which certainly 
reflects much credit upon our connoisseurs. In France they 
had a good character years ago, and have been gaining 
rapidly upon their old reputation, and now our neighbours- 
regard them with as much favour as we do. 

They possess tone of rare quality, are for the most part 
extremely handsome, and, last and most important of all„ 
their massive construction has helped them, by fair usage 
and age, to become instruments, of the first order. The 
model of Bergonzi's Violins is generally flat,, and the outline o£ 
his early efforts is of the Stradivari type ; but later in life, he, 
^ in common with other great Italian makers, marked out a 
pattern for himself from which to constoruct. The essential 
difference between these two forms lies in the angularity o£ 
the latter^ It would be very difficult to describe accurat^y 


the several points of deviation unless the reader could 
handle the specimens for himself and have ocular demon- 
stration] the upper portion from the curve of the centre 
bouts is increased, and, in consequence, the sound-holes are 
placed slightly lower than in the Stradivari model. Bergonzi 
was peculiar in this arrangement, and he seldom deviated 
from it. Again, increased breadth is given to the lower 
portion of the instrument, and in consequence the centre 
bouts are set at a greater angle than is customary. The 
sound-hole may be described as an adaption of the charac- 
teristics of both Stradivari and Guarneri, inclining certainly 
more to those of the former. As a further peculiarity, it is 
to be noticed that the sound-holes are set nearer the edge 
than is the case in the instruments of either of the makers 
named. Taken as a whole, Bergonzi's design is rich in 
artistic feeling, and one which he succeeded in treating with 
the utmost skill. 

Carlo Bergonzi furnishes us with another example of the 
extensive research with which the great Cremonese makers 
pursued their art, and a refutation of the common assertion 
that these men worked and formed by accident rather than 
by judgment. The differences of the two makers mentioned 
above as regards form are certainly too wide to be explained 
away as a matter of mere accident. It is further necessary 
to take into consideration the kind of tone belonging to 
these instruments respectively. If Bergonzi's instruments 
be compared with those of his master, Stradivari, or of 
Guarneri del Gesii, the appreciable difference to be found 
will amount to this, that in Bergonzi's instruments there is 
a just and exact combination of the qualities of both the 
other two makers named. Is it. not, therefore, reasonable 
to conclude that Carlo Bergonzi was fully alive to the merits 


of both Stradivari and Guarneri, and deliberately set himself 
to construct a model that should embrace in a measure the 
chief characteristics of both of them ? 

The scroll is deserving of particular attention. It is quite 
in keeping with the body of the instrument, and has been 
cut with a decision of purpose that could only have been 
possessed by a master. It is flatter than usual, if we trace 
it from the cheek towards the turn, and is strikingly bold. 
Here, again, is the portrait of the character of the maker. 
Although by a pupil of Antonio Stradivari, the scroll is 
thoroughly distinct from any known production of that 
maker — ^it lacks his fine finish and exact proportion ; but, 
on the other hand, it has an originality about it which is ' 
quite refreshing. The prominent feature is the ear of the 
scroll, which being made to stand forth in bold relief gives 
it a broad appearance when looked at from the front. 

The work of Bergonzi, as has been the case with many 
of his class, has been attributed to others. Many of his 
instruments are dubbed "Joseph Guarneri," a mistake in 
identification which arises chiefly from the form of the 
sound-hole at the upper and lower portions. There is little 
else that can be considered as bearing any resemblance 
whatever to the work of Guarneri, and even in this case the 
resemblance is very slight. "Bergonzi's outline is totally, 
different from that of Guarneri, and is so distinct and tell- 
ing that it is sure to impress the eye of the experienced 
connoisseur when first seen. 

The varnish of Bergonzi is often fully as resplendent as 
that of Giuseppe Guarneri or Stradivari, and shows him to 
have been initiated in the mysteries of its manufacture. It 
is sometimes seen to be extremely thick, at other times but 
sparingly laid on ;. often of a deep, rich red colour, some- 


times of a pale red, and again, of rich amber, so that the 
variation of colour to be met with in Bergonzi's Violins is 
considerable. We must concede that his method of varnish- 
ing, was scarcely so painstaking as that of his fellow-workers, 
if we judge from the clots here and there, particularly on 
the deep-coloured instruments; but, nevertheless, now thiat 
age has toned down the varnish, the effect is good. 

Carlo Bergonzi lived next door to Stradivari, and I believe 
the house remained in the family until a few years since, 
when it was disposed of. 

Lancetti remarks : " From want of information, we have 
forgotten in the second volume " — referring to his " Biogra- 
iphical Dictionary," part of which was printed in 1820 — " to 
include an estimable maker named Carlo Bergonzi, who was 
pupil of Stradivari, and fellow-workman with his sons. From 
the list of names and dates collected by Count Cozio, it 
appears that Carlo Bergonzi worked by himself from 17 19 
to 1746. He used generally very fine foffeign wood, and 
a varnish of the quality of that of his master." In the 
collection of Count Cozio di Salabue, there were two 
Violins by Bergonzi, dated 1731 and 1733, and a Violon- 
cello, 1746. We have in this country two remarkable 
Violoncellos of this maker. The perfect and unique 
Double Bass which Vuillaume purchased of the execu- 
tors of Luigi Tarisio, is now in the possession of Mr. J. 
M. Sears, of Boston, U.S. 

Bergonzi, Michel Angelo, Cremona, 1730 — 1760. Son 

of Carlo. The pattern of 

Michael Angelo Bergonzi Figlio di , . . ^ , . , ^ 

Carlo fece in Cremona rAnno 17 ^'' instruments IS somewhat 

varied. Many are large, and 
others under-sized. The varnish is^ hard, and distinct from 
that associated with Cremonese instruments. 


Bergonzi, Niccolb, Cremona. Son of the above. He 

made a great number of Violins of similar form to those of 

his father. The wood which 
Nicolaus.Bergoft.iCemonensis j^^ ^^j^^^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^ ^j^^^ 
faciebat Anno J 7 

nature and hard appearance. 

The varnish is' not equal to that of Carlo; it is thin and 

cold-looking. The workmanship is very good, being often 

highly finished; but yet wanting in character. The scroll 

is cramped, and scarcely of the Cremonese type. Lancetti 

mentions a Tenor by this maker, dated 1781. 

In the correspondence which passed between the grand- 
son of Antonio Stradivari and the agents of Count Cozio 
(which is given in these pages), reference is made to some 
of the moulds of the great maker being in the keeping of 
Bergonzi, they having been lent to him, the writer say- 
ing that he would obtain them and put them with the other 
patterns, which appears to have been done. These moulds 
were doubtless lent to Michel Angelo Bergonzi, and were 
used by Niccolb as well as his father, and accounts for the 
form of their instruments being varied. 

Bergonzi, Zosimo, Cremona. Brother of Niccolb. 
'Bergonzi, Carlo, Cremona, about 1780 — 1820. Son of 
Michel Angelo. • He made a few Violins, large Stradivarius 
form sound-holes, straight and inelegant He made also 
Guitars and Mandolins. 

Bergonzi, Benedetto, Cremona, died in 1840. Tarisio 
learned little points of interest concerning Stradivari and 
his contemporaries from Benedetto Bergonzi, which M. 
Vuillaume imparted to M. F^tis. 

Bertassi, Ambrogio, Piadena (near Cremona), about 1730. 

BoDio, G. B., Venice, about 1832. Good workmanship ; 
oil varnish, wide purfling. 


BiANCHi, Niccolo, Genoa and Nice. Worked until about 

BoRELLi, Andrea, Parma, about 1735- His instruments 
are little known ; they resemble those of Giuseppe Guadag- 

Brensio, Girolamo, (Brensius, Hieronymus), Bologna. 
Maker of Viols about the close of the isth century. Re- 
ference has been made to the Viols of this maker in the 
first Section of this work. 

Brescia da, Battista. A Pochette or Kit of this maker 
is at the Academy of Music, Bologna, signed " Baptista 
Bressanoj" the period assigned to it is the end of the isth 

Broschi, Carlo, Parma. 

Carlo Broschi in Parma, fecit 1732. 

Busseto, Giovanni M., Cremona, 1540 — 1580. Maker 
of Viols. M. Fdtis mentions, in his " Biographic des 
Musiciens," that Busseto derived his name from Busseto, 
a borough in the Duchy of Parma, where he was born. He 
also mentions a Viol of this maker, dated 1580, which was 
found at Milan in 1792. 

Calcagni, Bernardo, Genoa, about 1740. Neat work- 

, ^ , . , . „ manship, small scroll, flat 

Bernardus Calcanius fecit Genuse , , „ , , , 

j^jjno 17 model, well-cut soimd-holes, 

Stradivari pattern, orange- 
red varnish. 

CalvarOla, Bartolommeo, Bergamo, about 1753. The 
work is neatly executed. These instruments are somewhat 
like those of Ruggeri in form. The scroll is weak, and ill- 


Camilli, Camillo, Mantua, 17 — . The form partakes of 

n -IT n ■„■ T7 ■. ii;r . - that of Stradivari ; wood 
CamiUus Camilli Fecit Mantua 17 „ , ,, ,. 

usually of excellent quality. 

The sound-hole is rather wide and short. The varnish 

resembles that of Landolfi, but less brilliant. 

Cappa, Gioffredo, Cremona, 1590 — 1640. According to 

Lancetti — who received his information from Count Cozio 

di Salabue — Gioflfredo Cappa 


SALVTIIS ANNO 16 ^^^ always regarded in Pied- 
mont as a pupil of Antonio 
and Girolamo Amati, and therefore worked in Cremona 
during his early years. He removed to Piedmont, possibly, 
that he might have greater scope for the exercise of his 
talents, it being, no doubt, difficult for him to obtain any 
important patronage, surrounded as he was at Cremona by 
so many famous men engaged in the same occupation as 

Count Cozio failed to discover any information relative 
to the name of Cappa in connexion with the records of the 
town of Saluzzo, and he concluded that Cappa was a Cre 
monese, there having existed in Cremona families of that 

The instruments of Cappa are, even now, little known in 
England, and twenty years since were recognized only by 
the most intelligent connoisseurs. The greater number of 
them consist of works of high merit, and, although not 
prized at present, must ultimately command prices propor- 
tionate to their real value. Their likeness to the instruments 
of the Amatis is in some instances peculiarly striking, but 
in others there is a marked dissimilarity. Particularly this 
is the case in the form of the sound-hole and scroll. The 
sound-hole is sometimes large, and quite out of keeping 


with the elegant outUne of Amati. The points of difference 
may be summed up as follows : — the sound-hole is larger, 
and more obliquely set in the instrument ; the upper portion 
of the body has a more contracted appearance ; the head, 
as is the case with most makers, differs most, and, in this 
instance, in no way resembles Amati. 

There are few specimens of Cappa that bear their original 
labels ; most of them are counterfeit " Amatis," and hence 
the great confusion which has arisen concerning their 
parentage. Lancetti says, " Foreign professors and amateurs, 
and particularly the English — though connoisseurs of the 
good and the beautiful — in buying the instruments of Cappa 
thought they had acquired those of Amati, the outline and 
character of the varnish and the quality of the tone resem- 
bling in some measure the instruments of the Brothers 
Amati. It is, however, reserved to a few Italian connois- 
seurs to distinguish them. Those of large, pattern, and even 
of medium size, that have not been injured by unskilful 
restorers, are scarce, and realize high prices." These re- 
marks, suggested sixty years since, by so able a connoisseur 
as Count Cozio, possess a peculiar interest, and. cannot fail 
to interest the reader. As Lancetti remarks, they are of 
two patterns, one larger than the other. The large one is, 
of course, the more valuable; it is flatter, and altogether 
better finished. The Violoncellos of Cappa are among the 
best of the second-class Italian instruments, and are well 
worthy the attention of the professor and amateur. The 
varnish is frequently of very rich quality, its colour resem- 
bling that of Amati in many instances. Lancetti remarks 
upon the difference between those instruments of this make, 
as regards wood, made in Cremona, and those made in 
Piedmont, the first-named being made of wood of foreign 


growth, and the last with that of home growth, which is 
coarse and plain. The backs are whole, or in two garts, 
seldom cut on the cross. 

Cappa . Confusion has arisen from the dates on the 

Cappa labels extending, it is said, fropi 1590 to 1712, some 
dating from Saluzzo, others from Turin. To credit one 
maker with this I'png line of manufacture would — associating 
mighty names with a subordinate one — dwarf the artistic 
achievements of Stradivari at the age of ninety-three, and 
of Titian at ninety-six. Upon turning to the information 
given by Count Cozio to Lancetti relative to Cappa, we have 
the following words : " I cannot ascertain the real Christian 
name of the first nor of the other Cappa, because two at 
least worked in succession in Piedmont, judging from the 
difference of style and make." 

Carcassi, Francesco, Florence, about 1758. 

Carcassi, Lorenzo, about 1738. 

Casini, Antonio, Modena. 

Antonius Casini, fecit Mutine anno i68o. 

Castagneri, Andrea, Paris, about 1735. This Italian 

maker appears to have settled 
Andrea Castagneri, nell Palazzo . _ . ^ , 

,. r; TD • • » iQ Paris. I have seen a 

di Ssessone, Pariggi 17 — 

Violin by Castagneri, date 
1735 ; flat model, bold outline, and varnish of good quality. 

Castellani; Pietro, Florence, died about 1820. 

Castellani, Luigi, Florence, died 1884. 

Castro, Venice, 1680 — 1720. The wood is of good 
figure generally. The outline is defective ; the middle 
bouts are too long to be proportionate. Sound-hole roughly 
worked. Varnish red, the quality of which is scarcely up 
to the Venetian standard. 


Catenar, Enrico, Turin, about 1671. 

Henricus Catenar, fecit Taurini anno 167 — 
Celioniati, Gian Francesco, Turin, about 1 734. Appears 
Joannes Franciscus Celoniatus, to have copied the form 
fecit Taurini, anno 17— of Amati. Yellow varnish, 

good workmanship. 

Cerin, Marco Antonio, Venice, end of the eighteenth 
century. Signed himself as a pupil of Belosio. 
Marcus Antonius Cerin, alumnus Anselmi Belosii, fecit Venetias 17 — 
Ceruti, Giovanni Battista, Cremona, 1755 — 1817. 
Ceruti made a large number of Violins and Violoncellos 

of the pattern of Amati. He 

To. Baptista Ceruti Cremonensis . " v 1 

•' , \^ „ o appears to have been a pro- 

fecit CremonEe an 10 — . ^^ "^ 

lific workman, his instru- 
ments numbering, it is said, about five hundred. His 
favourite model was the large Amati. Giovanni Ceruti 
succeeded to the business of Lorenzo Storioni in 1790, in 
the Via dei Coltellai, near the Piazza St. Domenico. 

Ceruti, Giuseppe, son of Giovanni, Cremona, 1787 — 
i860. Was a maker and restorer of instruments. He is 
said to have exhibited, at the Paris and other exhibitions, 
Violins of good quality. He died at Mantua, in i860. 

Ceruti, Enrico, son of Giuseppe, Cremona, born in 
1808, died on the 20th of October, 1883. Enrico Ceruti 
is the last of the long line of Cremonese Violin-makers; 
there is, in consequence, a peculiar interest attached to him. 
Independent of this, however, he is deserving of special 
notice from his having been the recipient of the traditional 
history attending the makers of Cremona, from Amati to 
Stradivari and Bergonzi, and from Bergonzi to Storioni and 
Ceruti. He was acquainted with Luigi Tarisio and with 
Vuillaume, to whom he gave many interesting particulars 


relative to the great makers of his native city. The instru- 
ments of Enrico Ceruti are much valued by Italian orches- 
tral players. They are said to number about three hundred 
and sixty-five, among which are several Violoncellos. He 
exhibited at the London Exhibition of 1862, and at other 
exhibitions. The last Violin he made was shown at the 
Milan Exhibition, 1881. 

CristoJ-qri, Bartolommeo, Florence, about 1760. 

CiRCAPA, Tommaso, Naples, about 1730. 

Cocco, Cristoforo, Venice, 1654. A Lutemaker. The 
Museum of the Paris Conservatoire National de Musique 
contains a specimen of this make, which is described in M. 
Gustave Chouquet's catalogue of the collection. 

CoNTRERAS, Joscph, Madrid, 1745 — 1780. This being 
one of the few Spanish makers, his name is placed with the 
ItaUan, the number of the Spanish being insufficient for a 
separate list The model of this maker is very good, and 
the workmanship superior. He probably lived in Italy 
during his early life, the style being Italian. He was bOrn 
in Granada, and was called the Spanish Stradivarius. He 
died about 1780, and is said to have been seventy years of age. 

CoRDANO, Jacopo Filippo, Genoa, about 1774- 

Jacobus Philipus Cordanus, fecit Genuse anno sal, 1774. 

CoRNA, Dalla, Brescia, early maker of Viols about 1530. 

Costa, Pietro Antonio dalla, Venice and Treviso. The 

label he used is curious. He copied the Brothers Amati 

„ A , - ^ . f -4. with much skilfulness. The 

Petrus Antomus a Costa, fecit 

ad similitudinem illorum quos sound-holes are like those 
fecerunt Antonius & Hieronymus of the early instruments of 
Fratres Amati Cremonenses Filii j^e Amatis ; the varnish is 
Andrae. Tarvisii, 1757- golden in Colour and excel- 

lent in quality ; the scroll, as usual with all imitations, is a 
weak feature, but does not lack originality. 


Dardelli, Pietro, Mantua, about 1500. Is described a,s 
a maker of Lutes and Viols. M. Fdtis relates, in his " Bio- 
graphic des Musiciens," that the painter Richard, of Lyons, 
possessed about the year 1807 a beautiful Lute by this 
maker, which was made for the Duchess of Mantua. The 
instrument is described as richly inlaid with ebony, ivory, 
and silver, dated 1497, and having the name " Padre Dajr- 
delli." On the belly the Mantuan arms are represented. 
M. F^tis was unable to discover any tidings of this interest- 
ing instrument after the death of Richard. It may be 
mentioned that Dardelli was a Franciscan monk at Mantua, 
and occupied himself with making musical instruments and 
inlaying them. Work of any kind executed under such 
circumstances is rarely found to be other than artistic. 
Time was not monetarily appraised, hence the labour under- 
taken was a labour of love. 

DiEFBOPRUGHAR, Magno, Venice, 161 2. Lutemaker. 
An instrument of this rnake is at the Academy of Music, 
Bologna. M. Engel remarks,' "There can be no doubt 
that we have here the Italianized name of the German 
Magnus Tieffenbrucker, who lived in Italy." There appears 
to be a connexion between these Venetian Lute-makers of 
this name and Duiffoprugcar of the sixteenth century. 
Mention is also made of a Lute, dated 1607, by this maker. 

DoMiNiCELLi, Ferrara, said to have worked about 1700. 

Duiffoprugcar, Caspar, Bologna. This famous maker 
of Viols is said to have settled in Bologna in the early part 
of the .sixteeiith century. He appears to have obtained 
much renown as an inlayer of musical instruments, and it 
is stated that Francis I., upon the occasion of his visit to 
Italy in 1515^ pjrevailed upon the Viol-maker to settle in 

'■ "Musical Myths and Facts," 1876. 


France. The name of Duiffoprugcar has been made 
famUiar to us, not so much on account of his merits as a 
Viol-maker, but almost wholly on account of his having 
been represented as the first maker of the Violin tuned in 
fifths, and the representation having been supported by the 
production of three Violins signed and dated 1511, 1517, 
1519. I saw, about the year 1877, one of these, and was 
informed by the owner that the others were almost identical. 
The instrument bore distinct evidence of its being a modern 
French imitation, or rather an ingenious creation evolved 
from a myth, which in all probability had its origin in 
France. Duiffoprugcar was unquestionably an artist of a 
high order, but his abilities appear to have been chiefly 
directed to the art of wood-inlaying, rather than to the 
making of stringed instruments. He made Viols da Gamba 
and he may have made smaller Viols, though I am not 
aware of any being in existence ; but there is no evidence 
whatever to show that he made Violins. 

Farinato, Paolo, Venice, 1695— 1725. 

FicKER, Johann Christian, Cremona, middle of the i8th 
century. Although dating from Cremona, has nothing in 
common with Cremonese work. 

FiCKER, Johann Gottlieb, Cremona, 1788. 

FioRiLLO, Giovanni, Ferrara, 1780. The style is a 
mixture of German and Italian, the former prepondei-a'ting. 
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. 
Ther.e is an instrument of this make at the Bologna 
Academy of Music. It is probable there was a family con- 
nexion between Hans Frey, of Nuremberg, and this maker. 


Gabrielli, Giovanni Battista, Florence, about the middle 

of the 1 8th century. The instruments of Gabrielli are 

now becoming better known and appreciated. They bear 

^. „ . ,, , . „. , . evident marks of having been 
Gio Battista Gabrielli, fece in , . , mi 

Firenze 17 made With extreme care. The 

model, unfortunately, is often 

Johanes Baptista de Gabriellis, not all that could be desired, 
Florentinus fecit 1742 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 mellowhess, 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 GabrieUi. 

Gabrielli. Other makers of this name (Antonio, Barto- 
lommeo, Cristoforo) appear to have dated from Florence. 

Gaffing, Giuseppe, Paris, about 1755. Pupil of Castag- 

Gagliano, Alessandro, Naples, 1695 — 1730. A pupil 

of Antonio Stradivari. The Gagliano family played no 

unimportant part in the art 
Alexandrus Gagliano Alumnus rr^ i- it- i- 1 • -r 

Stradivari fecit Neapoli anno 1725 °^ ^^^^'^" Violm-makmg. It 

commences with Alessandro, 
who imitated his master as regards the form which he gave 
to his instruments. AUesandro 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 Neapo- 
litan 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 some- 
what mean appearance. The workmanship of the scroll is 
roughly executed, and points to the conclusion that Aless- 
andro Cagliano was not gifted with the power of head- 
cutting. The character of Gagliano's Violins reminds us of 
those by Stradivari made between 1725 and 1730; and 
doubtless it was those instruments which this maker chiefly 

The wood used for the backs was generally of a tongh 
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, 

Gagliano, Gennaro, Naples, 1720 to about 1758; finely 

finished. Well-chosen wood, 
Januarius Gagliano, filius Alexandri , n . r tt 

r -fxT - and excellent form. He some- 

feat Neap, 1732. 

times wrote his name in 
pencil on the inside of the belly. 



Gagliano, Niccolb, Naples, son of Alessandro. His 
Violins and Violoncellos were made with care, and show 
that he possessed some amount of originality. They are 
not after the pattern of his father's instruments. They are 

narrower, and similar to those 
Nicolaus Gagliano filiusAlexandri^^^jj^^ ^^^^^ ^^ Stradivari 
fecit Neap 17 

which come between the 

true " Amatese " and the long form. The varnish is of a 
deeper colour than of Alessandro's, and its quality is not 
nferior. The scroll is, in some cases, well formed, in 
others somewhat grotesque. The model is high. They 'are 
sometimes seen ornamented round the purfling with ebony, 
diamond and lozenge shape. 

Gagliano, Giovanni Battista, about 1730. 

Gagliano, Ferdinando, Naples, son of Niccblo. His 

instruments are usually ex- 
Ferdinandus Gagliano filius Nicolai _„ ,, , , , 

f 't N " 17— cellently made, and have a 

varnish of a warmer tint 

than is met with on the ■ instruments of the Gagliani 


Gagliano, Giuseppe, Naples,, 178b. Son of Ferdinando. 

Gagliano, Giovanni, 

Gagliano, Antonio, Naples. These makers bring 

Gagliano, Raifaele, 
.the family down to a very recent date as residents in 
Naples. The merit belonging to them is of the slightest 
kind. Some of our English provincial makers have shown 
themselves superior. 

Galeusera, C. A., Milan, 1832 — 1847. This maker 
appears to have attracted attention in Italy. In a little 
volume entitled "LTtalie economique," 1847, he is men- 
tioned as a maker who rivals Vuillaume. 1 am not ac- 


quainted with his instruments. Mention is made of his 
having made Violins without corners, and that he appUed 
to the wood a preparation for the purpose of extracting the 
resinous particles from it. The adoption of such means of 
forcing on maturity makes it unlikely that he made instru- 
ments worthy of notice. 

Garani, Michel Angelo, Bologna, 1681 — 1720. Jiis- 
Tenors, in particular, are well-made instruments. 

Garani, Niccolb, Naples. Gagliano type of instrument,, 
usually plain wood. 

Gasparo da Sal6 {see Salb). 

Gatinari, Francesco, Turin, about 1700. ' 

Gennaro, Giacomo. Worked at Cremona, in the shop- 
of Niccolb Amati, about 1641. His name is mentioned 
in the parish registers in Cremona as being employed by 

Geroni, Domenico, Ostiano (Province of Brescia), dated 

Ghidini, Carlo, Parma, about 1746. 

GiBERTiNi, Antonio, Parma, about 1830. Stradivari 
model, excellent work, deep rose-coloured varnish. This- 
maker was at times employed by Paganini to repair or 
regulate his Violins. 

GiORGi, Niccolo, Turin, about 1760. 

GoBETTi, Francesco (sometimes called Gobii), Venice, 
1690 — I7I5- This is one of the little-known makers, a fact 

which may be attributed to 

Franciscus Gobetti fecit ., .- ^ „„™„«„ z,^,-^^. 

,, .. the practice common some 

Venetiis 1705 ' ^ . 

years ago of removmg the- 

original label of an instrument and substituting another,, 

bearing a name more likely from its familiarity to command- 


132 THE VIOLIN. . 

When we see Violins bearing the stamp of genijis upon 
them, and reflecting much credit on the maker, the lovers 
of the instruments cannot but regret that the author should 
have been eclipsed, and deprived of his just praise. 

Had the name of Gobetti been permitted to associate 
itself with the instruments into which it was originally placed, 
they would have been as highly valued as any belonging to 
the Venetian school, with the single exception of Domenico 
Montagnana. The admirers of that finished maker, Santo 
Serafino, may perhaps dispute the justice of this observation ; 
but, having carefully weighed the merits of both Santo 
Serafino and Gobetti, I have no hesitation in awarding to 
the latter the foremost place. Gobetti's style is superior, 
being more Cremonese than Venetian; and further, his 
model is preferable. 

Gobetti has been considered to have been a pupil of 
Antonio Stradivari, possibly with some reason, for his instru- 
ments bear a similarity to the early works of the great 
master. The instruments of this maker, like those of many 
others of his class, have passed for the works of Ruggeri, 
and sometimes of Amati. There is a slight likeness about 
the sound-hole to the work, of Francesco Ruggeri ; but to 
the skilled in such matters, no feature interchangeable with 
Amati can be detected. 

The workmanship has a uniformly neat execution ; the 
scroll is the least successful part, being weak in character 
as compared with the body. The .varnish is equal to any 
belonging to the Venetian school, and its beauty is second 
only to that of Cremona ; its colour is generally a pale red, 
of corisiderable transparency. The wood is most Jiandsome, 
These Venetians were not a little happy in selecting beauti- 
ful wood ; in fact, it is scarcely possible to discover a single 


Venetian instrument the wood of which is plain. The tone 
of Gobetti's work is round, without great power ; but the 
quality is singularly sweet. 

GoFRiLLER, Matteo, Venice, about 1700—1735. The 
workmanship is often of a good kind, and the wood of 
fine quality. The style is somewhat different to that we 
are accustomed to associate with Italy. The tone and 
character of the varnish is generally excellent. 

GoFRiLLER, Francesco, Venice. Brother of the above, 
with whom he worked. 

Gragnani, Antonio, Leghorn. Usually branded his 

initials below the tail-pin. 
Antonms Gragnani, fecit tr • 1 1 ^i ^ j- 

Liburni, anno 1780 ^^^'^^ somewhat hard ; ordi- 

nary wood. The tone is often 
of good quality. 

Grancino, Paolo, Milan, 1665 — 1692. Pupil of Niccolb 
Amati. The Grancino family, as makers of Violins, com- 
mence with this maker, and occupy a similar position, as 
followers of the Amati pattern, to that of. the Gagliani as 
imitators of Stradivari. Paolo Grancino was pupil of Niccolb 
Amati. His early works bear the stamp of the mere 
copyist ; latter on the borrowed plumes are less apparent, 
the dictates of his- own fancy are discoverable, but never to 
such an extent as to permit him to be classed with Stradi- 
vari, Bergonzi, and Guarneri, as striking out into entirely 
untrodden paths. 

His Violoncellos are particularly fine instruments ; his 
Tenors also are worthy of notice. The wood he used was 
varied, but is, for the most part, plain. It is curious to 
observe how various centres of Violin-iriaking ran upon 
different qualities of wood. In Venice the handsomest wood 
was used, in Milan and Naples the plainest. The com- 


mercial importance of Venice would, of course, draw to it 
the largest selection of wood, and thus permit the second 
and third-rate maker to use it, and at the same rate, pro- 
bably, that a less handsome material would cost in cities 
farther removed. The scroll of Paolo Grancino has a 
very decisive character; it is quite distinct fiom that of the 
Amatis. From the ear of the scroll the turn is rapidly 
made, and has an elongated appearance. 

Grancino, Giovanni, Milan, 1694-^1720. Son of Paolo. 
The workmanship is smooth and the form good. The 

material of his instruments 

Giovan Grancino in Contrada jg ^f g, better nature than that 
larga di Milano al segno j u i.- r ..i. t-. 

della Corona 16 "sed -by his father. The 

model is slightly flatter. The 
tolie is powerful. Varnish mostly yellow. 

Grancino, Giovanni Battista, Milan, 1690. Son of 
Giovanni mentioned above. Similar characteristics. 

Grancino, Francesco. Son of Giovanni Battista. Here 
we have the same falling off as in the case of the Gagliani, 
a family beginning with artists and ending with common 

Grulli, Pietro, Cremona. Now living. 
GuADAGNiNi, Lorenzo, Cremona, 1695- to about 1740. 

No matter to which of the 
LaurentiusGuadagnini Guadagnini the instrument 

Cremonse Alumnus Stradivari 

fecit Anno Domini 17 "i^y Owe its origin; if it. 

bears the name, importance 
is attached to it, often without due regard to the merits 
of the particular specimen. The later members of the 
family have thus received attention measured by the excel- 
lence of the works of their forefathers. That this should 
be so to a certain extent can scarcely excite surprise, nor 


is it singular in the Italian branch of the art. The great 
makers of, the Guadagnini family were Lorenzo and Giovanni 
Battista. The former has been considered the chief maker j 
but if the merits of each be duly weighed, they will be 
found to be nearly equal. It is probable that Lorenzo has 
been looked upon as the principal maker from the associa= 
tion of his name with that of Antonio Stradivari, a fact 
which, it must be granted, lends to it a certain degree of 

The instruments of Lorenzo are exceedingly bold in 
design, and differ in this respect from those of Giovanni 
Battista, which retain much of the delicate form of Stradi- 
vari. Lorenzo frequently changed the form of his sound- 
hole, giving it the pointed character of Giuseppe Guarneri 
in some instances, and in others retaining the type of sound- 
hole perfected by his master. The model is inclined to 
' flatness, the declivity being of the gentlest kind : the breadth 
of the design commands admiration. The scroll is certainly 
not an imitation of that of Stradivari ; it has considerable 
originahty, and is more attractive on that account than for 
its beauty. The varnish is not so brilliant as that of Gio- 
vanni Battista, but possesses a mellowness foreign to the 
other members of the family. The tone is powerful, tem- 
pered with a rich quality. 

Lorenzo Guadagnini was born at Piacenza, and upon 
leaving the workshop of his master returned to his native 
town, where he remained until about the year 1695, at which 
period he is said to have removed to Milan. In the last- 
named city he continued to work until about the year 1740.' 

Guadagnini, Giovanni Battista, Piacenza, 17 11 — 1786. 

' This and other information, relative to the Guadagnini family I have 
recently obtained from its descendants at Turin. 


Son of Lorenzo Guadagnini. He was born, according to 

Count Cozio di Salabue, at 
Joannes Baptista Guadagnini _ , ^ ^^- ^ ^ 

Placentinus fecit Mediolani 17- ■ Cremona, and Lancetti states 

that he worked with his father 
Joannes Baptista Guadagnini j^^ j^jj^^^ ^^^^^ ^e worked 

Cremonensis fecit Taunni 1776. , _ 

at Piacenza, then at Parma, 

where he became instrument-maker to the Duke. Upon 
the pensions to the artists of the Duke's Court being dis- 
continued in 1772, he went to Turin, where, he died.' 
Count Cozio di Salabue communicated to Lancetti the 
following particulars relative to Giovanni Battista Guadag- 
nini. He says, " He imitated Stradivari, but avoided close 
imitation of all detail, and prided himself in not being a 
mere copyist." He is said to have excited the jealousy of 
other makers, which caused him to remove 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 re- 
gisters the dates of his birth and death. He states that he 
was born in Cremona in 171 1, and died in Turin, Septem- 
ber i8th, 1786. This last-named date is in conformity with 
that of 1785, recently 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 respec- 
tive works be closely examined, it will be found that those 

' The present representative of the family mentions Fiacenza as the 
place of birth. 


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. 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 

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 recognize their sterling merits. In the correspondence 
which passed between Count Cozio di Salabue and Vincenzo 
Lancetti, in the year J823, the Count says, "The instru- 
ments of G. B. Guadagnini are highly esteemed by con- 
noisseurs and professional men in Holland and Germany." 

Guadagnini, Gaetano, Turin. Son of Giovanni Battista. 
Was both a maker and 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 uiti- 


mately went to Lombardy, and settled in Pavia, where he 
made a great number of instruments. The work and 
character belonging to these instruments is 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 

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 

Guadagnini, Antonio. Son of Gaetano and grandson 
of Carlo, born 1831, died 1881. Worked with much dili- 
gence, and produced a great number of instruments. His 
sons Francesco and Giuseppe, now at Turin, are the repre- 
sentatives of a long line of Italian Violin-makers, and are 
learning the art so long associated with the family name,' 
with a view to their following in the footsteps of th^ir father 

Guarneri, Andrea, Cremona, born about 1626, died 
1698. The name of "Guarnerius" is probably known to 

. , . every possessor of a Violin 

Andreas Guamerius fecit Ctenionse ^, , , , , rr,, 

sub titulo Sanct^ Teresi^ ,6 throughout the world. The 

familiar style is attached to 
scores of copies and non-copies every week, and despatched 


to the four quarters of the globe. Little did Andrea imagihe 
that he was destined to be the means of lifting his patro- 
nymic of Guarneri to such a giddy height ! 

Andrea Guarneri, like Andrea Amati, was the pioneer of 
the family r but for his influence we might never have had 
the extraordinary works of his nephew, Giuseppe. How full 
of interest would the smallest events of Andrea's workshop 
life prove if we could only ascertain them ! We know that 
in early years he was working in the shop of Niccolb Amati. 
With what delight would any record, or even anecdote, of 
those golden days in the history of the Violin be received 
by the lovers of the instrument ! The bare idea that these 
men were living in daily close converse is sufiBcient to 
awaken interest of a lively nature in the mind of a lover of 
Fiddles. Unhappily, however, no Boswell was at hand to 
dot down events, of small value when passing, but of great 
consequence to after time. The want of that direct bio- 
graphical information which is handed down to us from 
recorded personal knowledge, leads to the opening of many 
a mouldy, worm-eaten, and half-forgotten parish register, 
wherein we read, in language stiff and statutory, accounts of 
departed parishioners having duly performed and executed 
divers acts and deeds. These entries often shed much 
unexpected light on subjects previously dark or obscured. 
The pages of the Cremonese parish register, to which allu- 
sion has been made in the notices of the members of the 
Amati family, has served this purpose in some measure. 
From the same source we have a few interesting facts con- 
cerning Andrea Guarneri. It appears that Niccolb Amati 
entered, in the year i64i,^he age of his pupil Andrea Guar- 
neri in the parish rate-book as being fifteen years, thus 
supplying the hitherto unknown date of his birth. Again 


we learn that Andrea Guarneri does not appear to have 
been with Niccolb Amati in 1646, but was so in the year 
,1653 j the register showing that he was at that date mar- 
ried. There is no further reference to his connexion with 
Niccolb Amati after the year 1653. Andrea was married 
Dec. 31st, 1652, and had seven children. Two of his sons, 
namely, Pietro Giovanni and Giuseppe Giovan Battista, 
became Violin-makers. Andrea died on the 7th of Decem- 
ber, 1698, and we learn from the register that he was buried 
on the following day near the remains of his wife, in the 
Church of St. Domenico, in the same chapel where the 
body of Antonio Stradivari was laid forty years later. 

Andrea Guarneri for some years worked upon the model 
of his master, though he afterwards changed the character 
of the sound-hole.' At the same time the form of the 
instrument became flatter, and the scroll showed signs of 
originality. The varnish is much varied, but is generally of 
a light orange colour of beautiful hue; it sometimes has 
considerable body, but when so, lacks the transparency of 
light-coloured varnishes. The Violoncellos are of two sizes. 
The wood in the Violoncellos is often very plain, but pos- 
sesses singular tone-producing qualities. The Violins of 
this maker are among his finest efforts ; the workmanship is 
excellent, but has not the fine finish of Amati. 

Guarneri, Giuseppe Giovan Battista, second son of 
Andrea, born November asth, 1666, This maker possessed 

a greater amount of origi- 
JosephGuarneriusfiliusAndrese fecit ,.^ , . , _,. 

Cremon»subtituloS.Teresi^,6 "^^'^y than Andrea. His 

earliest works evidence that 
power of thinkmg for himself which, later, led him to con- 

' Lancetti, in his MS., mentions 1670 as about the period of his 
change of style. 


Struct instruments entirely distinct from those produced by 
his father. The outline is particularly striking. The waist 
of the instrument is narrowed, rapidly widening, however, 
from the centre. The result is a curve of much elegance, 
one of the points which Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesh ap- 
pears to have admired, as he adopted and perfected it. It 
is here, more particularly, that a resemblance between this 
maker and his famous kinsman is to be traced. There are 
also other features which will furnish matter for comment in 
their proper place. To return to the form given to the 
instruments of Guarneri, the son of Andrea : the sound- 
hole has a singular combination of the Amati and the 
Guarneri in its conception. We have here a reappearance 
of the pointed form which originated with the grand old 
Brescian master, Gasparo da Salo, and which was left by 
him to be revived and perfected by his followers. Andrea's 
son, in adopting this long-neglected form, showed much 
judgment It must be admitted that he improved upon 
it, and left his cousin an easy task in completing and per- 
fecting it. 

The methpd of this maker with regard to the setting of 
the sound-holes in his instruments is peculiar. In his plan 
they are -set in a lower position than is customary. Carlo 
Bergonzi followed him in this particular, and also in placing 
the hole a trifle nearer the edge of the instrument than is 
seen in most instruments. How interesting is it to observe 
the salient points wherein each maker seems to have adopted 
some isolated feature from a predecessor ! 

The varnish is of the richest description, and in some 
instances has been so plentifully used as to cause it to clot 
in some places; nevertheless, its rare qualities are never 


He made Violins, Tenors, and Violoncellos, the latter 
being very scarce. The wood used in his Violins and 
Tenors varies, but may be pronounced as generally hand- 
some ; that of his Violoncellos is, on the contrary, chiefly 
plain, and the workmanship somewhat careless, but the tone 
is always fine in quality. Guarneri, Joseph, son of Andrea, 
according to the parish register, was married on January 
4th, 1690, and had six children. 

Guarneri, Pietro Giovanni, Cremona and Mantua, son 
of Andrea, born Feb. i8th, 1655. In this maker, again, there 

is much originality, his work, 
PetrusGuarneriuseremonensis fecit ^^j^^^ ^Ith M^ model, dif- 
Mantuse sub-tit. Sanctse Teresiae 16 ° ... 

fermg entirely from that of 

his brother, and in outline from that of his father Andre?- 
There is increased breadth between the sound-holes; the 
sound-hole is rounder and more perpendicular ; the middle 
bouts are more contracted, and the model is more raised. 
The scroll abounds in individuality of design. The ear is 
brought out with much effect; the purfling is splendidly 
executed, the corners being worked up to that extreme point 
of delicacy" which is characteristic of the works of Niccolb 
Amati. The purfling is embedded after the manner of 
Amati in his "grand" instruments, but to a greater extent. 
The varnish is superb ; its quality is of the richest descripr 
tion, and its transparency unsurpassed. Its colour varies ; 
it is sometimes of a golden tint, sometimes of a pale red, 
on which the light, plays with delightful variety.- Pietro 
Guarneri used some of the finest wood. The bellies are 
invariably wide in grain and very even. 

The parish register supplies the information that Pietro 
was married in the year 1677. He appears to have left 
Cremona for Mantua soon after the year 1698. He visited 


Cremona about the period when his father died ; in which 
year he appears to have acted as godfather at the christen- 
ing of his brother Joseph's son Bartolommeo. Pietro re- 
turned to Mantua, and later .went to Venice, where he is 
said to have died at an advanced age. 

GuARNERi, Pietro, Mantua, born 1695. Son of Giuseppe 
filius Andrea. He followed to some extent the form of the 
instruments of his uncle Pietro, from whom, while in 
Mantua, he probably learnt his art The work is very good, 
and his productions are well worthy of the Guarnerian name. 
The varnish is rich, but not so transparent nor so well laid 
on as to come up to the full standard. The scroll is rather 

GuARNERi, Giuseppe Antonio, Cremona. Better known 

as Giuseppe del Gesii, his labels having the cypher ^ 

upon them. It is not known 
Joseph Guamerius fecit ni i. v j .. j ^u- 

aemoneAnnoi7 I H S why he adopted this mono. 

gram, which is that of the 
Jesuits. It is possible that he belonged to a fraternity in 
Cremona, common at that period among Italian tradesmen, 
who banded themselves together in various societies bearing 
religious titles. 

This famous maker of Violins was born at Cremona in 
the year 1683, and died in 1745. To M. Vuillaume, of 
Paris, we are indebted for the identification of the date of 
his birth, which he succeeded in obtaining in the year 1855. 
The house of Giuseppe Guarneri is said to have been No. 5, 
Piazza S. Domenico, now called Piazza Roma. 

The extract from the register proves that Giuseppe Antonio 
Guarneri, legitimate son of Giovanni Battista Guarneri and 
Angela Maria LocadeUi, was born at Cremona on the 8th 


of June, 1683, and was baptized on the nth of the same 
month, in the parish of San Donato, at the Chapel of Ease 
Of the Cathedral. 

The original of this extract is as follows : — "^ Guarneri 
(Giuseppe Antonio) figlio d^ legittimi conjugi Giovanni 
Bdttisla Guameri ed Angela Locadella nacque nella parocchia 
di San Donato aggregata alia Cattedrale il giomo 8 Giugno 
1683 e batezzato il giomo 11 del detto mese.' Libro dei nati 
dal 1669 '^^ 1692 G. dalla Cattedrale di Cremona, li 19 Set- 
tembre 1855. (Sign'e) Fusetti Giulio Vic°" — F^tis, notice of 
Anthony Stradivarius. 

The father of Guameri del Gesii, namely Gio. Battista, was 
the son of Bernardo, a cousin of Andrea Guarneri. He 
does not appear to have had any knowledge of the manu- 
facture of stringed instruments, and was thus an exception 
to the majority of a family which numbered many prominent 
makers within it. It has been asserted on all sides that 
Giuseppe Guarneri del GesU was a pupil of Antonio Stradi- 
vari, but in every case this statement has been made without 
a shadow of proof, either from recorded fact or analogy. 
That this bare assertion should have so long remained un- 
challenged is a matter of some surprise to the writer of 
these pages, who fails to see anything in common between 
the two makers, with the exception of the varnish, and 
perhaps the high finish, as apparent in the works of the 
second epoch of Guarneri. The following remarks on this 
point are the result of the most careful consideration of the 
subject, and may serve to assist the reader in forming an 

Had Giuseppe Guarneri received his early instructions 
from Stradivari, should we not expect his instruments to 
bear the character of the master in some slight degree? 


The most diligent student will, however, fail to discover an 
early work of Guarneri bearing any likeness whatever to the 
work of Stradivari. Among the instruments of the second 
epoch may be found a few that show some gleam of the 
desired similarity in respect to higb finish ; but it would be 
to the earliest efforts of Guarneri that we should turn in our 
endeavour to discover the source of his first instructions. 
The faint gleam of similarity, then, attaching to the instru- 
ments of the second epoch, be it understood, is in no way 
sufficient to demonstrate that Guarneri was a pupil of 
Stradivari. ■ Upon turning to other makers, what will be the 
result if we judge them by the criterion above mentioned ? 
Bergonzi, Guadagnini, Gagliano, and others, whose names 
it is unnecessary to mention, leave upon their earliest efforts 
the indelible stamp of the master who first instructed them. 
To suppose that Guarneri del Gesh formed the single ex- 
ception to the likeness between the work of master and 
pupil, is scarcely sufficient to satisfy the inquirer. 

There are three essential points of difference between 
Guarneri and Stradivari. The first is the outline of the 
work, which, as the mere tyro must at once observe, is 
totally different in their respective instruments. The second 
is the sound hole, in which, again, the two do not approach 
one another ; that of Guarneri is long, and a modified form 
of that of Gasparo da Salb. The third is the scroll, in 
which Guarneri is as distinct from Stradivari as it is possible 
to be. 

It may be asked, then, if not from Stradivari, from whom 
did Guarneri receive instruction ? To disagree with what 
is popularly accepted, and yet to withhold one's own 
counter theory, may perhaps tend to weaken one's case. 
There can be but one method to be pursued if, in the 



absence of any historical data, we set about the investigation 
of the question, viz., that of analogy. Starting upon this 
ground, the first step to be taken is to endeavour to discover 
the maker whose work and style bear some degree of 
similarity to those of Giuseppe del Gesii. If we carefully 
review the works of the Creraonese makers, it will be found 
that Giuseppe Guarneri, son of Andrea, and a relative of 
Guarneri del Gesh, is the only maker in whose productions 
we can find -the strong similarity needed. Analogy, there- 
fore, would point to him as the instructor of his kinsman. 
Giuseppe Guarneri, son of Andrea, was del Gesii's senior 
by many years, and it is far more reasonable to conclude 
that it was in his workshop that del Gesh was first instructed, 
than that he was the pupil of a maker whose work he never 
copied, and whose style has nothing in common with his 
own. Enough has been said on this question to enable the 
reader to judge for himself, and this may the more readily 
be conceded when it is also admitted that, after all, it is of 
little importance to determine where the early training of 
this kingly maker was passed, as he so soon displayed that 
rare originality which separated him from his brethren for ever. 
We will now inquire into the character of Guarneri del 
Gesh's model. In forming this, he seems to have turned to 
Gasparo da Salb as the maker whose lead he wished to 
follow ; and if each point be critically considered, an im- 
pression is left that, after well weighing the merits and de- 
merits of Gasparo's model, he resolved to commence where 
Gasparo ceased, and carry out the plan left incomplete by 
the great Brescian maker. To commence with that all- 
important element, the sound-hole, it will be seen that 
Guarneri del Gesti retained its pointed form. Next comes 
the outhne of the body, where, again, there is much affinity 


to the type of Gasparo da Salb, particularly in the middle 
bouts. Lastly, the quality of wood selected for the bellies 
is in both makers similar. In continuing the path trodden 
by Gasparo, Guarneri proved himself an artist possessed of 
no little discernment. His chief desire was evidently to 
make instruments capable of producing a quality of tone 
hitherto unknown, and that he succeeded is universally 
acknowledged. Workmanship, as evidenced by the instru- 
ments of his first and last epoch, was with him a purely 
secondary consideration. In the second epoch, his work 
shows him to have been not unmindful of it. That he 
brought much judgment to bear upon his work, the vast 
number of instruments that he has left, and the great variety 
of their construction, is sufficient to prove. The extent of 
his researches is surprising, and there is no ground for the 
assertion frequently made that he worked without plan or 
reason. The idea that such a maker as Guarneri groped 
in the dark, savours of the ridiculous ; moreover, there is 
direct evidence, on the contrary, of his marvellous fertility 
of design. At one period his instruments are extremely flat, 
without any perceptible rise ; at another, the form is raised 
in a marked manner, and the purfling sunk into a groove ; 
a parallel of this type of instrument is to be found in the 
works of Pietro Guarneri and Montagnana. At one time 
his sound-holes were cut nearly perpendicularly (a freak 
which, by the way, has some show of reason, for though it 
sacrifices beauty, it also prevents the breaking up of the 
fibres), at another, shortened and slanting, and some, again, 
are occasionally seen immoderately long. These hastily- 
marshalled instances are quite sufficient to show the extent 
of his experiments, and the many resources which he adopted 
in order to produce exceptional qualities of tone. 

148 ' THE VIOLIN. 

In order that the reader may better understand the subject, 
before going further into the peculiar features belonging to 
the instruments of Guarneri, we will classify his work. M. 
Fetis, doubtless under the guidance of M. Vuillaume, has 
divided the career of Guarneri into three periods — an ex- 
cellent arrangement, and one that cannot be improved upon. 
It only remains to point out certain peculiarities omitted in 
the description of these three stages which M. Fetis gives 
us. In the first epoch we -find instruments ■ of various 
patterns, the character of the sound-hole being very change- 
able. At one time there is a strange mixture of grace and 
boldness ; at another, the whole is singularly deformed, and 
the purfling roughly executed, as though the maker had no 
time to finish his work properly. It seems as if he had 
hastily finished off a set of Violins that he had already tested, 
eager to lay the stocks for another fresh venture. The 
second epoch has given us some of the finest specimens of 
the SLxt of Violin-making. In these culminate the most 
exquisite finish, a thoroughly artistic and original form, and 
the most handsome material. In some cases the lustre of 
the wood of the backs, set in its casing of deep amber, that 
unrivalled varnish, may be likened to the effect produced 
by the setting summer sun on cloud and wave. The reader 
may pardon a somewhat novel application of the loveliest 
description of the glow of evening to be found in the com- 
pass of the English language, which paints the heaven's 
colours as — 

" Melted to one vast iris of the west, 
Where the day joins the past eternity. 

All its hues, 

From the rich sunset to the rising star. 
Their magical variety diffuse. 


And now they change ; a paler shadow strews 
It's mantle o'er the mountains ; parting day 
Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues 
With a new colour as it gasps away, 
The last still loveliest, till — 'tis gone — and all is grey.'' 

The effect of this beautiful corruscation upon the backs of 
VioHns is obtained by cutting the wood upon the cross, or, 
as the French term it, sur maille. The most perfect and 
the handsomest Guarneri in existence, belonging to Mr. R. 
D. Hawley, has the quaUty of wood and colour referred to. 
It is also seen, though rarely, on backs divided, when 
the wood is particularly handsome in curl. The varnish 
on such instruments is of a rich golden hue, highly 
transparent ; it is lightly laid on. The size of these works 
varies ; they are sometimes a trifle smaller than the other 
specimens of Guarneri. In the last epoch we find Violins 
of an altogether bolder conception, dating from about 
1740 and a little later. They are massively constructed, 
and have in them material of the finest acoustic properties. 
The sound-hole loses the pointed form so much associated 
with Guarneri : the purfling is embedded, the edges heavy, 
the corners somewhat grotesque, the scroll has a mixture 
of vigour, comicality, and majesty, which may force a 
smile and then a frown from the connoisseur. The com- 
parison may seem a little forced, but the head of a 
thoroughbred English mastiff, if carved, might give some 
idea of the appearance sought to be described. Mr. Reade 
says of these instruments, with much truth, "Such is the 
force of genius, that I believe in our secret "hearts we love 
these impudent fiddles best, they are so full of chic." 
Among the Violins of this period may be mentioned 
Paganini's and M. Alard's, both rare specimens. 


These splendid chefs-iTceuvre are strangely mixed with 
those commonly known as the "prison fiddles" — a sorry 
title. The name arose from the story current in Italy that 
Guarneri made some Fiddles whilst undergoing imprison- 
ment, and that the gaoler's daughter procured him the 
necessary materials, which were of the coarsest kind. M. 
r^tis refers to the story, and mentions that Benedetto 
Bergonzi, who died in 1840, used to relate it. Allusion is 
also made to it by Vincenzo Lancetti, to whom it was 
doubtless communicated by Count Cozio di Salabue. 
These references lead to the belief that the tradition has 
some foundation in fact, though not to the extent that he 
ended his days in durance vile. Lancetti refers to the 
offence as an encounter with some person in which his 
antagonist lost his life. A^ deplorable circumstance of this 
kind may have occurred without the accused having been 
criminally at fault, though he may have suffered the penalty 
of being so. His reported love of wine and pleasure, his 
idleness and irregularity, in all probability were statements 
added by successive narrators of the prison story. A recent 
search made by Canon Bazzi in the obituary registers of the 
cathedral at Cremona, discovers the fact that one Giacomo 
Guarneri died in prison on the 8th of October, 17 15. 
Bearing in mind how frequently we iind fact and fiction 
jumbled together in historical pursuits, the prison story in 
connection with the name of Giuseppe Guarneri may have 
no other foundation than a story, long current, that a person 
named Guarneri was imprisoned, and wholly regardless of 

I have referred to the three periods of this remarkable 
man's life in relation to his art, and it remains to point out 
some other features in his work and material. His selection 


of wood, when he had the opportunity of exercising his own 
judgment, was all that could be desired, and the belly wood 
in particular was of the choicest description. He seems to 
have obtained a piece of pine, of considerable size, possessing 
extraordinary acoustic properties, from which he made 
nearly the whole of his bellies. The bellies made from this 
wood have a singular stain running parallel with the finger- 
board on either side, and unmistakable, though frequently 
seen but faintly. If we may judge from the constant use 
he made of this material, it would seem that he regarded 
it as a mine of wealth. The care he bestowed, when 
working it, that none should be lost, affords clear evidence 
of the value that he set upon this precious piece of wood. 
I have met with three Violins by Carlo Bergonzi, having 
bellies evidently cut from the same piece of pine, and these 
instruments passed as the work of Guarneri for a long 
period. The sycamore that he used was varied both in 
appearance and quality ; it is chiefly of a broad description 
of grain, the whole-backs being impressively marked like a 
tiger's skin. There are a few instances where, in his jointed- 
backs, the markings of the wood are turned upwards. 

Upon examining the works of Guarneri with respect to 
their graduation, it is found that he varied very much as to 
the quantity of wood left in the several instruments. Not- 
withstanding these differences, however, it will be found, 
upon closer comparison of the thicknesses, that there is 
every reason to be sure that he had a guiding principle in- 
their management. They vary with the quality of the wood ; 
and hard material was treated as needing a slighter solidity 
than wood of a soft nature. 

His workmanship in numerous instances is, without doubt, 
careless ; but, even in the instruments where this negligence 


is most observed, there is an appearance which at once 
excites the admiration of the beholder, and forces from the 
most exacting the admission that, after every deduction on 
account of want of finish, there remains a style defying all 
imitation. Who can fail to recognize the quaint head, into 
which he seems to have thrown such singular character by 
the mere turn of his chisel, and which, when- imitated, 
always partakes of the ludicrous, and betrays the unhappy 
copyist who is unable to compass that necessary turn ! In 
matters of the highest art it is always so ; the possessor of 
genius is constantly showing some last resort, as it were, 
impregnable to imitation. 

The sound-hole, also, of Guarneri always preserves it^ 
distinctive character, and a grotesque humour which at oncej 
pleases the eye, though it is found to vary considerably with 
the three periods of his life. Again, the button — that portion 
of the back against which the heel of the neck rests, which ; 
forms a prominent mark in all Violins, and evidence of style, 
has a remarkably pronounced development in the Violins 
of Guarneri, and, in fact, may be said to give a vitality to 
the whole work. There are many instances where excellent t 
and original specimens of workmanship have been, speaking/ 
artistically, ruined for want of skill in handling that simpW 
factor of the Violin. V 

Having endeavoured to point out the chief features in the \ 
work and style of this remarkable maker, I have only to add 1 
that his imitators would far exceed in number all the Violin ) 
makers that the city of Cremona ever sheltered. There' 
has ever been a diversity of purpose with these Guarnem 
imitators, distinct from those of Stradivari and others. 
They may be divided into three orders, viz., the bon&fide 
copyist, the subtle copyist, and the. wholesale copyist. 


The first sets about making his instrument resemble the 
original as closely as possible, and when completed, sends it 
forth as a copy and nothing else. Among these legitimate 
imitators were Lupot, Gand, Vuillaume, and others. The 
subtle copyist takes advantage of the disturbed styles be- 
longing to Guarneri, coupled with his misfortunes, manufac- 
tures and translates at will. He " spots '' a back on an old 
fiddle, in which he sees Guarneri in embryo ; he secures it. 
In his possession is a belly which, with a little skilful 
manoeuvring of sound-holes and corners, may be accommo- 
dated to the back. The sides need well matching in point 
of colour ; workmanship is purely secondary. The scroll he 
sets himself to carve, giving it a hideous, burglar-like appear- 
ance. The inevitable label is inserted, and the Violin leaves 
the translator's hand a " Prison Joseph." Now comes the 
difficulty. How is this "Joseph," unaccustomed to elbow 
his legitimate namesakes in the world of fiddles, to maintain 
the character he has assumed ? The subtle copyist puzzles 
his brain without arriving at anything very satisfactory. He 
resolves to slip it into a sale of household effects. It is 
described in the catalogue, in glowing terms, as having been 
in the possession of Geininiani (he not being alive to dispute 
the assertion). Previous to the sale the instrument is viewed. 
The knowing ones pass it by with contempt. The half- 
iuformed turn it over and over, puzzled, and replace it in 
its case, disconsolate. The thoroughly ignorant looks inside ; 
"Joseph Guarnerius Cremonensis faciebat 1724," in old 
type, stares him in the face ; he puts the bow on the strings 
and demands the maker's name — his thoughts are echoed 
back in gentle sounds, " Joseph Guarnerius." He returns 
it to its case, shuts the lid, and exultingly sallies forth, con- 
gratulating himself again upon his good fortune in having 


at last the opportunity of securing the real thing at the price 
of " a mere song." The time of sale arrives. The beauties 
of the instrument are dwelt upon by the auctioneer ; he 
begs to be permitted to say two hundred guineas to com- 
mence with. Silence around. " Well, gentlemen, shall I 
say one hundred and fifty guineas ? " Dogged silence. 
" Come, come, gentlemen, this is mere trifling. A ' Joseph 
Guarnerims ' for one hundred and fifty guineas ! Shall I say 
one hundred guineas?" The customary witty frequenter 
of sale-rooms, unable to restrain himself longer, cries out, 
"I'll give yer a pound." The auctioneer sees the whole 
thing j it is a copy that he is selling, and not the original. 
The pound bid is capped by another from our friend, who 
fondly fancies himself behind the scenes. The subtle 
copyist, seeing his eagerness, bids on his bid, and the 
" Joseph Guarnerius del GesU " falls with the hammer to 
the anxious buyer for ten pounds. He demands possession 
of it at once, in case another may be substituted, and retires, 
perfectly satisfied with his day's work. The wholesale 
copyists are those who manufacture Violins in Bavaria and 
France in large factories, where the Violins undergo all 
kinds of processes to make them modern antiques. The 
wood is put into ovens and baked until it assumes the 
required brownness, or steeped in strong acids until it 
becomes more like a piece of charred wood than anything 
else — the sharp edges removed by the file — the wear of 
years affected in a few moments by rubbing down those 
parts subject to friction — ticketed and dated, regardless alike 
of orthography and chronology, the date being generally 
before or after the original's existence. These imitations 
are so barefaced as to render them comparatively harmless. 
GuiDANTi, piovanni, Bologna, about 1 740. High model j 


sound-hole long; purfling badly let in; the outer form 
inelfegant, particularly the middle bouts. At the Exhibition 
at Milan, 1881, a Viola d'Amore was exhibited, signed 
" Joanne Guidantus, fecit Bononiae, anno 1715," ornamented 
with a beautiful head artistically carved, representing a 
blindfolded Cupid. 

GuiLLAMi, Spanish family of Violin makers, about 1680 — 

Harton, Michael, Padua, i6oz. Lute-maker. 

Kerlino, Joan, 1449. Maker of Viols. Numerous 
instruments of the Violin shape have been attributed to this 
maker, particularly those of quaint appearance, but it is 
doubtful whether he made any instruments but those of the 
Viol type. 

Lagetto, Luigi, Paris, about 1753. 

Landolfi, Carlo Ferdinando, Milan, 1750. Though he 
belonged to the latest of the Italian makers, his merits were 
Carolus Ferdinandus Landulphus, of no Ordinary kind. His 

fecit Mediolani in Via S. Mar- instruments vary very much, 
garitseanno 17— and hence, probably, a con- 

fusion has arisen as to there being two makers of this name, 
which is not the case. Those instruments which have the 
bright red varnish are certainly the best. The varnish is 
very transparent, and the wood being strikingly handsome, 
the effect is most pleasing. The pattern is not a copy of 
Guameri, as often stated, but thoroughly original. His 
sound-hole cannot be considered an effective one, and is 
not in keeping with the work. The outer edge is generally 
grooved. The scroll is weak. His Violoncellos are mostly 
of small size. Some of this maker's instruments are viery 
unfinished, many not being purfled, and having only a single 
coat of varnish. 


Lanza, Antonio Maria, 1674. Copied the Brescian 

Lavazza, Santino, Milan, about 1700. 

Santino Lavazza fece in Milano in Contrada larga 17 — 
I>AVAZZA, Antonio, Milan. 
Lavazza Antonio Maria fece in Milano in Contrada larga 17^ 

LiNAROLLi, Venturo, Venice, 1520. A maker of Viols. 

LoLY, Jacopo, Naples, 17th century. Of the Grancino 
type. Scroll diminutive. Yellow varnish. Material very 
hard. Flat model. He made a few large tenors. 

Maggini, Giovanni Paolo, Brescia, 1590 — 1640. This 

^. „ , ,, . . . -r, - famous maker followed Gas- 

Oio I'aolo Maggini in Brescia , „ ,v , • ,, 

paro da Salo, and is usually 
counted as his pupil. There is no authority for this state- 
ment beyond the similarity of form to be traced in their 
respective instruments. No Italian maker is more frequently 
mistaken than Maggini. Any instrument having ornamenta- 
tion on the back in the shape of purfled scroll-work is at 
once said to be by Paolo Maggini. Barak Norman, the 
old English maker, thus comes in for a large share of 
Maggini's patronage, as also a vast number of early German 
makers, who adopted similar devices ; to the real connois- 
seur, however, there is no difficulty in distinguishing the 
work. A more pardonable error is the confusion of 
Gasparo da Salb and Maggini, which is of frequent occur- 
rence. The Double Basses of these two makers have much 
in common to the eye of the not deeply versed examiner. 
Maggini, however, was not so successful as his compeer in 
the selection of the form of his instruments. In them we 
miss the harmony of outline belonging to those of Gasparo, 
particularly as relates to his Double Basses. Gasparo's 


Violins are less harmonious in design, and evince his un- 
settled views as to the form they should take ; a perfectly 
natural circumstance, when the infantile state of the Violin 
in his day is considered. The outline of Maggini is broad, 
but lacks the classic symmetry of the rare old Brescian 
maker. The form is flat, and the means which he adopted 
in order to obtain a full and telling tone were very complete. 
The sides are frequently shallow,' and in accordance with 
the outline. With others who followed him, he evidently 
recognized the necessity of reducing the height of the sides 
in proportion to the dimensions of the instrument. The 
sound-hole is long and pointed, and admirably set in the 
instrument. The scroll is primitive, but boldly cut, and 
• clearly marks an onward step from the sotnewhat crude 
production of Gasparo, the back of which is not grooved, 
or but slightly. Maggini's varnish is of brown or yellow 
colour, and of good quality; The instruments covered with 
the brown varnish are often without any device on their 
backs, and seldom have two rows of purfling. De Beriot, 
the famous. Belgian Violinist, used one of Maggini's Violins, 
and, in consequence, their value was much increased. 
Leonard has one of this make, which is highly spoken of. 

Maggini, Pietro, Brescia, 1630 — 1680. Son of Giovanni. 
The instruments are beautifully made, and frequently sur- 
pass those of Giovanni. Like those of the latter, they are 
doubly purfled, and also similarly ornamented. 

Maler, Laux, Bologna, about 1450. Maker of Lutes. 
Maler appears to have been regarded by Lutinists as the 
Stradivari of Lutes. Thomas Mace informs us in his 
" Musick's Monument,'' 1676, they were sold for as much 
as one hundred pounds' each, though often "pittiful, old, 
batter'd, crack'd things." He tells us he has " often seen 


Lutes of three or four pounds price far more illustrious and 
taking to a common eye." History repeats itself at every 
turn. The uneducated eye of to-day is equally apt to re- 
gard a Mirecourt or Bavarian copy with as much favour as a 
genuine Cremona. Mace proceeds to instruct the " com- 
mon eye." " First, know that an old Lute is better than 
anew one." Thus also with Viols: "We chiefly value old 
instruments before new ; for by experience they are found 
to be far the best." " The pores of the wood have a more 
and free liberty to move, stir, or secretly vibrate, by which 
means the air — which is the life of all things, both animate 
and inanimate — has a more free and easie recourse to pass 
and repass." This explanation accounts, in part at least, 
foi: the superiority of old over new instruments, and in 
language delightfully quaint and simple. 

Mantegazza, Pietro Giovanni, Milan. Vincenzo Lan- 
cetti states that "about 1800 the Brothers Mantegazza were 

restorers of instruments, and 

Pietro Giov Fratelli Mantegazza wereoften entrusted by French 

nella Contradi di Santa Margarita ^^^ ^^^^-^^ ^^^-^^^^ ^^ lengthen 

m Milano al segno dell Angelo , ' , , . ^J: ,. 

jy the necks of their Viohns 

• after the Paris fashion, an 
example which was followed 
PetrusJoe-FratresqMantegatia ^ amateurs and professors 
Mediolani m via S. Margante •' '^ 

anno 1760. ^'^ over North Italy." This 

extract shows that the short 

. , . necks were dispensed with in 
Petrus Toannes Mantegatia, fecit _ . 1 , , , , 

Mediolani in Via S. Margarita ^^^^ towards the close of the 

1784. last century, and doubtless 

Viotti was the chief instigator 

with regard to the change. The family of Mantegazza, as 

Violin-makers, date back to about the middle of the 


eighteenth century. They appear to have made many 
Tenors. The workmanship is good, and also the modelling 
of the later-dated instruments. The older ones are rather 
high, but the varnish is brilliant. The wood is somewhat 
hard. Count Cozio was a patron of the Brothers Mante- 
gazza, and he appears to have increased his know- 
ledge of Italian Violins from information acquired from 

Maratti, Verona, about 1700. 
Marchetti, Enrico, Turin, now living. 
Mariani, Antonio, Pesaro, from about 1580 to 1619. 
Long middle bouts and corners ; style and work very 
primitive, mostly double purfled. 

Meiberi, Francesco, Leghorn, r7So. 
Messeguer, Spanish, about 1646. 

Mezadri, Alessandro, Ferrara, 1690 — 1722. The pattern 
is inelegant, and the sound-holes too close. 
Mezadri, Francesco, Milan, about 1712. 
MiALFi, Joannes, 1769. The label is in Spanish. Ordi- 
nary character of work. 

MoNTAGNANA, Domenico, Cremona and Venice, 1700 — 
1740. Pupil of Antonio Stradivari. After leaving the 

workshop of his famous 
Dominies Montagnana Sub Signo ^ ^^ followed his art 

Cremonae Venetus 17 . ^-r ,- •■ 

m Cremona. He afterwards 

removed to Venice, where Viohn manufacture was in the 
most flourishing condition, and adopted the name of 
" Cremona " as the sign of his house. In days when houses 
were unnumbered, tradesmen were found by their sign, and 
they were often puzzled to select one both distinctive and 
effective. The Violin-makers of Italy, having exhausted 
the calendar of its Saints emblematic of Harmony, left it to. 


the Venetian to honour the name of himself and the city 
Which was the seat of the greatest Violin manufacture 
the world had witnessed. In Venice he soon attained 
great popularity, and made the splendid specimens of 
his art with which we are familiar. The instructions which 
he had received at Cremona enabled him to surpass all in 
Venice. He gained great knowledge of the qualities of 
material, and of the thicknesses to be observed ; and, more- 
over, he carried with 'him the superior form of the Cremo- 
nese school, and the glorious varnish. Mr. Reade names 
him "the mfghty Venetian,'' an appellation not a whit too 
high-sounding, though it may appear so to those not ac- 
quainted with his finest works. The truth is, that Montag- 
nana is less known than any of the great makers. For 
years his works have been roaming about bearing the magic 
labels of " Guarnerius filius Andreas," " Carlo Bergonzi," 
and sometimes of " Pietro Guarneri," although there is 
barely a particle of resemblance between the works of our 
author and the makers named, whose labels have been used 
as floats. 

Montagnana was in every way original, but the fraud that 
has foisted his works upon makers who were better known 
has prevented his name from being associated with many of 
his choicest instruments, and deprived him of the place 
which he would long since have held in the estimation of 
the true connoisseur. This injustice, however, is fast 
passing away ; as ever, genius comes forth triumphant. 

The time is near when the " mighty Venetian " and 
Carlo Bergonzi will occupy positions little less considerable 
than that of the two great masters. Already the merits of 
these makers are daily more appreciated, and when the 
scarcity of their genuine works is considered, it becomes a 


matter of certainty that their rank must be raised to the 
point indicated. 

It is much to be regretted that both Montagnana and 
Bergonzi did not leave more numerous specimens iehind 
thern. Would that each had been as prolific as their com- 
mon master ! We should then have inherited a store from 
which our coming Violinists and Violoncellists could have 
possessed themselves of splendid instruments, when those 
of Guarneri and Stradivari were placed far beyond reach. 

In these times, when the love of music is rapidly develop- 
ing itself among all classes, the question of supply must 
attract notice. The prime question with respect to Violins 
of the highest character is not now as to price, but as to 
the supply of limited and daily decreasing material ; and 
the doubtful point is, not whether purchasers are to be 
found who may not be unwilling to pay the increased cost 
consequent upon scarcity, but whether the instruments 
required will be available in sufficient numbers to satisfy 
the demand of those- quite prepared to gratify their wishes 
for the possession of an instrument of the first rank. -A 
single glance is sufficient to remind us that the list of makers 
of the highest class, and particularly of original artists, is 
scanty indeed. There are a few copyists, it is true, notably 
Lupot and Panormo, whose instruments must take a con- 
siderable position, but on the whole the demand will far 
exceed the supply. The difficulty here noticed is intensified 
from the fact of the Violin being, unlike any other musical 
instrument, sought after as it is for the cabinets of the 
collector as well as for actual use — a state of things perfectly 
natural when its artistic beauties are considered. Violinists 
possibly consider they smart under a sense of wrong at the 
hands of collectors in thus indulging their taste ; but, on 


the Other hand, we have reason to be grateful to the lovers 
of art for having stayed the hand of Time in demolishing 
these treasures. 

To return to the subject of this present notice : it is 
evident that when Montagnana left the workshop of 
Stradivari, he gave full scope to his creative powers. He 
at once began to construct upon principles of his own, 
and thus followed the example of his fellow-worker. Carlo 
Bergonzi. If comparison be made between the work of 
Stradivari and that of Domenico Montagnana, with regard 
to detail, the two makers will not be found to have much in 
common. It is when Montagnana's instrument is viewed as 
a whole that the teaching of Stradivari is evidenced. A 
similar assertion may, in a lesser degree, be made in the 
case of Carlo Bergonzi. To dissect the several points of 
difference is a simple matter. If we begin with the outline, 
that of Montagnana has not the smoothness and grace of 
the Stradivarian type ; the upper and lower curves are 
flattened, while those of the centre are extended. The 
sound-hole partakes more of the character of Guarneri ; the 
scroll is larger, and the turns bolder than in the Stradivari 
form. These, then, may be considered to be ' the chief 
points wherein, if viewed as separate items, Montagnana 
seems to have varied from his master : and hence we may 
obtain some idea of the amount of originality belonging to 
this maker — an amount, indeed, not inferior to that of any 
Cremonese artist that can be cited. The increasing popu- 
larity of Montagnana's instruments is suflficient proof that his 
design was fraught with much that is valuable. In departing 
from the form of Antonio Stradivari, Carlo Bergonzi and 
Montagnana doubtless intended to bring out in a stronger 
degree certain particular qualities of tone : at the same time 


we may be sure that they had no idea of attempting to 
improve upon Stradivari in his own field of work, for they 
must have well known the Herculean character of such a 
task. On the other hand, had these remarkable makers. 
been mere copyists, they would certainly have handed down 
to us more instruments moulded in exact accord with the 
style of their great teacher; while, at the same time, we. 
should have lost many variations, which are at present not 
only an evidence of Ijieir fertility of resource, but also in. 
themselves most pleasing objects. If, in the sister art, 
Tintoretto had made it his sole business to copy Titian, the : 
world would have been rich in copies of Titian, but poor in, 

The varnish of Montagnana has long excited the admira? 
tion of connoisseurs throughout Europe. The extreme 
richness and velvet-like softness which are its characteristics^ 
constitute it a fitting countersign of the workmanship of this 
great maker, an artist of the first magnitude. He made 
Violins, Tenors, and Violoncellos. His Violins are of two., 

MoNTALDi, Gregorio, Cremona, 1730. Copied Stradivari. 

MoRELLA, , Mantua, about 1550. M. Fdtis, in his, 

" Biographie tjniverselle des Musiciens," states that he was 
famous for his Viols and Lutes. S. Ang. Maffei, in his, 
"Annali di Mantova" (fol. 147), highly praises the instru- 
ments made by Morella. 

Nadotti, Giuseppe, Piacenza. A Violin by this maker 
was recently exhibited at the Milan Exhibition, dated 1767. 

Nella, Raffaele, Brescia, copied Maggini. 

Ortega, Madrid, about 1840. Maker and restorer 

of instruments. 

Pandolfi, Antonio, Venice. A Violin of this make, 


■dated 17 19, was among the instruments exhibited at the 
•Milan Exhibition in i88r. 

Panormo, Vincenzo, Palmero, born about 1740, died 
1813. This maker was one of the most successful followers 
X)f Antonio Stradivari. Panormo and Lupot share the palm 
as copyists of the great Cremonese master. Neither appears 
to have attempted to create a model of his own ; their sole 
aim was to imitate to the utmost the various patterns of 
Stradivari, Guarneri, and Amati, but they principally con- 
fined themselves to Stradivari. 

Vincenzo Panormo left Italy in early life, and settled 
'for a short time in Paris, from which city a few of his 
instruments are dated. From Paris he removed to I^ondon, 
where he remained many years. He also visited Ireland, 
where he made, it is said, several beautiful instruments 
from an old maple billiard-table, with which he was 
fortunate enough to, meet. He was of a restless tem- 
■perament, which showed itself in continual self-imposed 
changes. He would not, or could not, permit his reputation 
to grow steadily, by residing long in one place, but as soon 
as fame was within his grasp, he sacrificed the work of 
years by removing to an entirely new field of labour. 

Panormo furnishes us with another example of the certain 
appreciation, sooner or later, of exceptional talents. No 
matter how trifling the circumstances under which gifted 
men have laboured, some time or other their genius is 
discovered, and acknowledged with its due award, if not 
of fortune, at least of fame. The peculiar circumstances 
under which Panormo lived would have been sufficient in 
the case of most men to dwarf all efforts. Unable to 
obtain readily that patronage to which his abilities justly 
entitled him, he removed from city to city, hoping to dis- 


cover a resting-place, in which favour might attend his art 
No doubt this was a mistaken course, and one which 
robbed his work of the attention which a mind undisturbed 
by the care of existence can bestow; nevertheless his 
natural gifts had a vitaUty that could not entirely be sup- 
pressed. He worked and toiled for his art and for bare 
sustenance alternately. His life, like that of many others in 
the paths of literature and science, was a continued battle 
with adversity. Such persons are forced to satisfy daily 
wants by slaving at work which brings them but little credit 
in after time, and becomes a standard by which they are too 
often erroneously judged. 

Vincenzo Panormo was the slave of many, manufacturing 
Double Basses and other instruments from the material 
selected and purchased by his temporary employer, oft- 
times compelled to. carry out some crotchet of the patron 
much against his own wishes. The wood thus forced upon 
him was often of the worst description ; and, in addition, he 
was frequently obliged to complete his work within a given 
time. Instruments manufactured under such conditions 
can scarcely, it may be Supposed, add to their makers' 
reputation. We cannot but regret that he should have been 
obliged to waste himself on such poor materials. Fortu- 
nately, however, in some cases he found time to exercise his 
skilful powers to their full extent, and has thus bequeathed 
to us some of the finest specimens of the copyist's art. 

His workmanship is of a lighter description than that of 
Lupot, and is therefore more graceful. The sound'hole is 
admirably cut, and the scroll also well carved. 

Pans AN I, Antonio, Rome, 1735. 

Pasta, Antonio, Brescia, 1700 — 1730. Good work. 
Model a little high ; varnish of soft quality. 


Pasta, Domenico, Brescia, about 1700. 

Pazzini, Gaetano, Florence, about 1630, pupil of Maggini. 

PiciNO, Padua, 17 12. High model; dark varnish. 

Platner, Michel," Rome, about 1750. The instruments 
of this maker resemble those of Tecchler, both in workman- 
ship and varnish. 

Michael Platner fecit Romae anno 17 — 

PoLLUSCA, Antonio, Rome, about 1751. 

PosTiGLiONE, Vincenzo, Naples, now living. 

Pressenda, Giovanni, Francesco, Turin. Born in the 
year 1777. The Violins bearing the label of Pressenda are 

Joannes Franciscus Pressenda excellently made, and in many 
q. Raphael fecit Taurini instances the varnish is superior 
Anno Domini 1826. jq that met with On any Violins 

dated from Italy in the present century. Pressenda appears 
to have interested himself to some extent in the matter of 
varnish. In a little book published in Italy " there is the 
following passage : " A pale reflection of the old a:rt (Violin- 
making) is found in Piedmont, with Guadagnini." The 
writer continues with the following reference to Pressenda 
of Turin, who, he remarks, was in his youth at Cremona, 
" where he collected the traditions of the school as regards 
modelling and the preparation of the varnish, which is the 
chief merit of his Violins." It is almost needless to remark 
that traditional information is frequently unsatisfactory, but 
particularly so in connection with Cremonese Violin-making 
and varnishing near the middle of the last century. In 
short, the great makers left no other record of the steps 
they took both in manufacture and in the preparation of 
their varnish than can be discovered in their works. The 
instruments of Pressenda present a singular contrast with 
' " L'ltalie economique," 1847. 


Others of Italian make belonging to this century, most of 
which evidence what may be termed the throes of a dyihg 
manufacture. With Pressenda we appear to have a new . 
departure, in which there is some show of attention, having 
been paid to the work accomplished in the best workshops 
of Paris. The then condition of Viofin-making in Italy 
made it necessary for any Italian maker — no matter how 
great his ability — to seek information elsewhere, if desirous 
of excelling in his art. Pressenda appears to have sought 
to emulate and even surpass many Parisian makers by 
associating his name for the most part with good and un- 
sophisticated work. The results of his labours reflect no 
little credit on his skill and judgment. Pressenda may be 
styled a born maker of Violins. From an account published 
by Signor Rinaldi, of Turin, in 1873, we learn that 
Pressenda was the son of poor parents, who lived in 
Lequio-Berria, a hamlet in the vicinity of Alba, in Pied- 
mont. His father Raffaele was a strolling fiddler, and 
gained his precarious livelihood by playing at village fairs 
and other rejoicings. On these occasions he was accom- 
panied by his son Giovanni, who followed the occupation 
of his father, playing the Violin with some degree of skill. 
It was at this period that he appears to have manifested a 
desire to know something of Violin manufacture, and 
frequently asked for information from his parent, who, 
however, was rarely able to satisfy his curiosity. Learning 
that Cremona was in some way associated with good 
Violins, he resolved to fiddle his way to that city. There 
he found Storioni, from whom he obtained some rudimen- 
tary knowledge of the manufacture he was so. much interested 
in. Later he removed to Piedmont, and established him- 
self in Alba in 1 8 14, as a maker of Violins. The patronage 


he gained was, however, insufficient to maintain him, and he 
combined the business of cabinet-making with his favourite 
pursuit. After removing to Carmagnola, he went in the 
year 1820 to Turin, where his abilities were recognized 
and rewarded. He was encouraged in his manufacture by 
Giovanni Battista Polledro, the famous Violinist, who, in 
1824, became Musical Director of the Royal Orchestra at 
Turin. Pressenda died in the year 1854 at Turin. His 
Violins are chiefly of the model of Stradivari. The sound- 
holes are well cut. The thicknesses of his best instruments 
are well arranged, and the wood appears to have been 
selected with good judgment. The scrolls, whilst having 
much character, are somewhat roughly cut. The Violins 
belonging to his early period are chiefly of the Amatese 

Racceris, , Mantua, about 1670. 

RiNALDi, Gioffredo, Turin. (Benedetti, Gioffredo). 
Chiefly known as a dealer in Violins. He exhibited a few 
Violins by Giovanni F. Pressenda at the Vienna Exhibition, 
1873, and published, a short notice of that maker, which he 
inscribed to the Archduke Rannieri. 

RoccA, I. Antonio, Piedmont, about 1837. Chiefly fol- 
lowed the pattern of Stradivarius, Neat workmanship, 
varnish rather thin, well-cut scroll. 

RoDiANi, Giovita, sometimes called Budiani; Brescia, 
about 1580 — 1620. His instruments resemble those of 
Maggini. Dragonetti is said to have had a Double Bass of 
this make. 

Rota, Giovanni, Cremona. Yellow varnish, plain wood, 
heavy work, rough purfling. 

Joannes Rota fecit Cremonese Anno 1808, 

RovETTA, Bergatno, 1840 — 1870. 


RivoLTA, Giacomo, Milan, about 1822. Excellent work ; 
scroll well cut. One of the best Italian makers of this 

RoGERi, Giovanni Battista, Cremona and Brescia. The 
word Bon after his name refers to his having been a citizen 
of Bologna. Vincenzo Lancetti speaks of its being certain 

lo : Bapt. Rogerius Bon : Nicolai ^^^^ he called himsel{ .BotlO- 
Amati de Cremona Alumnus niensis. The instruments of 
Brixise fecit Anno Domino 1705. this maker are of a different 
pattern to those of Francesco Ruggeri. They are higher 
modelled, the sound-holes less elegant, and the scroll 
heavier. They possess, however, high merits, and com- 
• mand prices nearly equivalent to those of the instruments 
of Francesco. The labels of this maker are sometimes met 
with printed in red ink. The instruments he made of large 
Amati . pattern are highly valued. He appears to have 
worked from about the close of the seventeenth century. 
Count Cozio di Salabue and Lancetti speak of G. B. Rogeri 
having worked down to 1723, and possibly later, and that 
he lived for many years in Brescia. There are some instru- 
ments bearing original Amati labels of this make, made, 
doubtless, when he was in the shop of Amati. 

Rogeri, Pietro Giacomo, Brescia, describes himself as a 
pupil of Niccolb Amati, on his label. Lancetti refers to a 
Violoncello by Pietro having belonged to Count 
Cozio, and remarks that he was a " nearly unknown mem- 
ber of the Rogeri family." The date of this instrument is 
given as 17 14. He cannot now be looked upon as alrriost 
unknown, since Signor Piatti played for many years upon 
a famous Violoncello of his make. The pattern is a little 
narrower than that of G. B. Rogeri. Varnish of beautiful 
quality j sound-hole resembles that of Francesco Ruggeri. 


RuGGERi, Francesco, Cremona, 1668 — 1720. Surnamed 

" II Per." The family of Ruggeri long occupied a foremost 

place in the city of Cremona 
Francesco Ruggeri detto ^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ ^.^^. rj,^ 

il Per Cremona 10 — 

and Violoncellos. Their posi- 
tion could have been but little inferior to that of the Amati 
family. Francesco, in his earliest works, gives evidence of 
exceptional artistic feeling, and the sequel of his career, as 
evidenced by his productions, is a genuine development of 
the first impulse of his "genius. His work belongs to the 
school of Amati, but though the list of instruments which he 
has bequeathed to us be a long one, there is no sign of his 
ever having been a mere copyist. He evidently thought for 
himself. His sound-hole is a beautiful piece of workman- 
ship, and may be said to come between that of Niccolb Amati 
and Stradivari, being of the most delicate execution. The 
outline of his work is very graceful, and the arching admir- 
able. The scroll has quite an 
Francesco Ruger detto il Per , .. .^, .1 u j tt 

„ • ^ , equal merit with the body. He 

Cremona 10 — ^ ■' 

was very successful in select- 
ing his material, much of which is handsome. His varnish, 
thoroughly Cremonese in character, and of a most beautiful 
■ hue, may be equalled, but never surpassed. This maker 
also knew how to use his varnish. There is no instance in 
which it has been laid on in clumsy patches ; the surface is 
always true and gven, and, in consequence, the brilliancy of 
its appearance is perfect. Lancetti remarks, "Francesco 
Ruggeri was a pupil of Niccolb Amati, and perhaps a more 
exact imitator of his instruments than G. B. Rogeri, and 
made several instruments beautifully finished, and which 
are not easily distinguished from those of his master." 
Count Cozio possessed a fine Violin by Francesco, dated 


1684, and the Marquis Castiglioni also possessed one made 
in the same year. Francesco Ruggeri died at the house 
No. 7, Contrada Coltellai, Cremona. 

Ruggeri, Giacinto detto II Per, Cremona. Son of 
Francesco Ruggeri. A Violoncello bearing this label is in 
the possession of Mr. G. Foster Cooke. 

Giacinto filio di 

Francesco Ruggeri detto il Per 


Ruggeri, Vincenzo, Cremona, also uses the name "II 
Per." Worked from about 1700 to 1730. He appears to 
have made many Violoncellos. 

Vincenzp Ruger detto il Per 
in Cremona 17 — 

Ruggeri, Giambattista, Cremona. About 1693. ^^^° 
called himself II Per. Lancetti suggests that this maker 
was a relative of Francesco. He made several Violoncellos 
of large size and deep sides, the wood of which is often 
plain. The varnish is of good quality and dark brown 
colour. He also made Violins and Tenors, the latter being 
excellent instruments. 

Sacchni, Sebastiano. 

Sebastino Sacchni da Persaro I'anno 1686. 

Sal6, Gasparo da. The information we have relative to 

this celebrated maker is of the slightest kind. His label is 

indicative of his having been born in the town of Salo, on 

the lake of Garda, Province of Brescia, and of Gasparo 

being his Christian name. 
Gafparo da Sal6 Brefcia. „, • j i_ /-. j 

The period when Gasparo da 

Salo. made his instruments is given between 1550 and 1610. 

172 THE VIOr.IN. 

I have no remembrance of having seen a dated label. Such 
may exist, and these dates may not, like many in connexion 
with the old makers, be arbitrary ones. The best and most 
certain guide, however, to a knowledge of the time when he 
worked is, I am convinced, to be found in the character 
and style of his instruments. Gasparo da Salo was essen- 
tially a maker of Viols. He made Accordos, Violonos, and 
Tenor Viols, and but few Violins. The general character 
of all his instruments is essentially primitive, significant of 
their being anterior to those of Andrea Amati, of whom 
we have evidence that he made Violins for Charles IX. in 


We have no data of much value to guide us as to the con- 
dition of Viol manufacture in Italy beyond that contained 
in the work of Ganassi on the Art of Playing the Viol, 
published at Venice, 1543. The instruments referred to by 
Ganassi are of an earlier type than those of Gasparo da 
Salb; they are six-stringed Viols, and have, not the four 
drawn-out corners, whilst Gasparo made Tenor Viols with 
four strings, with projecting corners. Although this evi- 
dence tends to fix the date of Gasparo's manufacture as 
commencing about 1550, we have to consider that Ganassi 
was doubtless writing of the Viol with which he was 
familiar, and was not concerned with an altogether new 
form of instrument, which had possibly then been recently 
introduced at Brescia. I am therefore inclined to believe 
that Gasparo da' Salb worked a few years earlier than has 
been stated. The difference between the Viols described 
by Ganassi and the four-stringed instruments associated 
with Gasparo da Salb, I cannot but regard as casting light 
upon the development of the last form of the Italian Viol. 
The Viol described by Ganassi, and that of Gasparo, give 


US two distinct Italian manufactures. I am not" aware of 
the existence of an Italian work which treats of four-stringed 
Viols. The German work of Martin Agricola, however, 
entitled, "Musica Instrumentalis," published in 1529, 
mentions them. Four instruments are there described, all 
of unsightly shape, called respectively, Decantus, Altus, 
Tenor, and Bassus, the first-named instrument with four 
strings. It therefore appears that four-stringed Viols were 
used in Germany early in the sixteenth century, and that 
they were re-modelled by the Brescian makers in conformity 
with the taste of the Italians. 

To Gaspare da Salo belongs the credit of having laid the 
foundation of the Italian style of Violin-making. In his 
works may be traced the gradual development of the system 
upon which his followers built their reputation, viz., a well- 
defined model, excellent materials, and choice varnish. It 
is to be regretted that his immediate followers, with the 
exception of Paolo Maggini, departed from the path so 
successfully trodden by this great pioneer. But for this 
deviation, the work of the early Amatis and a few others 
would have occupied a higher position than that which they 
now command. They were men possessing great abilities, 
and might, easily have carried out the designs of the 
great Brescian maker. They appear, however, to have 
arrived at a different conclusion as regards the form of 
their instrument from that shaped by Gasparo da Salb. 
Their works show an evident preference for the high model, 
and thus undid much that Gasparo had accomplished. It 
is clear that Gasparo only arrived at his conclusions after 
painstaking labour, for he commenced with the high forbi, 
and gradually, as experience taught, lowered it. It is further 
remarkable that the latter members of the Amati family 


pursued the same course as Andrea Amati (though in a less 
degree), after which they awoke, as it were, to the reason- 
ableness of the example set by Gasparo, and gave us those 
instruments so highly thought of by, the connoisseur, the 
form of which has much in common with that adopted by 
Niccolo Amati and perfected by Antonio Stradivari. 

It has been before remarked that Gasparo da Salo did not 
arrive at his conclusions without mature consideration. In 
fact,a long and deliberate process of experiment maybe traced 
in his instruments. We find that at times his Violins and 
Violas were treated differently to the Accordos and Violonos. 
The Violins are found to be high in model, while the above- 
named instruments, evidently of the same date, are flat. 
He would seem to have been desirous of testing the powers 
of either model, and it is possible that he fostered the idea 
of varying the construction of each of the four species in 
the family of stringed instruments according to the part 
which should be allotted to it. To treat each part of the 
stringed quartett in a different way is certainly an error, for 
they are to be looked upon as gradations of one and the 
same instrument ; nevertheless, the attempt of Gasparo, 
although mistaken, offers but another instance of his prolific 
ingenuity and unwearied- diligence. All praise is due to the 
great Brescian maker for having opened up as a pioneer so 
wide a field of research. The Cremonese artists followed 
up his clue, and brought the Violin to the highest state of 

The chief characteristics of the works of Gasparo da 
Salbarethe sound-holes, shortened centre-bouts, scroll, and 
peculiar choice of material. The length of the sound-hole 
at first strikes one as somewhat crude, but as the eye be- 
comes more acquainted with the general form of the instru- 


merit, it is seen to be in perfect harmony with the primitive 
outline. With this sound-hole commences the pointed form 
to which Giuseppe Guaraeri, nearly a century and a half 
later, gave such perfection. The material used for the 
larger instruments is mostly pear-wood, or wood of that 
description, the quality of which is particularly fine. In the 
selection of this Wood he showed a still minuter discrimina- 
ation, using it generally for Accordos and Violonos, and 
not for Violins or Violas ; few specimens of the latter have 
backs of pear-wood. His work was bold, but not highly 
finished.; no other result could be looked for at so early a 
date. The grain of the bellies is usually very even and well 
defined. Signor Dragonetti, the late eminent Double-Bass 
player, possessed three or four Double- Basses by this maker, 
of various sizes. The most celebrated of these instruments 
was presented to him by the monks of the monastery of St. 
Mark's, Venice, about the year 1776, and was returned to 
the Canons of that Church (the monks and the monastery 
having been suppressed since the French occupation of 
Venice in 1805 or 1809) after Dragonefti's death, in 1846. 
Another was bequeathed by Dragonetti to the late Duke of 
Leinster. A third is in the possession of the Rev. George 
Leigh Blake. Among his chamber Double-Basses the 
one belonging to Mr. Bennett is regarded as a singularly 
perfect example. It was numbered with the rarities of 
Luigi Tarisio's collection, and highly valued by him as a 
specimen of the maker. Among his Violins, the instrument 
owned by Mr. W. A, Tyssen Amherst is unique ; the in- 
fancy of the Violin at this period is better seen here than 
any specimen with which I am acquainted. The Violin 
of this make which belonged to Ole Bull, and with which 
I am familiar, is another well-known example. This instru- 

176 ' THE VIOLIN. 

ment is characteristic of its author. Its varnish is soft-looking 
and rich, though paler than usual. The finger-board is 
inlaid, and is made of a light description of wood. The 
head is carved and painted, and is a very choice piece of 
Italian work. 

Sanoni, Giovanni Battista, Verona. His instruments 
are seldom met with in England. High model. 

Santo, Giovanni, Naples, 1700 — 1730. Copied Amati. 
Varnish very hard, and workmanship indifferent. 

Sanzo, Milan. Similar to Grancino. 

Sapino, , is mentioned by F6tis as a pupil of Cappa. 

Sardi, ; , Venice, 1649. A broken Violin bearing 

this name was at the Milan Exhibition, 1881. 

Segher, Girolamo. Worked in the shop of Niecolo 
Amati from 1680 to 1682. 

Bellas, Matteo, Lute-maker. M. Chouquet, . in his 
" Catalogue Raisonne " of the instruments at the Paris 
Conservatoire, mentions two Arch-Lutes made by this 

Serafino, Santo, Udine — Venice, 1710 — 1748. This 
Sanctus Seraphin maker is chiefly famed for the 

utinensis Fecit exquisite finish of his work- 

Venetijs Ann. 17^ manship. The modelling of 

his instruments varied. There are instances, particularly 
in the case of his Violins, where he has entirely set aside the 
Stainer form, and copied Amati. These Violins are wonder- 
fully like the work of Francesco Ruggeri. The varnish upon 
.them, of a rich red colour, is of so exceptional a quality, that 
one is compelled to look twice before being satisfied as to 
the author. The greater number, however, of his instru- 
ments are of the German character, the sound-hole, scroll, 
and outline all hinting of Stainer. These Venetians were 


wonderfully fortunate in obtaining handsome wood, and in 
this respect Santo Serafino was pre-eminent, for his sides 
and backs are simply beautiful to perfection. His method 
of cutting the wood was invariably to show the grain in 
even stripes. The scroll is well cut in point of workman- 
ship, but the style is poor. Santo Serafino cannot be 
regarded as having displayed originality in any shape, and 
he thus forms an exception to the great majority of Italian 
makers. His instruments are either copies of Amati or of 
Stainer ; there is, of course, a strong Italian flavour about 
his Stainer copies, which lifts them above the German 
school of imitators, and hence their higher value. Nearly 
all his instruments were branded with his name above the 
tail-pin. He used an ornamental label of large size. The 
Violoncello in the possession of Mr. H. B. Heath is a 
charming specimen of Serafino's work, I may say un- 

Sn EIDER, Josefo, Pavia. Lancetti remarks that many of 
the Violins by Girolamo Amati, son of Niccolo, were attri- 
buted to this maker. 

Joseph Sneider Papise 
Alumnus Nicolai Amati Cremonae 
fecit Anno 17 — 

SoccHi, Vincenzo, 1661, Bologna. In the Catalogue of 
M. Chouquet mention is made of a Kit or Pochette by this 
maker in the Paris Conservatoire. 

Statlee, Anderl, Genoa, about 17 14. Signed himself as a 
pupil of Hieronymus Amati (son of Niccolb). Not unlike the 
work of Urquhart. 

Stregner, Magno, Venice, Lute-maker. 

Storioni, Lorenzo, Cremona, about 1769 to 1799. The 



last of the old makers who evinced any marked degree of 

originality. Although there 
Laurentius Storioni Fecit j^ ^^ ^j^^^^ ^^^^j ^^^^^^^ 

Cremonae 17 — _ •' t • 

of refinement in his works, 

there is much that is clever, which has already caused these 
instruments to be valued very highly. He appears to have 
made Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesii his idol. Although his 
instruments cannot be considered as copies, yet there is 
evidence of his having made use of the salient points 
belonging to Guarneri, which he fitted, as it were, to 
his own model. He had much of the disregard of mere 
appearance which Guarneri so often displayed, and seems 
to have been guided by similar fancies. His freak was to 
place his sound-holes in all sorts of ways, scarcely twice 
alike. His outline is always vigorous, but without thought 
of symmetrical appearance. There is not an instrument 
of his make that could have been made upon a mould — 
they were built from the blocks, and the result, as may 
be expected, is not graceful. M. Vieuxtemps, some years 
ago, possessed himself of a Storioni Violirn now belonging 
to Mr. Proctor, and, having carefully regulated it, suc- 
ceeded in bringing forth its great powers. His hearers 
were so delighted that attention was speedily directed to 
this neglected maker. These instruments are highly thought 
of in Italy. The varnish is not of the Cremonese descrip- 
tion, but partakes of the Neapolitan character. The purfling 
is unusually narrow, and roughly worked ; the scroll is stiff, 
and the absence of finish is observable. The material he 
used was generally good in point of acoustical properties, 
though not handsome. Storioni does not appear to have 
made many Tenors or Violoncellos — the latter are rarely 
met with. Storioni died in 1 799. He lived at the house 


No. 3, Contrada Coltellai, which was afterwards occupied 
by G. B. Ceruti. 

Stradivari, Antonio, Cremona. 

"The instrument on which he played 

Was in Cremona's workshops made, 

By a great master of the past, 

Ere yet was lost the art divine ; 
^ Fashioned of maple and of pine, 

That in Tjurolian forests vast 

Had rocked and wrestled with the blast ; 

Exquisite was it in design, 

A marvel of the lutist's art, 

Perfect in each minutest part ; 

And in its hollow chamber, thus. 

The maker from whose hands it came 

Had written his unrivalled name — 

'Antonius Stradivarius.' " — Longfellow. 

The renown of this remarkable maker of Violins is beyond 
that of all others ; his praise has been sung alike by poet» 

artist, and musician. His. 
Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis 

Faciebat'Anno 17- "^'^ic name IS ever rismg 

to the lips in the presence 
of the "king of instruments ; " its sound is as familiar to the 
humble player as to the finished artist. He has received 
the undisputed homage of two centuries, and time seems 
but to add to the number and devotion of his liege sub^ 
jects : he is as little likely to be dethroned to-day as Shake- 
speare. / 
Although many interesting particulars concerning Antonio. 
Stradivari have been obtained from time to time, there is 
wanting that which alone can fully satisfy his admirers, viz., 
connected records of the chief events of his life. Every 
endeavour has been made to supply in some way this de- 


ficiency, by consulting documents relating to the city of 
Cremona during the 17th and i8th centuries. The results 
■of these inquiries are of much value, and the reader will be 
made acquainted with them in the following pages. 

With a patience worthy of reward, the late librarian at 
Cremona, Professor Peter F^cit, searched for the will of 
■Stradivari, but as no proper register appears to have been 
kept until long after the famous maker died, his. efforts were 
linsuccessful. Although the contents of the will might 
throw but a faint light upon the doings of the testator, there 
:tnight be found particulars that would link together much 
'of the information we already possess. 

The date of birth of Antonio Stradivari was made 
known to M. Fdtis in 1856,' upon evidence contained in an 
inventory of instruments which belonged to Count Cozio di 
Salabue. The inventory was made upon the occasion of the 
iftstruments being deposited with Carlo Carli, a Milanese 
banker. Among the Violins there appears to have been one 
by Antonio Stradivari, bearing a label upon which, in the 
handwriting of its maker, was stated his age, namely, ninety- 
two years, and the date 1736; thus making the year of 
birth 1644. 

"That plain white-aproned man who stood at work, 
Patient and accurate, i^^ fourscore years, 
Cherished his sight and touch by temperance ; 
And, since keen sense is love of perfectness, 
Made perfect Violins, the needed paths 
For inspiration and high mastery. " 

Stradivari, by George Eliot. 

Previous to the publication of this evidence by M. Fdtis, 

' "Antoine Stradivari, luthier celebre," par F. I. F^tis. Paris, 


the date of birth was given as 1664, and it has been stated 
as 1644 or 1650. Don Paolo Lombardini, in his pamphlet 
on Stradivari published at Cremona in 1872, gives an 
interesting genealogical account of the great Cremonese 
maker and his family. The author follows the date of birth 
as stated by M. Fetis. This is succeeded by information 
of his own discovery, namely, the date of the marriage of 
■ Stradivari, July 4th, 1667. 

He appears to have married a widow named Capra, 
whose maiden name was Ferraboschi, her age being twenty- 
seven, and that of Stradivari twenty-three, according to the- 
date given by Lombardini. 

It is interesting to find evidence of some importance- 
relative to the question of the age of Stradivari from the 
pen of Lancetti. He says, " Antonio having worked to the 
age of ninety-three years, died in Cremona in the year i738> 
at the age of ninety-four years." Though this is obfiously 
incorrect (the register showing that he died in 1737), the 
extract serves to support the date of birth, resting upon the 
evidence of the inventory, inasmuch as it satisfactorily shows 
the age Stradivari was considered to be by his own family, 
since Count Cozio communicated the information to Lan- 
cetti from correspondence with Paolo Stradivari, son of 
Antonio. In passing, it may be observed that Stradivari 
died December i8th, 1737, and therefore the year men- 
tioned by his son Paolo was only incorrect by thirteen days. 
He was equally as near the truth in saying his father was 
ninety-four when he should have said he was in his ninety- 
fourth year. 

Having referred to the manuscript inventory, upon which 
rests the date of birth as given by Fdtis — which document, 
taken by itself, it must be said is unsatisfactory — and having 














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noticed the age of Stradivari as represented by his son, I 
will turn to other evidence in support of the inventory. 
In the possession of Mr. Muntz is a Violin by StradivarC 
dated 1736, and, in "writing, the age of the maker is given 
as ninety-two. Another Violin by Stradivari, made in the 
same year, and similarly labelled, is in the possession 
of the family of the late Mr. Fountaine, of Narford Hall, 
Norfolk. This Violin has been regarded as one of the' 
instruments found in the maker's shop when he died. It 
originally belonged to Habeneck, the well-known professor, 
and was taken to Paris between the years 1824 and 1830. 
Luigi Tarisio became possessed of some of the instruments 
mentioned in the inventory found among the papers of 
Carlo Carli, the banker, and one of -these Violins in all 
probability furnished the evidence of the date of birth re- 
ferred to by M. Fdtis, and both instruments were probably 
purchased by Tarisio, together with the Violin dated 1716, 
named by Vuillaume "le Messie."' The last instrument 
necessary to notice in confirmation of the date, hitherto 
resting alone on the inventory, was in the possession of the 
late M. H. de St. Sennqph, of Paris. It is dated 1737, and 
in the handwriting of Stradivari is his age, ninety-three years, 
which decides the correctness of the statement made by 
Lancetti (upon the authority of Count Cozio di Salabue, 
who received the information from Paolo Stradivari in, 
177s) that "Antonio worked up to the age of ninety-three 

In the absence of direct information concerning the life\ 

' The information which M. Fetis gives of this Violin was based on 
the inventory of Carlo Carli. It will interest its present possessor, 
M. Alard, to learn that it is also mentioned in the correspondence 
between Count Cozio and Lancetti. 


of Stradivari, we must turn to his instruments for such evi- 
^dence as we require; and these, happily, give us a greater 
insight into his career than would be readily imagined. I am 
not aware that any Violin of Stradivari "is known in which it 
is stated that he was a pupil of Niccolb Amati, or that the 
assumption has been maintained on any other grounds than 
the indisputable evidence furnished by the early instruments 
ofthis42fiat-QlS^en^ Never has affinity in the art of Violin 
manufacture been more marked th-an that between Stradi- 
vari and Niccolb Amati during the early life of the former. 
I have, in another place, remarked upon the almost invari- 
able similarity occurring between the works of master and 
pupil, and have used this canon in refutation of the doctrine 
that Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesiiwas ever a pupil of Antonio 
Stradivari. Lancetti states that the instruments of Stradivari 
made in 1665, and others in 1666, bear the label of Niccolb 
Amati, ahd instances one that was in the collection of Count 
Cozio, to which Stradivari made a new belly many years 
later, in his best style. It is certain that instruments as 
described by Lancetti have been recognized by intelligent 
connoisseurs as wholly the work of Stradivari (in which case, 
as may be imagined, they have no longer been allowed to 
sail under false colours, but have had their proper certificate 
of birth attached to them). In other instances the beautiful 
scroll of Stradivari has been recognized on the body of an 
Amati, or the sound-hole has shown that it was cut by the 
hand of Stradivari. 

Having met with a Violin by Stradivari (since the publica- 1 
tion of the first edition of this work), dated 1666, it would 

' Upon reference to Lancetti's MSS., I find that he states Stradi- 
vari used a label with the words "Nicholai Amati Alumnus," about 


appear that he left the workshop of his master at that time,\ 
or not later than the year of his marriage in 1667. The 
extracts obtained by Canon Bazzi from the parish registers, 
relative to the pupils of Niccolo Amati, help to establish the 
correctness of this view. Stradivari must have been in the' 
Workshop of his master between the years 1658 and 1666.^ 
We have no information of the pupils of Amati from 1654 
to 1665. In 1666 the name of Giorgio Fraiser is giveij j 
consequently Stradivari must have left previous to 1666 or 
early in that year, and prior to the registration. Between 
the years 1666 and 1672 there is observable a marked 
change in style, and the workmanship is better. The in- 
struments he made about this period have wood for the 
most part singularly plann, and different in kind to what 
his master used. His use of this material I am disposed to 
attribute to the want of means rather than choice. The 
purfling of these. early instruments is very narrow, and many 
of the backs are cut slab-form. Previous to about the year 
1672, we find that his whole. work is in accordance with the 
plans of Amati (not as seen in the latter's grand pattern, but 
in his ordinary full-sized instrument); the arching is identical, 
the corners are treated similarly, the sound-hole is quite 
Amati-like in form, yet easily distinguished by its extreme 
delicacy, the scroll a thorough imitation of Amati, and pre- 
senting a singular contrast to the vigorous individuality 
which Stradivari displayed in this portion of his work a few 
years later. Enough has been said to enable the reader to 
recognize the connection which must have existed between 
Amati and Stradivari, to admit of such marked resemblances. 
Taking- the instruments of Stradivari as beacons throwing 
light upon many curious and interesting points of the maker's 
manufacture, the number and character of his Violins and 


Violoncellos made during the decade following 1674, is 
indicative of his having increased both his reputation and 
his patronage. The last year of this period, namely 1684, 
was that in which his master, Niccolo Amati, died, at the 
age of eighty-eight. We have already seen, in the notice of 
Amati, that Niccolo was the -last member of the family who 
maintained unbroken the long chain of associations con- 
nected with the house of Amati, extending over a period of 
a century and a half. The circumstance of all the tools, 
patterns, and models of Niccolb Amati having passed into 
the possession of his pupil Stradivari, and not into that of 
his son Girolamo (who was then thirty-five years of age), 
clearly shows that the son did not succeed to 'his father's 
business. We are thus led to believe that during the ten 
years above referred to, Niccolb Amati had been gradually 
lessening his activity, and that the patronage so long enjoyed 
by the Amati family fell for the most part to his gifted pupil, 
Antonio Stradivari. Among the interesting items of infor- 
mation supplied by the efforts of Paolo Lombardini, relative, 
to Stradivari, is that of the purchase of the house, in 1680, 
of the Brothers' Picenardi for seven thousand imperial lire, 
equivalent to about ;£^8oo in present English money. This 
purchase, made about fourteen years after "Stradivari 
began to manufacture on his own account, well marks 
the progress he made. I have, however, further proof 
of his fame and prosperity at this period in the valu- 
able extracts from the manuscript of Desiderio Arisi, 
at Cremona, 

The knowledge Arisi had of Stradivari is shown by the 
following remarks written by him in the year 1720. He 
says, " In Cremona is also living my intimate friend Antonio 
Stradivari, an excellent maker of all kinds of musical instru- 



ments." ' It will not be out of place to make special 
mention of his merits. His fame is unequalled as a maker | 


of instruments of the finest qualities, and he has made \- 

' Mention is made by Lancetti that in the year 1820, the Marquis 
Carlo dal Negro, of Genoa, possessed a Harp bearing the name of 
Stradivari. Mandolines and other stringed instruments have been seen 
with his name attached. 


(many of extraordinary beauty, which are richly ornamented 
with small figures, flowers, fruits, arabesques, and graceful 
interlaying of fanciful ornaments, all in perfect drawing, 
which he sometimes paints in black or inlays with ebony 
and ivory, all of which is executed with the greatest skill, 
rendering them worthy of the exalted personages to whom 
\they are intended to be presented. I have thought proper, 
therefore, to mention some works of this great master, in 
testimony of the high esteem .and universal admiration 
which he enjoys." These prefatory remarks of Arisi are 
followed by several -important statements, which I have 
arranged in accordance with the different peiriods it will be 
necessary to refer to in the course of this notice. 

" In the year 1682, on the 8th of September, the banker 
Michele Monzi, of Venice, sent him an order for the whole set 
of Violins, Altos, and Violoncellos which that gentleman sent 
as a present to King James of England." ' The interesting 
remarks of Arisi with regard tb the inlaid instruments of 
Stradivari are those we should expect from an admirer of 
delicate artistic work, without possessing any knowledge of 
Violins as instruments of music. The existence of some 
of the instruments to which he refers, together with the 
tracings of the actual designs and the tools with which the 
work was accomplished, render his observations, read at 
this distance of time, peculiarly pleasing. The possessor of 
the models, tools, labels, and drawings used by Stradivari is 
the Marquis Dalla Valle, of Casale, to whom they passed 
by inheritance from his great-uncle. Count Cozio, who pur- 
chased them in 1775. 

Vincenzo Lancetti, referring to the collection, after 

' These instruments were probably sent to England in 1685, or 


mention of Stradivari having been buried in the Church of 
S. Domenico, continues, " As appears from the correspon- 
dence held in 1775, by the said Count Cozio with Antonio's 
son Paolo Stradivari, cloth merchant, when the former 
bought of the latter all the remaining Violins, the forms, 
the patterns, moulds, and drawings of the said celebrated 
Antonio, as well as those of the Amatis, with which he 
enriched his collection." In an article published in the 
"Gazzetta Piedmontese," October, 1881, upon the occa- 
sion of the exhibition, at Milan, of-the relics of the shop of 
Stradivari, the writer gives the following account of the 
negotiations : — " Count Cozio, a great patron, intimate 
with the greatest artists of the period, especially with RoUa, 
purchased, through the instrumentality of the firm of mer- 
chants, Anselmi and Briata, from Paolo and Antonio 
junior, respectively son and nephew of Antonio Stradivari, 
in 1776, all the tools, drawings, labels, &c., which had been 
used by the celebrated Violin-maker, arid his heirs, who 
were desirous that nothing belonging to him should remain 
in his native town, as it is inferred, from a curious docu- 
ment, they hastened to conclude the sale." ' It is certain, 
however, that Lancetti received his information from the 
Count himself, and negotiations were certainly carried on 
between Paolo and the Count, either directly or through 
his agents, Anselmi and Briata. 

' Upon reference to the copy of this document (the correspondence is 
given in the fourth edition of this work), I find the words used by Paolo 
Stradivari to his correspondents Anselmi and Briata run, after com- 
menting upon the price offered, " However, to show my desire to 
please you, and in order that not a single thing belonging to rhy father 
be left in Cremona, &c.," having reference, possibly, to some supposed 
feeling of indifference on the part of the municipal authorities towards 
the memory of Antonio Stradivari, they not having secured the moulds, 
patterns, &c. 


The contents of the letters of Paolo and Antonio Stradivari 
junior which the Marquis Dalla Valle has placed at, my 
disposal, serves to explain the two different accounts above 
given. We find that the Count had two distinct trans- 
actions, directly or indirectly, with the family of Stradivari. 
In 177s he purchased the ten instruments made by Antonio 
which remained out of ninety-one (complete and partly 
finished) left by the maker at the time of his death in 1737. 
The payment in connection with this transaction was 
arranged by the banker Carlo Carli, which gave rise to the 
inventory upon which M. F6tis based his statement as to 
the age of Stradivari. In the month of May, 1776, nego- 
tiations were entered -upon with Paolo Stradivari, relative to 
the tools, which led to their being sold. During their 
progress Paolo died, October, 1776, and the business was 
left for his son Antonio to complete in December, 1776. 
The copies of the letters written by Paolo and Antonio 
Stradivari are given in the fourth edition of this work, and the 
chief part of the matter therein is referred to in the Section, 
" The VioHn and its Votaries.'' 

The next period to be noticed relative to the work of 
Stradivari is that dating from 1686 to 1694. We here 
observe a marked advance in every particular. The form 
is flatter, the arching differently treated. The sound-hole, 
which is a masterpiece of gracefulness, reclines more. 
The curves of the middle bouts are more extended than in 
this maker's later instruments. The corners are brought 
out, though not prominently so. Here, too, we notice the 
change in the formation of ' the scroll. He suddenly leaves 
the form that he had hitherto imitated, and follows the 
dictates of his own fancy. The result is bold and striking, 
and foreshadows much of the character belonging to the 


bodies of the instruments of his latter period, and though 
it may seem daring and presumptuous criticism, I have 
often been impressed with the idea that these scrolls would 
have been more in harmony with his later works than those 
to which they belong. The varnish on the instruments I 
belonging to the period under consideration is very varied. / 
Sometimes it is of a rich golden colour, deliciously soft/ 
and transparent ; in other instances he has used varnisl] 
of a deeper hue, which might be described as light red 
the quality of which is also very beautiful. The purflir 
is a trifle wider, but narrower than that afterwards used. 

From the Arisi MSS. we have the following interesting 
information relative to this period : — 

"In the year 1685, on the 12th of March, Cardinal 
Orsini, Archbishop of Benevento,' ordered a Violoncello 
and two Violins, which were sent as a present to the Duke 
of Natalona, in Spain. The Cardinal, besides paying liber- 
ally for the work, wrote an appreciative acknowledgment of 
their merits, and appointed the artist to the place of one 
of his private attendants." It may be remarked that the 
honour conferred upon Stradivari was equivalent to appoint- 
ing him maker to the Archbishop. 

"Ir\the same year, on the 12th of September, Bartolomeo 

' Vincenzo Maria Orsini (of the illustrious family of the Orsinis, 
Dukes of Gravina), born 1648, in the Neapolitan province of Bari, was 
a learned professor of theology, and visited, between 1668 and 1672, 
several cities and towns, among others Naples, Bologna, Venice, Brescia, 
and most likely Cremona, where he held Conferences, which were 
largely attended. He was create^ a Cardinal by Clement X., in 1672, 
Archbishop in 1675 in Manfredonia, in 1680 to Cesena, in 1686 to 
Benevento and Porto. In 1724 he was elected Pope, under the name 
of Benedict XIII., and remained on the Pontifical throne. until February, 
1730, when he died, aged eighty-one. 


Grandi, called II Fassina, leader of the Court Orchestra 
of His Royal Highness the Duke of Savoy,^ ordered 
of Stradivari a whole set of instruments for the Court 

"In the year 1686, on the 5th of April, His Serene 
Highness the Duke of Modena (Francesco II. D'Este was 
then twenty-six years of age) ordered a Violoncello, which, 
by special invitation Stradivari was requested to take to the 
Duke himself, who told him how pleased he was to make 
his personal acquaintance, praised greatly his work, and 
beyond the sum agreed paid him thirty pistoles (golden 
Spanish) as a present." 

On the 22nd of August, 1686, Marquis Michele Rode- 
schini ordered a Viol da Gamba to be sent to King James 
II. of England. 

We now arrive at the time when Stradivari made, together 
with the form of instrument just described, that known to 
connoisseurs as the "long Strad." We have here quite a 
differently constructed instrument; it is less graceful, 
although there is no absence of the masterly hand through- 
out the work. It has received the title of "long Strad" 
not from increased length, as the name would imply, but 
from the appearance of additional length, which its narrow- 
ness gives it, and which is particularly observable between 
the sound-holes. The dimensions of these instruments 
vary considerably ; in some the width across the lower 
portion is but a shade less than that of his full-size 
" Amatese " instruments, but in the upper part the diminu- 
tion is more marked. On these, again, there is much 

' Victor Amadeus II., Duke of Savoy and King of Sardinia, was 
the Prince for whom Bartolomeo Grandi ordered the concerto of 


variation in the tone of the varnish, many having his 
beautiful amber-coloured varnish, others a pale red, of great 

In the year 1687 he made the set of instruments for the 
Spanish Court, inlaid with ivory, and having a beautiful 
scroll work running round the sides and scroll. Arisi 
e^^ntly refers to this event in the following extract : " On 
the 19th of January, 1687, the Marquis Niccolb Rota 
ordered a Violoncello for the King of Spain." One of the 
Violins of this set was purchased in Maijrid about thirty 
years since by Ole Bull. The Tenor belonging to this 
quatuor has lost its ivory work, a blemish which is to be 
regretted. He also made about this period some very 
small Violins with similar designs, instruments evidently 
made to order. 

"On the 7th of August of the same year, 1687, the 
nobleman Don Agostino Daria, General-in-chief of the 
Spanish Cavalry in Lombardy, while he was residing in 
Cremona, obtained from him a Violoncello." 

We now reach the year 1 690, in connection with which 
Arisi has supplied information of singular interest. He says : 
" On the 19th of September, 1690, Stradivari received the 
following letter from the Marquis Bartolomeo Ariberti,' a 

' The Marquis Ariberti was born in 1666, and died 1724. He was 
an elegant writer, and a member of several literary academies. He 
was for some time in Tuscany. Upon returning to Cremona, where he 
settled, he built in 1687, at his own expense, a theatre called after his 
name, Ariberti. He, being a passionate lover of music, was anxious to 
have in his own establishment (the theatre adjoining his palace) a place of 
amusement for himself and his family. About the year 1710 he gave 
up the building to a religious brotherhood, and a church was built on 
the site, and used until 1798, when the brotherhood was suppressed, 
and, by a singular coincidence, the building was bought in 1801 by a 



Cremonese nobleman — 'The other day I made a present 
of the two Violins and the Violoncello which you made 
for me to His Highness the Prince of Tuscany ; ' and I 
assure you, to my great satisfaction, he has accepted them 
with such pleasure that more I could not expect. The 
members of his orchestra — and he possesses a select 
number — were unanimous in expressing their great appre- 
ciation, declaring the instruments quite perfect, and, above 
all, exclaiming with one voice that they haS never heard a 
Violoncello with such an agreeable tone. For the highly 
flattering reception with which my present has been 
received by His Highness, and which I cannot sufficiently 
describe, I am principally indebted to the care which you 
have used in the manufacture of the instruments. At the 
same time I hope to have by this present shown you my 
appreciation, and of having acquired the merit of practi- 
cally bringing to the knowledge of such a personage the 
truth of your great skill, which will procure you, undoubt- 
edly, many orders from this exalted house. To prove this, 
I have now to request you to begin at once two Tenors, 
one Tenor and the other Contralto, which are wanted to 
complete the concerto." = In the collection of relics of the 

society of dramatic authors, and again opened as a theatre, which still 
exists, and is called Teatro Filodrammatico. The Marquis Ariberti 
was appointed by Joseph I. , Emperor of Austria, to the title of Lieu- 
tenant-Marshall ; he was a member of the High Council of State in 
Milan. He was buried in the church, which, as above mentioned, was 
afterward^ used as a theatre. (See Lancetti, " Biografia Cremonese," 
I vol., Milano, 1819.) 

' Cosimo III. de Medici. 

° A chest of Viols, Mace tells us, in his " Musick's Monument," 1676, 
consisted of two Basses, two Tenors, and two Trebles. A Concerto of 
Violins in Italy, according to the letter of Ariberti, consisted of one 
Bass, two Tenors (Contralto and Tenor) and two Violins. The term 


great master, in the possession of the Marquis Dalla Valle 
there are sonie items which appear to be connected with 
this most interesting letter : I refer to the designs for a case 
or cases for a concerto of instruments dated 1684, which 
Stradivari himself describes as being for the Grand Duke 
of Florence. The date upon these designs is indicative of 
the order for the Violins and the Violoncellos having been 
given in that year (1684) by the Marquis Ariberti, who at 
the same time gave certain instructions" as to cases and 
armorial designs. The completion of the order, however, 
appears to have been delayed, and the instruments were 
not' delivered until 1690. The instructions given in the 
above letter to Stradivari to complete the concerto by 
making the Tenors (the patterns of which are among those 
in the possession of the Marquis Dalla Valle signed and 
dated, 1690), and the existence of the Violoncello and one 
of the Tenors at Florence, dated 1690, are confirma- 
tory of the opinion that the order was executed in 1690. 
The following inscription, under the left shoulder or side, "is 
in the Tenor: "Prima 20 Ottobre 1690 per S. A. Da 
Fiorenza." It is interesting to find that* the Grand Duke 
also possessed a Stradivari Violin, dated 1716, which is in 
Florence, together with the instruments above referred to. 
Jt is therefore evident that the belief of the Marquis that 
Stradivari would receive further orders from the Grand 
Duke was realized. 

Fortified with the experience which the variously con- 

" Concerto" was introduced at the beginning of the 17th century, in 
connection with sacred music in parts. These compositions were 
called Church Concertos. Towards the end of the 17th century 
compositions were introduced for instruments called Chamber Con- 


structed instruments referred to had enabled him to gather, 
he would seem to have marshalled all his forces in order to 
enter on an entirely new campaign, one that should be alike 
glorious to hVself and his art. That he succeeded in 
achieving all that he could have desired, my readers will 
have an opportunity of judging by the evidence I propose 
to offer. It was about the year 1700 when Stradivari 
entered upon a new era in his art. All his past labours 
appear to have been only measures preliminary to that which 
he proposed afterwards to accomplish, and were made for 
the purpose of testing, to the minutest tiegree, the effect of 
particular modifications in the form and thickness of his 

If we stay to consider for 9, moment the field of research 
traversed by Stradivari before entering upon what may be 
not inaptly named the golden period of his life, artistically 
considered, we shall be better enabled to appreciate his 

Starting from the days when he left the workshop of 
Niccolo Amati, we find him following implicitly in the foot- 
steps of his master. About 1686 he makes use of the more 
commendable points belonging to the works of former years, 
adding others of great beauty and utility. At this period 
he begins to make his originality felt, continuing in this vein 
with but little intermission down to about the year 1694, 
when he again gives forth fresh evidence of his power to 
create, as shown in the "long Strad." In expending his 
powers on these instruments of varied proportions, it might 
occur to the mind of the observer that he was undoing 
much that he had accomplished ; but I do not consider 
that such was the case. His project in making these 
instruments together with those of larger dimensions, "evi- 


dences, in my opinion, a desire that he had of fairly testing, 
the result of changed methods of construction. The marked 
variety of his work about this period of his life, I cannot 
but regard as sufficient proof of the tentative character of 
the steps he was taking in his art. 

From this brief summary of the varied styles given to the 
works of this true artist, the reader may gather some idea of 
the solidity of the foundation which he laid, before trusting 
himself to raise those works which have become monuments 
to his memory. 

That which I have termed the golden period of Stradivari, 
commenced about 1700, at which time he reached his 56th 
year : a time of , life when it is a rare occurrence to find 
genius asserting itself with any degree of power — a time, if 
not of waning, at least of resting, when the mind usually 
stays from giving forth originality bearing the freshness of 
earlier years ; but Stradivari, with a few other notable in- 
stances in the field of art, forms an exception to this rule, 
and he proves to us that his talent was then in its full vigour, 
and ripe for new achievements. George Eliot's fancy well 
contrasts the painter Naldo — 

' ' Knowing all tricks of style at thirty-one, 
And weary of them ; while Antonio 
At sixty-nine wrought placidly his best." 

From about 1700 his instruments show to us much of 
that which follows later. The outline is changed, but the 
curves blending one with another are beautiful in the ex- 
treme. The corners are treated dififerently. The wood 
used for the backs and sides is most handsome, having a 
broad curl. The scrolls are of bold conception and finely 


executed. The varnish also is very rich, and leaves nothing 
to be desired. 

It is not possible to convey to the reader by means of 
mere description anything approaching an adequate notion 
of the surpassing gracefulness of the entire work of this 
epoch. The eye must be made the channel to the mind. 
If the work is present, then, with the aid which these 
remarks will afford, the reader may gain, by careful study, 
much valuable insight into the beauties and genius of this 
famous artist, together with much useful information. 

But during thi's period of his maturity, even, we find that 
Stradivari did not absolutely confine himself to making 
instruments as near as possible alike ; on the contrary, it is 
easy to point out certain variations, the meaning of which 
he doubtless well understood. We find him guided through- 
out this period by his usual ideas as regards grandeur of 
outline and degrees of thickness ; but the rotundity of the 
model, the shape that he gave to the sound-hole, the method 
of setting the sound-hole in the instrument, although, as 
before remarked, all executed with a breadth of purpose 
which his earlier efforts fail to show, may be cited as points 
in which he varied. I have no hesitation in hazarding an 
explanation of the reasons that prompted him to these dif- 
ferences of construction. It is my firm conviction that 
these great makers had certain guiding principles as regards 
the nature and qualities of the wood they used, and that 
Stradivari in particular made the subject a special study. If 
this be granted, I do not think there is any great difficulty 
in understanding the meaning of the differences pointed out. 
If Stradivari constructed his instruments upon philosophical 
principles, the chief element of variation in the treatment of 
any particular instrument must have been the difference of 


quality in the material ; it is evident that a method emi- 
nently successful when applied to wood of a certain texture 
and character, would ensure as eminent a ftliltire if applied 
indiscriminately in all cases. To obtain wprfd sufficient toi 
two bellies that should be alike in evsry particular is impos- 
sible, though cuttings should be made fwm the same piece ; 
and we find that the more the material varies in its nature, 
so much the greater the variations — a faf:t which helps the 
view advanced considerably. In another place I have stated 
that scarcity of sycamore in the days of ther-^ old makers is 
impossible to understand, but scarcit]^ <Jf a particular kind 
of sycamore is easy to comprehend. He might have had a 
cart-load of wood handsome in jtppearance ; but handsome 
wood combined with acousticsfl properties he deemed need- 
ful, was another matter. Vkh lirhat extraordinary care he 
permitted himself to us'^'^the lovely wood he did possess ! 
There are several inst>*lfces '#here he has used during one 
year four or five distinct cuttings of wood, more particularly 
as regards the sycamore. 'These several cuttings include 
often the handsomest'and the plainest. A year or so later 
we find him again makihf ' ^ oi wood from the same cut- 
tings, which proves salisfa'ct^'"!^ that he did not work up 
one piece before commencftig'with another. He would 
seem to have kept back the' ha»iS'omest wood for certain 1 
important commissions. I havti see*!' three Stradivari Violins 
of 1 7 14, with backs having bill: little figure, yet this was the/ 
year in which he made the "Oolphfej" which is regarded 
by the chief connoisseurs in Europe )^ a chef-d'mivre of 
Stradivari. From the days wheti' it was in' the possession of 
the Marquis de la Rosa to the'ftresent time, 'ts beauty has 
excited the admiration of the F^'dle World. 'The spltndour 
of the wood is unsttrpMsid in any Violin, anciieif, Or tnodern. 


and it was named the "Dolphin" from the richness and 
variety of the tints it gives to the varnish. The model is 
perfection ; its solidity of construction and glorious varnish 
all tend t.o_ make it unique. Its beauty is of a kind that 
does not require tV.t ^ye of the skilled connoisseur to re- 
cognize it ; it causes those to exclaim whose knowledge is 
limited to being a'«are that it is a Fiddle. His making this 
superb work of art in the same year in which he made in- 
struments havirg wood quite opposite in figure, bears out, 
I consider, whtt I have before stated, viz., that Stradivari 
jealously guarded the material he possessed having both 
handsome figure and valuable acoustical properties. Mr. 
Charles Reade says of ibese " Strads : " "When a red 
Stradivari Violin is made of soft, velvety wood, and the 
varnish is just half worn off the back in a rough triangular 
form, that produces a certain b'auty of light and shade 
which is, in my opinion, the ne pb^ ultra. These Violins 
are rare ; I never had but two in my life." 

It is conceivable that a manufacture so successful as 
Violin-making proves itself to have bten in Italy during the 
seventeenth and part of the,^,ighieenth centuries, should 
give rise to scientific inquiry. ' order to discover the reason 
of the excellence of the .b.;„, Italian instruments, and, if 
possible, the principles or laws which guided the makers in 
the exercise of their ginius- That investigations of this 
character should be attended with important results in con- 
nection with the science of acoustics, is to be expected. As 
to laws or principles of i scientific character, I doubt 
whether such w^re recogi^ized or understood when the 
excellence of t'le manufacture was greatest, believing that 
Violin-makers of the order of Stradivari must be like poets, 
"born artificers, not made."^ The chief merits of Stradivari 


and his contemporary makers were intuitive. Their rules, 
having their origin in experience, were applied as dictated 
by their marvellous sense of touch and cunning, with results 
infinitely superior to any obtained with the aid of the most 
approved mechanical contrivances. When to these con- 
siderations we add that devotedness of purpose, without 
which nothing really great in art has been accomplished, we 
have a catalogue of excellences suflScient to account for the 
greatness of their achievements. 

Turning again to the manuscript of Arisi, we find that 
"On the i2th of May, 1701, Don Antonio Cavezudo, 
leader of the private orchestra of King Charles II. of Spain, 
wrote a highly complimentary letter to Stradivari from 
Madrid, assuring him that though he had received bow 
instruments from several makers, for different courts, yet he 
had never been able to obtain them of such a refined and 
beautiful tone as thos6 made by him." Arisi adds that 
Don Antonio Cavezudo was also in the service of the Duke 
of Anjou. 

M. F6tis, in his notice of Stradivari,' remarks : " The life 
of Antonio Stradivari was as tranquil as his calling was 
peaceful The year 1702, Mpne, must have caused him 
much disquiet, when, during the war concerning the suc- 
cession, the city of Cremona was taken by Marshall Villeroy, 
retaken by Prince Eugene, and finally taken a third time by 
the French; but after that period Italy enjoyed a long 
tranquillity, in which the old age of the artist glided peace- 
fully away." 

A campaign had taken place in Italy in 1701, when 
Prince Eugene, with thirty thousand troops, out-generalled 

' " Notice of Anthony Stradivari," by F. J. Fetis, translated by John 
Bishop. 1864. 


Catinat, the able French commander, giving Louis XIV. 
the opportunity of placing the empty and presumptuous 
Villeroy in command. Prince Eugene had greatly harassed 
the French in Italy, when, in the night of February ist, 
1702, he surprised the French garrison of Cremona, and, 
though' momentarily successful, "missed the town," as 
Eugene said, "by a quarter of an hour," but carried off the 
Commander-in-Chief Villeroy, which the popular song- 
writers of the day construed into " a double gain to France" 
— Cremona saved, and Villeroy lost. 

It is conceivable that Stradivari, together with his fellow- 
citizens, witnessed during the year 1702 more of the pomp 
of war than was agreeable. The blowing of trumpets, the 
beating of drums, and other martial sounds, -would be music 
not likely to touch pleasantly the ears of Stradivari, apart 
from the discomfort attendant on military occupation. He, 
however, appears to have practised his art with undiminished 
zeal, judging from the following interesting information given 
by Arisi. He says : " Stradivari made a complete set of 
bow instruments, which he intended to present to Philip V. 
of Spain, on the occasion of the passage of the King through 
Cremona ; and he had prepared a memorial to that effect ; 
but he was dissuaded, and the instruments are still in his 

No date is supplied with regard to the events above 
named ; we are therefore left to assign the period when the 
presentation was to have taken place by reference to other 
sources of information. In an official diary of the journey 
of Philip V. to Italy ' it appears that the King arrived in 

■ Contained in the work of Don A. de Ubilla y Medina, Marquis de . 
•Ribas, entitled, " Succession de el Rey D. Philipe V. ; Diario de sus 
Viages, &c." Madrid, 1704, fol. 


Lombardy on the loth of June, 1702, and that from Milan 
he went to Lodi on the ist of July, and made his entry into 
Cremona two d^s later, July the 3rd, at one o'clock in the 
afternoon. Philip remained several days in the town, 
receiving visits from the Dukes of Parma and of Mantua, 
and held there several councils of war with the generals of 
the allied armies (Spanish and French), and appears to have 
left Cremona on the 20th of July for the seat of war near 
Mantua. After the victories of Luzzara and Guastalla, the 
King passed again through Cremona, arriving there on the 
3rd of October, staying one night, leaving the following day 
for Milan. On this occasion there was much festivity on 
account of the victories, and the King distributed sums of 
money and presents for the wounded, the officers, and the 
generals. It would therefore appear that Stradivari purposed 
presenting the instruments to Philip either in July or 
October, 1702. The condition of affairs at Cremona at 
this period apparently serves to explain the cause of 
Stradivari having been dissuaded from presenting the 

"On the loth November, 1702, the Marquis Giovanni 
Battista Toralba, General of Cavalry and ' Governor of 
Cremona, sent for Stradivari, and, after complimenting him 
on his peculiar genius, ordered two Violins and a Violon- 
cello, which were afterwards sent as a present to the Duke 
of Alba. 

"In the year 1707, the Marquis Desiderio Cleri wrote to 
Stradivari, by order of King Charles III. of Spain, from 
Barcelona, ordering for the royal orchestra six Violins, two 
Tenors, and one Violoncello." 

This extract refers to the Archduke Charles of Austria, 
afterwards Emperor Charles VI. Charles III., aided by 


the British fleet, occupied Barcelona in 1706. We have, 
therefore, the interesting facts that Stradiyari made a com- 
plete set of instruments, which he intended to present to 
Philip v., and that he was afterwards commissioned to make 
another set for Philip's opponent, the Archduke. 

Lorenzo Giustiniani, a Venetian nobleman, wrote to 
Stradivari the following letter, which- he Teceived July 7th, 
1716 : — 

Venice, Giustiniani Palace, 

" Campiello dei Squellini. 

" It is generally known that there is not at the present 
time in the world a more skilled maker of musical instru- 
ments than yourself ; and as I wish to preserve a record of 
such an illustrious man and famous artist, I trouble you 
with this letter, to ask whether you feel disposed to make 
me a violin, of the highest quality and finish that you can 
bestow upon it." 

The following extract from Arisi's manuscript brings us 
to the end of the interesting information therein contained 
in reference to the subject of this notice, and amply justifies 
the closing words of the author,. who says : " From what I 
have written it may be seen how great is the excellence of 
Stradivari's art." 

"In 1715, on the loth of June, Giovanni Battista 
Volume, director of the private orchestra of the King of 
Poland, arrived in Cremona, by special order of the King, 
to await the completion of twelve Violins, which had been 
ordered of Stradivari, and he remained here three months ; 
and when all the instruments were ready, he took them 
with him to Poland." 

Arisi doubtless refers to the Belgian musician Jean 


Baptiste Volumier, who was musical director to Augustus, 
Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, famous as a patron 
of music and the arts. It was Augustus who appointed 
Francesco Maria Veracini as his solo Violinist in 1720, and 
on the title-page of the charming Sonatas of Veracini we 
read — 

" Dedicata 

a sua Altezza Reale, 

il Serenissimo Principe Reale di PoUonia 

et Elettorale di Sassonia. 

Francesco Maria Veracini Fiorentino 

Compositore di Camera di sua Maestk." 

The blending of the names of Stradivari, Augustus, and 
Veracini, serves to carry our thoughts into channels over- 
flowing with interesting musical records. Volfeme (Volumier) 
is said to have taken the instruments from Cremona to 
Poland. It would therefore appear that the Royal Orches- 
tra was then stationed at Warsaw, the Court Musicians 
having to divide their time between that city and Dresden. 
In these capitals Jean Baptiste Volumier directed the 
music of the Elector Augustus from the year 1706 to 
1728. Veracini was appointed solo Violinist in 1720 to 
Augustus, and the instruments which Stradivari made for 
the King were, therefore, only five years old. Though new, 
their tones were doubtless rich and beautiful. Veracini, it 
may be assumed, saw, heard, and played upon these com- 
paratively new Stradivari Violins. He, however, whilst 
fully alive to their sterling merits, played, in all probabiUty, 
upon his Stainers, which he named " St. Peter " and 
" St. Paul," with more pleasure from their being thoroughly 
matured. The order given by Augustus to Stradivari, and 


the King's determination to have it executed, throws a 
strong side-light on the lofty position held by Stradivari as 
a maker of Violins. It also appears to furnish, in some 
measure, an explanation of the length of time he tqok to 
execute the order given by the Marquis Ariberti. We have 
here an artist of European celebrity, who was incapable of 
executing indifferent work. Commissions flowed from the 
chief courts faster than they could be executed. The genius 
of Stradivari could not but be true to itself. He scorned to 
sacrifice quality at the shrine of quantity. His patrons had, 
therefore, to wait patiently for their instruments though it 
might be for years. The Elector of Saxony was evidently 
resolved upon securing his Violins, and it cannot be denied 
that the measures he adopted to accomplish his purpose did 
credit to his perseverance, and reflected honour on the 
Raphael of Violin-making. 

Passing to the last period of this great maker, we enter 
upon the consideration of a set of instruments very distinct 
from those of an earlier date, and which have given rise to 
a great, divergence of opinion. Some have gone to the 
extent of denying the authenticity of these works, as far as 
they relate to Stradivari ; others, again, admit that portions 
of these instruments are from his hand, and finished by his 
sons or Carlo Bergonzi. There are, doubtless, many ex- 
ceedingly crude-looking instruments passing under his name, 
•bearing dates ranging from 1730 to 1737, in the making of 
which he has taken no part ; but, on the other hand, to 
deny that there are any works of Stradivari having these 
dates is to deny established facts. He must be an ill- 
informed judge of Violins who fails to recognize the hand 
of the master in several splendid specimens of this period. 
The jich oil varnish with which they are covered is precisely 


the same in quality as that found upon the instruments 
belonging to other periods, and which he used without 
exception throughout his career. It is, perhaps, laid on less 
carefully, and its colour is more varied. In some instances 
it is brown, and in others light red, the tone of colour 
varying according to the number of coats. He seems to 
have used, generally, more varnish upon these instruments 
than on his earlier ones. The thickness of the coats is seen 
in those parts (on the back in particular) where the varnish 
is -vjorn and broken, caused in all cases by the shoulder of 
the player and the lining of the case upon which the back 
rests. It must be borne in mind that Stradivari had 
reached a great age when he made these instruments, and 
he evidently felt proud of his ability to continue his artistic 
labours after passing his ninetieth year, from the number of 
Violins wherein, in his own handwriting, he proclaimed 
himself a nonagenarian. It would not be reasonable to 
expect to find so high a finish as in the instruments made 
from 1700 to 1725, but even in these there is a finish 
distinct from that of either his sons or Bergonzi. But, 
beyond this, there is recognizable the splendid form, the 
masterly scroll, and the perfect sound-hole. To say that 
Oraobono Stradivari, Francesco Stradivari, or Carlo Bergonzi 
had any share in these notable works, evidences hasty judg- 
ment, if not ignorance of the style of those makers to whom 
these instruments are attributed. The work of Carlo 
Bergonzi is now pretty well understood ; in England, par- 
ticularly, we have some glorious specimens. I need only 
ask the unbiassed connoisseur if he can reconcile one of 
these instruments with those of Stradivari of the period 
named. I have no hesitation in saying that there is not a 
a single feature in common; The work of the sons of 


Stradivari is less known, but it is as characteristic as that of 
Bergonzi, and quite as distinct from that of their father, if 
not more so. The outline is rugged, the modelling distinct, 
the scroll a ponderous piece 'of carving, quite foreign to 
Stradivari the elder, and the varnish, though good, is totally 
different from the superb coats found on the father's works 
of late date. 

The division of the work of Stradivari into periods makes 
the reader more acquainted, with the maker's style. It must 
be remembered, however, that he did not strictly confine him- 
self to making instruments wholly of one pattern at any time, 
although he certainly did so with but few exceptions until 
the last period, when, as Lancetti rightly observes, he used 
more frequently his earlier patterns. 

The exact spot where Stradivari was buried was made 
known by the researches of Signer Sacchi, a Cremonese 
conversant with the annals of his native city.^ This was an 
interesting addition to the meagre information previously 
handed down to us touching Stradivari. It had long been 
known that a family grave was purchased by Stradivari in 
the Church of San Domenico, in the year 1729 :- but in the 
certificates from the Cathedral of Cremona it is stated that 
he was buried in the tomb of Francesco Villani, no mention 
being made of San Domenico. The exact words are, 
" Buried in the Chapel of the Rosary, in the parish of St. 
Matthew." The omission of the name of the church 
wherein this chapel stood has led to the belief that the 
precise spot where the mortal remains of Stradivari rest 
was unknown. Signer Sacchi finds that the historians of • 
Cremona (but especially Panni, in his "Report on the 

• " The Orchestra " of July 15th, 1870, contains a notice relative to 
the circumstance, entitled "The Tdmb of Stradivari." 





Church of S. Domenico. 2. Chapel of the Rosary. 3. Tomb of 
Stradivad. 4. Church of S. Matthew (since l8zo the Post Office, 
the church having been profaned in 1808 by the French). 5. Con- 
vent of the Dominican Friars. 6. House of Stradivari. 7. House 
of Bergonzi. 8. House of Guarneri. 9. Tower of the Church of 
S. Domenico. 10. The Sacristy, n. Shop of Ruggeri (Via dei 
Coltellai. 12 — 13. Shop of Amati. 14. Shop of Storioni, and 
afterwards that of Ceruti. 



Churches of Cremona, 1762") mention that the Church of 
San Domenico was in the parish of St. Matthew, and that 
the only chapel known by the name of "The Rpsary" 
was the third on the right entering the Church of San 

An important point is mentioned by the historian above 
quoted, viz., that about the year 1720 the Parish Church of 
St. Matthew being judged too full to allow of further burials 
in its interior, the Church of San Domenico (its subsidiary 
church) was chosen as a place of burial for the parishioners, 
for which purpose it was used down to about 1780, and 
that Stradivari purchased there the grave mentioned. This 
statement is confirmed by the autograph letter of Count 
Cozio di Salabue of Casale Monferato, Piedmont. 

The Church of San Domenico was, in consequence of 
its decayed condition, demolished about the year 1870. 
Becoming aware of what was taking place, I gave instruc- 
tions that a photograph should be taken of the chapel in 
which the body of Stradivari was interred. This was 
accomplished whilst the workmen were in the act of levelling 
the structure, and it has been engraved on wood for the 
purpose of insertion in this volume. The stone with the 
inscription " Sepolcro di Antonio Stradivari E. Svoi Eredi 
Anno 1729," which serves to denote the spot where the 
body was buried, is now preserved in the Town Hall 
of Cremona. Signor Sacchi remembers it having been 
placed in the corner, close to the steps and iron railing 
inside the third chapel on the right, in the Church of 
San Domenico. 

M. Fetis says of Stradivari, " We know but little respect- 
ing that uneventful existence. Polledro, late first Violin at 
the Chapel Royal of Turin, who died a few years ago, at a 


very advanced age, declared that his master had known 
Stradivari, and that he was fond of talking about him. He 
was, he said, tall and thin, habitually wore in winter, a cap of 
white wool, and one of cotton in summer. He wore over 
his clothes an apron of- white leather when he worked, and 
as he was always working, his costume scarcely ever varied. 
He had acquired more than competency by labour and 
economy, for the inhabitants of Cremona were accustomed^ 
to say, ' As rich as Stradivari ! ' " ' The house he occupied^l 
stands in the Piazza Roma, formerly called the Square of 
San Domenico, in the centre of which was the church of 
the same name. The house is still in good condition, and 
is the principal place of interest in the old city of Cremona 
to the many admirers of Stradivari who visit the seat of 
Violin-making in olden times. After the death of Stradivari 
it was occupied by his sons Omobono and Francesco ; and 
afterwards by the maker's youngest son, Paolo, who carried 
on there the business of a x;loth merchant. Stradivari 
worked on the ground floor, and used the upper storey for 

It is somewhat singular that the Cremonese take but little 
apparent interest in the matter, and have expressed them- 
selves as being astonished at the demonstrations of respect 
which their French and English visitors pay to the hallowed 
spot. The better-informed Cremonese have some aquaint-- 
ance with the name of Stradivari ; but to create any enthusiasm! 
among them from the fact of his having been a Cremonese, 
or from the historical associations which connect him with 
that city, would be difficult. After the exercise of consider- 
able patience and determinatiop, Signor Sacchi, in conjunction 
with ia few Cremonese, managed to raise sufficient enthusiasm 
' " Notice of Anthony Stradivari. " 


among the .inhabitants to permit the authorities to 
name a street after Stradivari, and another after Amati. 
This worthy act was performed by the late Hbrarian, 
Professor Pietro Fecit, who aided Signor Sacchi in his 
researches in connexion with the past of Cremona's Violin- 

This street-naming was much opposed at the time. The 
citizens of Cremona are, however, not quite singular in this 
respect. It has been remarked that our American friends 
show far greater interest in Stratford-upon-Avon and its 
memories than we ourselves do. I must confess that I 
have great respect for the genuine enthusiast. 

The Cremonese have scarcely an idea of the extent of 
veneration with which we admirers of the art regard their 
illustrious citizen. They will be astonished to hear that 
"Stradivari" forms the Christian name of some Englishmen. 
A well-know^ dealer, some years since, determined to com- 
memorate his admiration for the great maker, and, accord- 
ingly, named his descendant "Stradivari Turner." We have 
stepped out of the ordinary path of house nomenclature, and 
have adopted the cherished name of "Stradivari" to the 
bewilderment of the passer by, whose unmusical soul fails to 
be impressed by it. To crown our seeming eccentricities 
(in the eyes of our Italian friends), I may mention that the 
magic name has found its way into circles where little interest 
is taken in the subject of this notice, judging from the follow- 
ing announcement, which appeared in the profane pages of a 
newspaper: " Waterloo Furse. — E. Mr. Goodlak^s Gilderoy 
beat Earl of Stair's Stradivarius, and won the Purse ; " the 
result showing that Stradivari was evidently out of place in 
such company. 

Stradivari, Francesco, Cremona, 1720 — 1743. Son of 


Antonio Stradivari, Worked with his brother Omobono for 

^ . . several years. Many of 

Franciscus Stradivatius Cremonensis ,, 1 ^ ,' i- • ' • 

Filius Antonii faciebat Anno 1742 *^ ^^*^' '^°'''' °^ ^°'°"'° 

■ Stradivari have been at- 
tributed to his sons. The character of the work is wholly 
distinct. I can well understand the error of attributing the 
instruments of Francesco Stradivari to Carlo Bergonzi, thera 
being many points in common, but that so many markedi 
specimens of the works of Antonio should be deemed, 
apocryphal is beyond my comprehension. The work of 
Francesco is altogether less finished, but at the same time 
it shows the hand of the master. The design is bold and, 
original. The sound-hole is quite unlike that of Antonioj 
The tone of Francesco's instruments is invariably rich, and, 

Lancetti states — speaking of Francesco Stradivari — "After 
the death of his father, he made several Violins and Tenors,' 
to which he put his own name. Although he did not succeed 
in perfectly imitating the works of his father, the instruments 
which he made in the years 1740 and 1742, and which re- 
mained after his death in the possession of his brother Paolo, 
were sold at the same price as those of his father, as men- 
tioned in the correspondence between Count Cozio and Paolo- 
Francesco died at the end of 1 742, the year Omobono died, 
and in which he made the Violins bought by Count Cozio." 
The date of death as given by Lancetti, though incorrect 
by some months, he having died May nth, 1743, aged 
72 years, shows the care and trouble taken to render the 
information as complete as possible, these dates having 
been given without reference to registers, but simply as 
stated by Paolo. 

Stradivari, Omobono, Cremona, 1742. Brother of 


Francesco. Lancetti remarks, " Omobono chiefly restored 

instruments and arranged 

Omobonus Stradivarius filius Antonii , i i j tu t? 

r . . and regulated them. Fran- 

Cremone fecit, Anno 1740. . . 

cesco, It Will be seen, sur- 
vived his brother about thirteen months, with whom, as with 
Girolamo Amati, the son of Niccold, we reach the end of 
the family's long and historical career of Violin-making. 
Upon the death of Francesco, the shop in the Piazza San 
Domenico (now named Piazza Roma) was closed, after 
having been occupied by the family of Stradivari as Violin- 
imakers for upwards of sixty-three years, and from whence 
was sent into cathedral, church, and royal orchestras; the 
largest number of Violins and kindred instruments ever 
made by one maker — whose ^orks bore the indelible stamp 
of genius — instruments which have gladdened the sight and 
'hearing of untold thousands. The famous shop, as pre- 
>viously noticed, was next opened by Pablo Stradivari, who 
was a cloth merchant or warehouseman. Paolo died in 
[1776, a year after the date of the correspondence which 
passed between him and Count Cozio di Salabue. Antonio, 
son of Paolo, born in 1738 and married in 1762, had a son 
Giacomo, born in 1769 and married in 1797. Cesare, the 
son of Giacomo, became a physician in Cremona, married 
in 1838, and left the present representative of the Cre- 
monese branch of the family. Dr. Libero Stradivari, a 
barrister-at-law, who is an excellent amateur performer on 
the flute. 

SuRSANO, Spirito, Coni, 1714 — 1735. 

Tanegia, Carlo Antonio, Milan, early in the i8th cen- 

Taningard, Giorgio, Rome, 17 — . 

Tecchler, David, Rome, 1680 — 1743. A highly esteemed 


maker. He worked in Venice, Salzburg, and Rome, chiefly 

in the latter city. His in- 
David Tecchler Liutaro ^ . . . 

fecit Rom» .7- strumcnts vary m form, 

some having a marked 
German, style : they are high-modelled, and the sound-hole 
partakes of the Stainer character. These were probably 
made in Salzburg to the order of his patrons. Those 
instruments which date from Rome are chiefly of the 
Italian type, and are so much superior to the others that 
it seems difficult to reconcile varieties so distinct as the work 
of the same man. They are finely formed, have splendid 
wood, and rich- varnish of a yellow tint ; the bellies are of a 
mottled character, similar to those so much used by Niccolb 
Araati. His Violoncellos are among the finest of his instru- 
ments. They are inostly of a large size. 

Tedesco, Leopoldo, pupil of Niccolo Amati. He went 
to Rome. I have seen a Violin of his make dated from 
there 1658. Workmanship a little rough, good varnish, 
Amati outline. 

Testore, Carlo Giuseppe, Milan, about 1690 to 1720. 
The form resembles that of Guarneri. The wood often 
plain in figure. 

Testore, Carlo Antonio, Milan, about 1730 to 1764. 
Son of Giuseppe. Copied Guarneri and Amati. These 
instruments are bold and well made ; their tone is excellent ; 
wood often plain in figure. 

Testore, Giovanni, son of Carlo Antonio. 

Testore, Paolo Antonio, Milan, about 1740. Brother of 
Carlo Antonio. Copied Guarneri. The varnish is mostly 
yellow ; frequently unpurfled. 

TiEFFENBRUCKER, Leonardo, Padua, 1587. Lute maker. 

ToDiNi, Michele, a native of Saluzzo, lived for many 

2l6 _ THE VIOLIN. 

years at Rome, about 1625. Todini was the inventor and 
maker of a great number of musical contrivances, in which 
clockwork played an important part. He occupied himself 
with this manufacture for several years, and turned his house 
into a kind of musical museum. He wrote a pamphlet 
describing its contents. His name is associated with our 
subject in 'having adopted a new mode of stringing the 
Violono or Double Bass, by using four strings, and playing 
himself upon the instrument at oratorio performances in 
Rome. I have mentioned in Section I. that the Violono 
was originally used with several strings — five, six, or seven — 
and with frets. Todini is therefore credited with having 
introduced the method of stringing the Double Bass which 
led to the conversion of the old Violonos into Double Basses 
fitted for modern requirements. 

ToNONi, Carlo, Bologna. At the exhibition at Milan 
in 1 88 1, an inlaid Kit of beautiful workmanship was ex- 
hibited of this maker. 

Carolo Tunonus fecit Bononiae 
in Platea Castselionls Anno Domini 1698. 

ToNONi, Carlo Antonio, born at Bologna, probably a son 

of the above, Venice. The model varies very much j those 

of the flat pattern are ex- 
Carolus Tononi Bonon fecit Venetiis n ^ • ^ ^ t-i 

,„.,„„.,. , cellent mstruments. They 

sub Titulo S. Cecilise Anno 1739. ., „ 

are large, and beautifully 

made. The varnish, though inferior to that of Santo Sera- 
fino, is similar. These Violins are branded above the tail- 
pin. His Violins date from about 17 16. 

Tononi, Giovanni, about 1700. Similar characteristics. 

Tononi, Felice, Bologna. 

Tononi, Guido, Bologna. 


Trapani, Raflfaele, Naples, about 1800. Large pattern ; 
flat model; purfling deeply laid; edges sharp; scroll heavy. 

Vetrini, Battista, Brescia, about 1629. Yellow varnish 
of good quality ; handsome wood ; rather small. 

ViMERCATi, Paolo, Venice, about 1700. Similar to 
Tononi. Jacob Stainer is said to have worked in the shop 
of Vimercati. 

Wenger, Padua, Lute-maker, 1622. 

Zannetto, Pellegrino, BVescia, 1547. M. Chouquet in 
his " Catalogue Raisonn^" of the instruments at the Conser- 
vatoire in Paris, describes a six-string Viol da Gamba of 
this make. 

Zanola, Giovanni Battista. Flat model ; . rough work- 
manship; German character. 

Joannes Baptista Zanola, Verona, 17— 

Zanotti, Antonio, Mantua, about 1734. 

Antonius Zanotus, fecit Mantuse, anno 1734. 

Zanti, Alessandro, Mantua, 1765. He copied Pietro 
Guarneri, but had little knowledge of varnishing, if we are 
to judge from the few instruments of this maker extant. 

Zanure, Pietro, Brescia, 1509. A maker of Viols. 

Zenatto, Pietro, Treviso, about 1634. 

Pietro Zenatto fece in 
Treviso Anno 1634, 


THE French have long occupied a foremost place in 
the production of articles needing delicate workman- 
ship, and it is therefore not surprising that they should at 
an early period have turned their attention to the art of 
Violin-making, which requires in a high degree both skilful 
workmanship and artistic treatment. The French manu- 
facture of Violins appears to have commenced about the 
same period as the English, viz., in the early part of the 
1 7th century, Francois Mddard and Tywersus being among 
the French makers, and Rayman and Wise* their fellows in 
England. The primitive French makers, like their English 
brethren, copied the instruments made at Brescia and 
Cremona, to which they adhered down to the days of Barak 
Norman, when the two nations parted company, as regards 
having a common type, the French continuing the path 
they had hitherto taken, and which they have followed, 
with scarcely any deviation, to the present time. The 
English left the Italian form for the German one of Jacob 
Stainer, which they adopted, with but few exceptions, for 
nearly a century, recovering the Italian about the middle of 
the i8th century. It is remarkable that French makers 


should have restrained themselves from following the pattern 
of the German famous maker when his name was at its height, 
and his instruments were in such demand. That in not 
adopting the then popular form they were rightly guided, 
experience has clearly demonstrated. When we scan the 
works the French have left ifs, and consider the advantage 
they had in keeping to the Italian form, we cannot but feel 
disappointed in finding so few meritorious instruments 
among them. There appear to have been many makers 
who were quite unconcerned whether their instruments 
possessed merit becoming the productions of a true artist ; 
their chief aim would seem to have been to make in dozens 
— in other words, quantity in place of quality. If the early 
French makers are carefully studied, it will be seen that 
Boquay, Pierray, and one or two of their pupils are the only 
makers deserving of praise. It must be admitted that the 
shortcomings of the makers of the first period were ade- 
■quately supplied by those of the second period, which 
includes the king of French artists, Nicolas Lupot. The 
old French school, originating with Tywersus and M^dard, 
includes the following makers : — Nicolas Renault, of Nancy, 
Mddard, also of Nancy, Dumesnil, Bertrand,, Pierray, 
Boquay, Gavini^s, Chappuy, Ouvrard, Paul Grosset, Des- 
pont, Saint-Paul, Saloman, Veron, with others of less impor- 
tance. Many of these makers had a fair amount of ideas, 
which, had they been well directed, riiight have led to fame. 
Others contented themselves with copying, without giving 
any place to their fancy. It will be found that many of 
the instruments by Boquay, Pierray, and a few others, have 
varnish upon them closely resembling that of the Venetian 
school j it is full-bodied, very transparent, and rich in colour. 
Many of their works are covered with a very inferior quality 


of varnish, which has caused some confusion respecting the 
merit due to them as varnishers, they being frequently 
judged by their inferior instruments, without reference to 
their good ones. It is evident that they made two qualities 
of varnish, in accordance with the price they were to obtain, 
and was commonly done in England by the Forsters, Banks, 
and Wamsley, where similar confusion exists. The Italians 
happily avoided this objectionable practice. Their works 
are of one uniform quality in point of varnish. This 
divergence may possibly be accounted for by the difference 
of climate. In Italy, old varnish judiciously used would 
dry rapidly, whereas in France or England the reverse is 
the case ; hence its more sparing use. 

We will now glance at the second French School of 
makers, commencing with De Comble. Learning his art in 
Italy, and, it is said under Stradivari, he brought to bear 
a superior knowledge to that, possessed by the makers 
mentioned above. The form he introduced was seen to be 
in advance of that hitherto met with among the French and 
Belgian makers, and led to its being chiefly followed. The 
next maker was Pique, who made Violins and Violas that 
were excellent in point of workmanship, and had he been 
equally successful in varnishing he would probably have been 
held in the same estimation as Nicolas Lupot. From these 
makers .sprung quite a little school of its own, comprising 
Francois Gand, in Paris, who succeeded to the business of 
Lupot, and Bernadel, with several othets less known. 
Mention must not be omitted of another excellent copyist, 
Silvestre, of Lyons. He has left some charming specimens 
of his art. They are lighter in character than the works of 
Nicolas Lupot, and resemble the work of Stradivari from 
1680 to 17 10. Every portion of the work evidences the 


skill and judgment of the maker. The wood, with scarcely 
an exception, has not been prepared in order to darken it, 
rendering them instruments of increasing merit as age acts 
upon them. 

The practice of preparing the wood for Violin-making, 
either by baking it or by the application of acids, may be 
traced in the first instance to a desire to obtain artificially 
those results which are brought about by the hand of time. 
In obtaining lightness and dryness in hew wood, it was 
imagined that the object in view would be reached without 
the aid of Dame Nature. Experience, however, has shown 
that Fiddles, like all things intended to pass into green old 
age, mature gradually, and are not to be benefited by any 
kind of forcing process. The earliest account I have met 
with of Fiddle-baking occurred in England about 150 years 
since. One Jeacocke, a baker by trade, and a lover of 
music by nature, used to bake his Fiddles in sawdust for a 
week whenever their tones showed symptoms of not being 
up to his standard of quality. In France the practice may 
be said to have been introduced about fifty years ago, with 
a view of facilitating the creation of such mysteries as 
Duiffoprugcar and Morella Violins, baked and browned 
until they had something of a fifteenth-century hue. The 
same means were adopted in the production of instruments 
intended as "copies of the works of Stradivari and Guameri. 
The brown hue of the originals, and the worn and broken 
condition of the varnish which comes of age alone, were 
imitated with more or less ingenuity. Happily the error 
is recognized as far as the best workmanship is concerned 
in France. The, imitators' art no longer includes that of 
depicting wear and brownness, rendering abortive so much 
- excellent work. 


It only remains now to mention Salle, Vuillaume, Chanot, 
Gand, Germain, Menndgand, and Miremont, all copyists 
of more or less note, who may be said to complete the 
modern French school. With these makers ends, as far as 
it is possible to learn, the manufacturers of Violins in France 
of a better class. Those made by thousands yearly at Mire- 
court are not Violins in the eyes of the connoisseur. They 
are made as common cabinet work is produced in England, 
by several workmen, each taking a portion, one making the 
backs, another the sides, another the bellies, and so on 
with the other parts of the instrument, and the whole being 
arranged by a finisher. Such work must necessarily be void 
of any artistic nature; they are like instruments made m 
a. mould, not on a mould, so painfully are they alike. This 
Manchester of Fiddle-making has doubtless been called 
into being by the great demand for cheap instruments, and 
has answered thus far its purpose, but it has certainly 
helped to destroy the gallant little bands of makers who 
were once common in , France, Germany, and England, 
among whom were men who were guided by reverential 
feelings for the art, irrespective of the gains they reaped by 
their labours. The number of instruments yearly made in 
Mirecourt amounts to many thousands, and is yearly in- 
creasing. They send forth repeated copies of Amati, 
Maggini, Guarneri, and Stradivari, all duly labelled and 
dated, to all parts of the world, frequently disappointing 
their simple-minded purchasers, who fondly fancy they have 
thus become possessed of the real article at the trifling cost 
of a few pounds. They have recently sent forth a new kind 
of modern antique in Violins, which is causing a revolution 
in the Mirecourt manufacture, and is more deceptive than 
the stereotyped article which has been so long in the 


market. It has the appearance •of having been boiled in 
some mixture of acids, giving it the aged look of the 
genuine thing to the inexperienced eye. It is blackened 
and charred in the most merciless manner, and sends forth 
a smell of a most disagreeable nature. The whole thing is 
over-done, and the results, in point of tone, are far more 
disastrous than in the common French copies. The 
following list of French, Belgian, and Dutch makers 
contains many names not included in the first edition of 
this book. The works wherein several of these names 
occur are M. J. Gallay's, " Les Luthiers Italiens aux if""' 
et 18"^"" Sifecles, 1869;" M. Fetis, "Biographic Uni- 
verselle des Musiciens;" M. Vidal, "Les Instruments k 
Archet, 1876 ; " The " Catalogue Raisonn^," of the instru- 
ments at the Conservatoire, by Gustave Chouquet, Paris, 
1875 ; " Recherches sur les facteurs de Clavecins," by 
M. le Chevaher de Burbure, Antwerp, 1863; Pougin's 
" Supplement to the Dictionary of Fetis ; " and Mendel's 
" Musikalisches Conversations-Lexikon, 1880." 


ALDRIC, Paris, 1790 — 1844. Copied Stradivari with 
average ability. He was, perhaps, better known as 
a dealer in Cremonese instruments. He was one of the 
earliest French makers who dealt with Luigi Tarisio, the 
famous Italian connoisseur. He used generally a red varnish 
of good quality. 

Allard, , Paris, 1788. 

Amelot, , Lorient, worked early in the present cen- 
tury. He used a highly ornamented label. 

AuBRY, , Paris, 1840. Succeeded his uncle Aldric, 

mentioned above. 

AuGi^RE, , Paris, about 1830, was established in the 

Rue Saint-Eustache, in partnership with Calot, and made 
some good instruments. Augifere formerly worked in the 
shop of Clement of Paris. 

Bachelier, , Paris, 1788. 

Bassot, :, Paris, 1788. 

Bernadel, Sebastien Philippe, born at Mirecourt,in 1802, 
was in the workshop of Lupot, in Paris, The instruments 
of this maker, are excellently made, and the wood judi- 


ciously selected. He took his sons into partnership in 1859 
and retired from business in 1866. He died in 1870. 

Bertrand, Nicolas, Paris, about 1700 to 1735,. used var- 
nish of a superior kind. He made many of the Viols of the 
type common in Paris, for some time after the Violin had 
been introduced; they were named Dessus-de-Viole, Par- 
dessus, Quinton, and Viole-haut-contre. His name is often 
seen branded on the backs of his instruments inside. 

BoiviN, Claude, about 1749, Paris. M. Chouquet, in his 
Catalogue Raisonnd of the instruments at the Paris Con- 
servatoire, describes a Guitar by this maker, made for a 
daughter of Louis XV. 

BoQUAY, Jacques, Paris, 1700 — 1730. One of the first 
of the old French school. He, with a few of his contem- 
poraries, inherited a good 
Jacques oq"ay, amount of the Italian cha- 

rue d Argenteuil, a Pans, 1723. 

racter of workmanship in- 
troduced probably into France by Nicolas Renault. Boquay, 
with others whose names are mentioned in this list of French 
makers, used varnish closely allied to that of Cremona ; its 
colour is a warm brown, very transparent, and of a soft 
nature. He made many instruments of small size. The 
model is often that of Girolamo Amati, but shghtly more 
arched ; the sound-hole is more rounded and less striking. 
The scroll can scarcely be considered a copy of Girolamo 
Amati's ; it is well cut, but lacks the pecuhar grace of the 
Italian. The tone is sweet, without much power. 

Borlon, Artus or Arnould, about 1579, Antwerp, maker 
of stringed instruments (mentioned in the pamphlet by 
M. le Chevalier de Burbure). 

Borlon, or Porlon, Pierre, Antwerp, about 1647, of 
whom M. de Burbure says, "Pierre Borlon, or Porlon, 



made in the year 1647 a Double-Bass for the orchestra of 
the Cathedral (Antwerp). The instrument is in existence, 
and inside is the name 'Peeter Porlon tot, Antwerpen 
f. 1647.'" The same author mentions another early Double- 
Bass made in 1636 by Mattre Daniel for a chapel in Antwerp, 
and remarks in passing, that in other countries the Double- 
Bass was not used until about half a century later. The 
question of priority in this matter is important and interest- 
ing ; but in order to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion, it is 
necessary to be certain that these Belgian Basses are not, 
together with the Brescian and others, converted Viols. 

BoRLON, Joannes, Antwerp, also a maker of Viols. 

BoRLON, Frangois, Antwerp, Viol-maker. 

BouLLANGiER, C. Worked in Paris, and for the late 
Mr. Withers. He has been in business for many years in 
Frith Street, Soho, and has made several excellent instru- 

BouMEESTER, Amsterdam, about 1650. 

BouRDET, S6bastien, Mirecourt, one of the earliest Violin 
makers in Mirecourt. 

BoURDET, Jacques, Paris, 1751. 

Boussu, Eterbeck, le Bruxelles, about 1750. 

Breton, 1777. This name is met with branded on the 
backs "Breton k Paris." A little heavy in character, but 
fairly made ; dark brown colour. 

Breton, Le, Mirecourt, 1812 — 1830. Commonplace in- 
struments. Large pattern, usually stamped with name inside. 

Calot, , about 1830. He was in the workshop of 

C16ment prior to date given. See Augi^re. 

Castagnery, Andrea. See Italian list. 

Castagnery, Jean Paul. M. F^tis mentions this maker 
as having worked in Paris, 1638 — 1662. 


Champion, Ren6, Paris, about 1735. His instruments 
are well made, and the varnish is of good quality. 

Chanot, Fran9ois, born at Mirecourt, in 1788. An 
engineer by profession. Becoming interested in the con^ 
struction of Violins, he designed one having sides like those 
of the guitar. M. Chouquet describes a Violin of this maker^ 
made for Viotti, and remarks that the experiment of Francois 
Chanot opened the way to those of Savart. The date of 
Chanot's patent is 1818. The paper of Savart on the con-- 
struction of bow instruments was read at the French Academy- 
in the following year. 

Chanot, Georges, Paris. Brother of the above-nanied,, 
born at Mirecourt, 1801. Throughout life was a most 
indefatigable worker. He has made, a very large number- 
of copies of Stradivari and Guarneri, chiefly of the former,, 
which are also the best. They are well constructed instru-. 
ments, and the wood is of an excellent description. He 
was long known as a dealer in Cremonese instruments, 
and many notable rarities passed into his possession. The 
instruments of this maker will at no distant date be valued 
higher than they are at the present time. He died in 1883. 

Chanot, Georges, London. Son of Georges Chanot, 
Paris. Assisted Charles Maucotel, and a short time after^ 
wards started in business on his own behalf. 

Chanot, F. Son of Georges Chanot. 

Chanot, G. A. Brother of the above-named. 
" Chappuy, Nicolas-Augustin, about 1765. His instru-- 
ments are chiefly of large pattern ; nearly all are branded 
on the button, in a similar manner to those of the Testore 
family. Chappuy differed greatly in hjp work. When he 
used plenty of wood we have instruments of a good kind 
and worthy of attention. There are many, however, having 


his brand that are scarcely fit to be called Violins, so inferior 
is the work and wood. 

The Violin M. Habeneck used during thirty-seven years, 
when instructing his class at the Conservatoire, Paris, 
was made by Chappuy, and is preserved at that institu- 

Chardon, Joseph, Paris, son-in-law and pupil of Georges 
Chanot, Paris, to whose business he succeeded in the year 

Charotte, , born at Mirecourt, settled at Rouen 

about 1830. 

Chaterain, Paris, about 1759. Good workmanship. 

CHEvftlER, Andrd-Augustin, about 1838. Born at Mire- 
court, "worked in Paris and Brussels. 

Claudot, Charles, possibly dated from Mirecourt. The 
workmanship is heavy ; varnish mostly yellow. His instru- 
ments are good for orchestral purposes. His name is 
generally found stamped on the back inside. 

ClaXjdot, Augustin, "Strad" pattern, yellow varnish, 
good wood. 

Cl^ImeNt, , Paris, 1815 — 1840. 

Cliquot, Henri, Paris, about 1765. 

Cliquot, Louis Alexandre, about 1765. 

Cousineau, Paris, about the end of last century. Well 
made, name often branded on button. 

CuNY, , Paris. i8th century. 

CUYPERS, Johannes, about 1779. Worked at the Hague; 
varnish often yellow in colour. 

Daniel, , 1656, is described as having made a 

Double-Bass for the orchestra of one of the chapels at 
Antwerp cathedral. 

David, . Maker to the court of Louis XVI. 


De Comble, Ambroise, Tournay, about 1760. It is said 

that he worked in the shop of Antonio Stradivari, and 

„ . , judging from the character 

Fait k Toumay par <■ fu 1 :. ^i. -.i. 

Ambroise de Comble, 1750. °^ *^^ '"°'^' ^°^^^^^'' ^"^ 

that of the varnish, it is not 

unlikely that he did receive instructions from the great 
Cremonese maker. The varnish is very like Italian; the 
colour often a rich red, with much body. His instruments 
are inclined to roughness as regards workmanship, and 
therefore are not pleasing to the eye. There is a resem^ 
blance to the instruments of Stradivari after 1732 in form, 
though not in workmanship, and he would therefore seem tO) 
have copied those late instruments. They may be described 
as of large pattern, flat model, and having an abundance of 
wood. They are deserving of attention both from the pro- 
fessor and the amateur, .the workmanship being skilful audi 
the material excellent. The tone is .large, and frequently 
possesses the richness so much admired in the works of the 
Italians. This quality is traceable to {he soft and flexible 
nature of the superior varnish with which these instruments 
are covered. Several Violas and Violoncellos are extant 
which were made by De Comble. 

Delanoix, , Bruxelles, about 1760, 

Delaunay, , Paris, 1775, Viol-maker. M. Chouquet 

describes an instrument of this maker which is in the col- 
lection at the Conservatoire. 

Deleplanque, Gdrard, Lille, 1768. 

Derazey, , Mirecourt. Many of the instruments of 

this maker are carefully finished. They are heavy in wood. 
The varnish is inclined to hardness. 

Despons, Antoine, Paris, 17 th century, is said to have 
made excellent instruments of various patterns. 


DiEULAFAiT, , 1720, Viol-maker. A Viol da Gamba 

<){ this maker is at the Conservatoire, Paris. 
■ Droulot, , Paris, 1788. 

DucHERON, Mathurin, Paris, 17 14. 

Du Mesnil, Jacques, Paris, about 1655. 

Eesbroeck, Jean Van, 1585, Antwerp, Lute-maker. M. 
C. Chevalier de Brabure states he was the son of Josse van 
Eesbroeck, of Maria Kerck. Mention of these early makers 
of Lutes in Belgium serves to enlighten us as to the condition 
of music and musical instrument manufacture in that country 
at an early date. Historians often refer to the Chambers of 
Rhetoric . In the pamphlet of the Chevalier de Brabure we 
have many interesting particulars relative to the connexion 
of music with the guild of St. Luke at Antwerp. He speaks 
of the makers of Clavichords seeking for admission into the 
Guild in 1557, and adds that it was natural these makers 
should desire to belong to a corporation so great and honor- 
able as that of St. Luke, which since 1480 had its Chambers 
of Rhetoric "dite de'^Violiren, de Violier." 

Falaise, . Copied the Amatis and Stradivari. The 

workmanship may be likened to that of Pique. Varnish yellow 
and thin. There is no indication of a resort to any maturing 
process. Wood frequently handsome. 

Fendt, or Fent, , Paris, 1780. A maker known 

among French connoisseurs; related to the Fendts who 
worked in London. 

Fleury, Benoist, Paris, from about 1755 to 1788. A 
Viol da Gamba of this maker from the Clapisson collection, 
is at the Conservatoire, Paris. 

FouRRiER, Nicolas, Mirecourt. &« Nicolas. 
- Gand, Fran9ois, Paris. He became a pupil of Nicolas 
Lupot in the year 1802. During his apprenticeship he 


proved himself an excellent maker, and was much valued 
by his famous instructor. He married the daughter of 
Lupot, and succeeded him in the ^.ue Croix des Petits 
Champs in the year 1824. The career of Francois Gand 
was one of much activity. As a repairer of the works of 
the great masters he early obtained a high reputation, and 
perhaps restored more valuable instruments than any repairer 
of his time. The care that he took and the judgment which 
he exercised in endeavouring to bring together the various 
broken parts of an imperfect instrument, that the original 
appearance might be maintained as closely as possible, 
cannot be too highly praised. He often accomplished' seem- 
ing impossibilities. Splintered cracks were by his ingenuity 
closed as though no fibre had been severed, while at other 
times, pieces were inserted so deftly that the most experienced 
eyes might fail to detect their presence. It was with him a 
labour of love, and he did not scruple to spend days over 
work on which others would only spend hours. He made 
many Violins, several of which were given as prizes at the 
Paris Conservatoire. They, are well-made instruments, 
though heavy in appearance. They are good serviceable 
instruments, and, the wood not having been browned by 
baking or other injurious process, age mellows them greatly. 
He died in the year 1845. 

Gand, Adolphe, son of Frangois Gand, was instructed 
by his father, and succeeded, together with his brother, to 
the old-established house founded by his grandfather. He 
died several years since. 

Gand, Eugene, Paris, brother of Adolphe Gand, now 
living, is a connoisseur of much experience and reputation. 
Upon the death of his brother Adolphe he entered into 
partnership with Bernadel Brothers, and still takes an active 
part Ifi the firm, known as Gand and Bernadel. 


GAViNiis, Frangois, Paris, about 1734. Father of Pierre 
Gavinids, the Violinist. Old French school. The wood is 

often of excellent quality, and 
. Gavinies, rue jj^g varnish also. Many of 

S. Thomas du Louvre, ,, u -r- i_ 1 

, T, • .„ these old French makers, as 

a raris, 17 — 

with our good English ones, 
made instruments of two qualities, and Gavinies was one of 

Germain, Joseph Louis, born at Mirecourt, in 1822. In 
Paris he was employed by Francois Gand, and afterwards 
worked for Vuillaume, for whom he made several choice 
instruments. It is to be regretted that his exceptional 
abilities were not allowed to add lustre to his name, he 
having made for the trade. He died in 1870. 

Germain, Emile, Paris. Son of the above ; is established 
in Paris as a maker and restorer of Violins. 

GossELiN, , Paris, 1814 — 1840. 

Grand-Gerard, about 1800. 

Grandson, Fils, Mirecourt, about 1850. 

Grosset, Paul Frangois, Paris, about 1750. Pupil of 
Claude Pierray. 

GuERSAN, Louis, succeeded Paul Pierray. 

Ludovicus Guersan prope Comsediam Gallicam, Lutetise, 
Anno 1766. 

Hel, — '—, Lille, now living. 

Henry, Jean Baptiste. . Born 1757, near Mirecourt. 
Worked in Paris. 

Henry, Jean Baptiste Felix, son of the above. Estab- 
lished in Paris 18 17. 

Henry, Charles, brother of the above, born 1803. Made 
several excellent instruments. 

Henry, Octave, nephew of Charles. 


Henry, Eugfene, son of Charles, born hi T^^.^e •».* ^ ,- 

HoFMANS, Mathias, Antwerp, 1700 — i725.-,^Jvit'Pf.*hii 
maker was exhibited at Milan in 1870. ^ f . .•^«' 

Jacobs, Peeter, Amsterdam, 1690 — 1740. Ai,^«(lose 
imitator of Niccolo Amati. Few makers have bjejBpifijBre 
mistaken than Jacobs; so exact was he in foyqf\viflg ^tfae 
model of Amati, that numbers of his Violins ar^ passefl^by 
the inexperienced as original. He mostly selected the grand 
pattern of Amati for his model, which gave,h>m. fyU scope 
for the exercise of his powers. He selected ^ood as nearly 
as possible resembling that found in the.wprks of Niccolo 
Amati. The backs are mostly of even-grarin, j|nd compact ; 
the modelling can only be found fault witisn^ar the purfling, 
where its sharpness at once catchi^ the ^attention of the 
critic in these matters, and divulges the true author. The 
varnish, though good, is not equaJ to, that of Amati. The 
scroll is inferior to the body in nwrit. The purfling is of 
whalebone, like that of most of tHcjPutch makers. 

Jacobs, , Amsterda*:i,;pjroli)j»bly a son of the above. 

Excellent varnish, of a deep «d, very transparent ; full of 
character, but wanting m^ Purfling embedded. 

Jacquot, Charles, b(it» at Mirecourt in 1808. Worked in 
Paris. He obtained prj-^es for his instruments at the Paris 
and other exhibiti(j9s. ^- ' , 

Jacquot, Chades,-'N»ncy, son of the above. 

Jeandel, p. •N., bofp in 181 2. Worked for some years in 
Paris, and received ptizes at the Paris and other exhibitions. 

KcEUPPBRS^-jeati, worked at the Hague 1755 to about 
1780. •' •:y ■• 

KoLiKERy— ^-^j Paris, 1789—1820. 

LAifBEaa:', Jean Nicolas, Paris, about 1745. 

LAPAix.-'-i — , Lille, about 1855. 

?3+ '^HE VIOLIN. 

Wft'REVCfSr?, Etienne, Paris, 1825 — 1856. 
-LEOLERfti'^ , Paris, about 1775. 

Lecomte, , Paris, 1788. 

LfiDtTc, Pierre, Paris. 1646. 

'"LsfJBBvre, , Amsterdam, about 1730. 

^Le^Sbvre, , Paris, 1788. 

Le' Jeune, Frangois, Paris, 175 — 

Le Pileur, Piferre, about 1754. 

LEsd-LOP, iFrangois Henry, Paris, 1 746. 

Louis, — — , Geneva. 

Louvet, Jean, Paris, 1750. 

LuPOT, Jean, Mkecourt. 

LuPOT, LailFen'^,' Mirecourt, born 1696. Son of Jean 
Lupot, removed to Mcrobiferes, afterwards to Luneville, and 
again to Orleans. '■ 

Lupot, FrangoiSj'borh 1736. Son of Laurent. Born at 
Plombiferes. In the yea'r 1758 he removed to Stuttgard, 
and was appointed ma.k6r'- to the Duke of Wurtemberg. 
Frangois removed with his son Nicolas to Orleans in 1770. 
He died in Paris in 1804. The workmanship and style is 
similar to that seen in the instruments of Chappuy and 
other makers of that period. • Scroll rather rough, varnish 
dark brown, broad pattern. '„! 

Lupot, Nicolas, son of Francois born at Stuttgard in 

1758,-reinoved with his father 
N. Lupot fils, Luthier, , ^~. ,,, . - y-, 

,,.,,, '^-^,, ,,. . to OrmSinsin 1770. He esta- 

rue d liners, a Orleans, 1 An 1791. , . . ,!. . 

bushed Kiiriaself in Pans in 

1794, his fame having reached thafe .city some time 

before. The attention which 
Nicolas Lupot, Luthier, rue de , .. • j r ^1 

„ » ' D ■ 1. o he soon received from the 

(jrammont ; a rans, 1 an 1 003. ^ 

musical world of Paris proved 
to him that his removal was advantageous. He had. not 


long been in Paris before he was honoured with the patron- 
age of the Conservatory of 
Nicolas Lupot, Luthier, rue Croix ■••■ • 1 l- 1. ■ 

J »-. u ir. • 1. o - Music, an honour which is 
des-petits-champs, a Pans, ran 1 81 7. ' 

attended with many benefits, 
the chief of which is the making of a Violin annually, to be 
awarded as a prize to the most successful student among 
the Violinists. By this arrangement the maker has an 
opportunity of exercising to the best advantage all the skill 
of which he is capable, as he is at once aware that the 
attention of the public is directed to the constructor of the 
prize as well as to the receiver, and that an immediate road 
to popularity is thus opened. Lupot's appointment' as 
maker to the Conservatoire was enjoyed by his successor, 
Frangois Gand, and is still retained by the latter's son, 
in conjunction with Bernadel. Nicolas Lupot may be 
justly termed the French Stradivari. He was an artist in 
every sense of the word. He regarded the works of 
Stradivari with the utmost veneration. While, however, he 
laboured unceasingly to imitate Wm, he scorned all those 
mischievous maturing processes c'ommon to the majority of 
French copyists ; he never desired that his copy should 
pass with the unwary as the original ; it left his hands wholly 
unsophisticated. There is not an instance in which he 
did not varnish the copy all over, leaving time to do its 
work of wear, although by so doing he doubtless sacrificed 
much in his own time, inasmuch as all new Violins so 
varnished have a crude appearance, notwithstanding any 
amount of high finish expended upon them. What, how- 
ever, Lupot lost in his own day has been awarded to his 
name a hundredfold since. He seldom occupied himself 
in copying Gnarneri or Amati, although there are a few 
beautiful examples met with now and again in which he 


adopted these forms. Stradivari was his idol, and from the 
fact already mentioned, that he is very rarely found to have 
followed any other model than that of Stradivari, he would 
seem to have been aware of his own peculiar fitness for the 
great master's design. Every feature of Lupot's instruments 
was clearly a matter of study with him. It cannot be said 
of him, as of most other makers, that certain points are 
good, while others are weaL Every portion of his work 
contributes to the harmonious whole. The outline is 
perfect ; the sound-hole is executed in a masterly manner ; 
the model, purfling, and scroll of equal merit. He was un- 
touched in his own day, and his productions have never 
been approached since. The varnish of Lupot is peculiar 
to him. Its qualities are good, being free from hardness. 
Though it is not of the Italian type, neither is it of the kind 
usually met with on the Violins of his contemporaries : it 
may be described as a quality of varnish coming between 
the Italian and the French. Its colour varies between light 
and dark red. Age has assisted in heightening its lustre, 
and although it will never rank with the varnish of Cremona, 
yet it will hold its own among the varnishes of modern 
times. It is said that many instruments having the name of 
Pique in them are the work of Lupot, and this misnomer is 
accounted for by the story that Pique purchased them in an 
unvarnished state, and varnished them with his preparation. 
Be this as it may, it is certain that the,, varnish of Pique 
could not serve to benefit such instruments ; on the con- 
trary, it would reduce their value. The tone of Lupot's 
instruments improves yearly. The quality is round and 
telling, and free from roughness. He died in Paris in 
1824, aged 66, and was succeeded in .his business by his 
son-in-law, Fran9ois Gand. 


Marquis de Lair, Mirecourt, about 1800. The name 
is generally branded on the back. The wood is chiefly of 
a plain description, and varnish wanting in transparency. 

Mast, Jean Laurent, Paris, about 1750. 

Mast, , Mirecourt and Toulouse. Son of Jean 


Maucotel, Charles, born at Mirecourt, in 1807. In 
1834 he entered the workshop of Gand in Paris. In 1844 
he was employed by Davis, of Coventry Street, London, 
and ultimately commenced busines in Rupert Street, from 
which he retired in i860, and returned to France. He 
made several instruments, all of which have good qualities 
in workmanship and tone. They are strong in wood and 
carefully modelled. 

Maucotel, Charles Adolphe, Mirecourt, worked in Paris 
from 1839 until 1858, in which year he died. He made 
many excellent instruments. 

MfoARD, Frangois,- was established in Paris about 1700. 

The work is excellent, and 
Franciscus M^dard ,, • 1. /■.. j ^ 

r -^ T, • ■■ „. the varnish soft and trans- 

fecit Parisus 1 7 10. 


M^DARD, Nicolas, Nancy, brother of Frangois. 

M^DARD, Jean, Nancy,' brother of Nicolas. 

Menn£gand, Charles, born at Nancy in 1822. He is 
distinguished both as a maker and repairer of instruments. 
He entered the service of Rambaux in Paris in 1840, He 
has been rightly regarded- as having displayed singular 
ability in the delicate and difficult task of "cutting" the 
large Italian Violoncellos and Tenors. The practice of 
reducing the dimensions of Cremonese instruments has 
happily come to be looked upon as emulative of the acts 
of the Goths and Vandals. It is in any case certain that 


numerous instraments have been operated upon with 
no greater skill than might have been expected at the 
hands of those barbarians. " These ruthless men," remarks 
Charles Reade, "just sawed a crescent off the top, and 
another off the bottom, and the result is a thing with the 
inner bout of a giant and the upper and lower bout of a 
dwarf." He rightly names this, "cutting in the statutory 
sense, viz., cutting and maiming," and implores the owner 
of an instrument in its original state to spare it, and if too 
large, to play on one of the value of ;^s, with the Cremona 
set before him to look at while he plays. To " cut " a 
Cremona, and to cut a diamond into a brilliant or a rose, 
are tasks equally difficult. The indifferent operator in both 
cases suffers more or less from the injury and annoyance 
his unskilfulness has occasioned. Borgis, a Venetian 
. diamond-cutter, was employed by Shah Jehan to cut the 
Koh-i-nor, and in pl^ce of a reward was firted ten thousand 
ducats for his imperfect performance. Had it happened 
that some possessors of Cremonese gems had inflicted 
monetary or other punishment on incapable instrument- 
cutters, the world would have been richer in Cremonas. 
Menndgand was at Amsterdam for a few years, and returned 
to Paris in 185,7. 

MiREMONT, Claude Augustin, Paris. Born at Mirecourt 
in 1827, removed to Paris in 1844. Miremont has made 
several excellent Violins, copies of Stradivari and Guarneri. 

MoDESSiER, , Paris, 1810. Made several instruments 

of large pattern, excellent for orchestral purposes. Wood 
of good quality. 

Namy, , Paris, 1780 to 1806. 

Nezot, , about 1750, maker of Viols. 

Nicolas, Francois (Nicolas Fourrier), went from Mire- 


court to Paris, where he is said to have worked from about 
1784 to 1816. 

Nicolas, Didier, Mirecourt, 1757 — 1833. The instru- 
ments of this maker are chiefly of large size, the outhne 
being after that of StracTivari. They are mostly stamped 
on the back, inside, " A la ville de Cremonne, D. Nicolas 
Aine." Colour, yellow ; tone very powerful, and admirably 
adapted for the orchestra. 

Nicolas, Joseph, son of Didier, born 1796, died 

OuvRARD, Jean, pupil of Claude Pierray. 

Pacherele, Michel, Paris, about 1779. 

Pacherel, , Nice, about 1843, probably related to 

Michel Pacherele. Good workmanship, made several 
copies of Stradivari. 

Paul, Saint, Paris, 17 th century. Chiefly copied Amati. 
In the style of Boquay. 

Pierray, Claude, Paris, from about 1700 to 1725. Was 
an excellent workman, and many of his productions partake 

of the Italian character to a 
Claude Pierray proche la Com^die considerable extent. They 
4 Pans, 1725. , ■' 

are of two patterns, the ma- 
jority being large. Amati would seem to hav-e been his 
model, but his instruments can scarcely be considered 
copies of that maker, the outline only being retained, while 
the other features are dissimilar. The wood is rarely hand- 
some, but its quality is good, the thicknesses are variable. 
The work is of average merit. Varnish is of a pale red 
colour, of good quality. It is interesting to learn that these 
instruments were appreciated in England at the beginning 
of the eighteenth century. Tom Britton had in his col- 
lection of books and instruments at Clerkenwell a " Qaude 


Pierray," which is described in the sale catalogue as " a very 
beautiful Violin, and as good as a Cremoila." 

PikTE, N., Paris, about 1780. 

Pique, F. L. about 1788 — 1822. As a copyist of Stradi- 
vari, this maker approached, perhaps, nearest to Nicolas 

Lupot. It has been supposed 
Pique, rue de Grenelle St. Honor^,- .1 ^ tt- r u • ^i. 

^ . , „ , „ . ' that some Violins bearing the 
au coin de celle des 2 Ecus, a . ° 

Paris, 1790. name of Pique were made 

by Lupot, and varnished by 
Pique. There are several specimens of Pique's instruments 
upon which have been lavished care and skill of a very high 
order. Each feature is brought out, while, at the same time, 
exaggeration, that common error of the copyist, is avoided. 
The scrolls are well executed, both in point of finish and 
style ; the sound-hole also is cut with precision. Many of 
his instruments have whole backs, of well-chosen material ; 
the bellies are of a fine quality of wood. The instruments 
of Pique have long been esteemed, and will grow in reputa- 
tion. He died in 1822. 

PiLLEMENT, Mirecourt. Worked about the end pf the 
last century. 

PiROT, Claude, Paris, about 1800. 

Pons, Cdsar, Grenoble, about 1775. 

Pons, , Paris, chiefly known as a maker of Guitars. 

Rambaux, Claude Victor, born 1809. VV^orked in early 
life at Mirecourt, and afterwards in Paris. He was a clever 
repairer, and gifted with excellent judgment in his treatment 
of the works of the old masters. He was at one time in the 
workshop of Gand. He died in 1870. 

Range, Thomas, Brussels, about 1683. Good workman- 
ship, well purfled, flat model. 

Raut, Jean, worked at Rennes about 1760. 


Remy, , Paris, about 1760. 

Remy, Jean Mathurin, Paris, 1770 — 1854. 
Remy, Jules, Paris, 18 13 — 1876. . 

Remy, , London, 1840. Originally . from Paris. 

Copied the old masters with average ability, but unfor- 
tunately adopted the pernicious practice of preparing the- 
wood, making his instruments prematurely old without the 
quahties of healthy age. 

Renaudin, Leopold, Paris, about 1788. 
Renault, Nicolas, an early maker, contemporary with 

RoMBOUTS, Peeter, Amsterdam, about the middle of the 
1 8th century. High model, varnish of much brilliancy, but 

Roze, , about 1760. Average workmanship, yellow. 

varnish, heavy scroll. 

Sacquin, , Paris, 1830 — 1860, made several excel- 
lent instruments; oil varnish of good quality, neat work, 
" Strad " pattern, name branded on back, inside. 

Salle, , Paris about 1825 — 1850. Made several 

copies of Guarneri, many of which are excellent. He was. 
also a clever restorer of old instruments, and had a critical, 
eye for the works of the old Italian masters, in which he 
dealt to some extent. 

Salomon, Jean Baptiste, Deshayes, Paris, about 1750. 

Saunier, , about 1740 — 1770. 

ScHNOECK, Egidius, Brussels, 1700 — 1730. 
Silvestre, Piferre, Lyons. A maker of rare abilities. 
The finish of his instruments is of the highest order; indeed, 
it would be difficult to find any maker within the range of 
the modern French school who has surpassed him in dehcate 
workmanship. It may be said of him, as of many others, 



that extreme fineness of work is obtained often at the ex- 
pense of character ; to develope both necessarily needs the 
mind of a Stradivari. Silvestre was fortunate in procuring 
wood of beautiful quality ; there is scarcely an instrument 
of his which is not handsome. He copied Stradivari. It 
is to be regretted that so few of his works are to be met 
with. Pierre Silvestre was born at Sommerwiller in 1801, 
and died at Lyons in 1859. In Paris he worked in the 
workshop of Lupot, and in that of his successor Frangois 

Silvestre, Hippolyte, born 1808, brother of Piferre, with 
whom he entered into partnership at Lyons, in 1829. Hip- 
polyte worked in the shop of Vuillaume. 

Silvestre, Hippolyte Chretien, Lyons, succeeded to the 
business of his uncles, Pibrre and Hippolyte. 

Simon, — — , Paris, about 1788. 

SiMONiN, Charles, Paris and Toulouse, pupil of J. B. 

SocQUET, , Louis, Paris, about 1760 — 1800. 

Theress, Charles, London. 

Thibout, Jacques Piferre, Paris, born 1777, died 1856. 
A well-kuown dealer in rare Italian instruments. To him 
belongs the merit of having encouraged Luigi Tarisio to 
bring to Paris his Cremonese gems. When Tarisio paid his 
first visit to Paris, the reception that he met with was not of 
such a nature as to warrant his returning ; but having ulti- 
mately decided upon once more visiting the French capital, 
he met with Thibout, who, by earnest solicitation, prevailed 
on him to remove his rich wares to Paris. Jacques Piferre 
Thibout was an excellent workman, and his instruments are 
highly esteemed. 

Thomassin, — — , Paris, about 1845. 


Tywersus, , Nancy, i6th century. 

Vaillant, Frangois, Paris, about 1750. 

VfeRON, Piferre, Andrd, 1720 — 1750. 

ViBRECHT, Gysbert, Amsterdam, about 1700. 

VuiLLAUME, Jean, Mirecourt, 1700 — 1740. 

VuiLLAUME, J. B., Paris, born 1798, died in 1875. There 
are upwards of 2,500 Violins which bear his name. Many 
of these he made throughout. The early ones are much 
appreciated, and having been wisely varnished over at first, 
now begin to show the good results of such handling. The 
career of Vuillaume was singularly everitful. Commencing 
life from the first stage of the ladder, he gradually mounted 
to the highest by the help of the usual nurses of fortune, 
skill and perseverance. He was a great lover of Creinonese 
instruments, and was intimately associated with Tarisio. 
At the death of the celebrated Italian connoisseur, he 
purchased the whole of his collection. 

VuiLLAUME, N. F., Brussels. Brother of the above. 
Was well known both as a maker and connoisseur. Born 
in 1802. 

VuiLLAUME, Claude Fran5ois, born 1807. 

VuiLLAUME, Sebastien, nephew of J. B. Vuillaume, made 
a few excellent instruments. 


'^^e (I5ennan »)ct)OoL 

THERE is no trace of any German Violins of the time 
of Gasparo da Salo, or Maggini the elder. This is 
certainly remarkable, and the more so when we consider how 
near were the German makers of Lutes, &c., to the old 
Italian town where Violins were being made. It is evident 
from this non-production of Violins that the Tyrolese were 
content with their Viols and Lutes, and did not recognize 
the wonderful effects of the little Violin until it had become 
pretty nearly perfected- by the Italians. The manufacture 
of Lutes, Viols, and Guitars in Germany had in 1650, or a 
little later, reached its zenith, and the exquisite pieces of 
workmanship, in the shape of Lutes, Viols da Gamba, and 
Viols d'Amore, richly inlaid with mother-of-pearl, ivory, and 
tortoiseshell, made at this period evidence the high state of 
the art. 

To Jacob Stainer is due the credit, to a great extent, of 
changing the system of modelling so long in vogue in 
Germany. Although so great a maker, he was seemingly 
unable to free himself entirely from the proclivities common 
to his countrymen who were Violin makers. There re- 
mained, after all Stainer's changes, fhe German sound-hole 


and extra arching, &c. Yet it must be readily admitted that 
the example which Stainer put before his countrymen was 
of great value, and served to engender an improved style 
throughout the Violin manufacture of Germany. The ex- 
ceptional merits of this famous German artist were soon 
recognized, and his followers were legion. Among them 
were Sebastian Kloz, George Kloz, Egidius Kloz, and other 
members of that, perhaps the largest, family of Fiddle 
makers the world has had (had they been as good as they 
were numerous, what stores of prized Violins would have 
been bequeathed to us !) ; Reiss, of Bamberg ; Rauch, of 
Breslau; and Leopold Widhalm, of Nuremberg, who was 
one Of Stainer's best imitators; and others less known. 

There were several German makers — led, possibly, by the 
exaniple of Stainer and Albani the younger — who turned 
their attention to Italy, as furnishing models superior to 
their own, and thus combined the styles of both countries; 
while they endeavoured to copy closely the Italian masters, 
without attempting to be original, Niccolo Amati was the 
maker whom these men chiefly copied, and most success- 
fully did they perform their task. These copies, however, 
did not meet the success to which they were entitled, and 
the popularity of Stainer's mode was then so great that the 
instruments made upon other systems than his found no 
favour in the Fatherland. The makers who were copyists 
of the Italian masters were Ruppeft, Bachmann Jauch, and 
Eberle of Prague. 

When we consider the long list of makers forming the 
German school, we cannot fail to feel surprised that the 
number of really good artists was not much larger; and 
our surprise increases when the close proximity of the 
Tyrolese workers to the chief ItaUan centres of the manu- 


facture of Violins is also considered.. If the names of 
Jacob Stainer and Mathias Albani be excepted, the list is 
singularly destitute of makers famous for originality. The 
Germans were certainly great in the manufacture of the old 
stringed instruments, but seem to have made a poor beginning 
in the making of Violins. The form selected was bad, and 
they failed to improve upon it to any great extent. It would 
be quite impossible to furnish anything approaching a com- 
plete list of German makers, their number being so extended, 
and so many of their instruments being anonymous, and 
withal so weak in character, that it is hard to discern them. 
Every care, however, has been taken to render the following 
list as complete as possible. 


ALBANI, Mathias, Botzen. M. F^tis, quoting the Bio- 
graphical Dictionary of Moritz Berman, with regard ' 
to Albani, states that he was born in 1621, and died in 
1673. The form is somewhat Uke Stainer's, but higher and 
heavier in construction. The varnish is very rich. Wood of 
good quahty. 

Albani, Mathias, Botzen, about 1650 — 1680. Son of 
the above. This maker should, perhaps, have been classed 

with those of Italy, his 
Mathias Albani Fecit . , , . n 1 • u .. 

„ , . „ , , style bemg Italian.: but as 

Bulsam Tyrol 1651. ' " ' 

he was the son of the well- 
known German maker, it was thought best that his name 

should follow that of his 
Matthias Albanus Fecit ^ ^, , ..l 1. j r 

„ , . . „ ,. ,0 father under the head of 

Bulsani m Tyroh 1600. 

German makers. The son 

has shown but faint marks of having been tutored by his 
parent in the art of Violin-making. He is said to have 
visited Cremona, in order to receive instruction there under 
Amati, and this circumstance may have given to his work 
that Italian air which is so pleasing to the connoisseur. 


This maker is often credited with the work of the elder 
Albani, it having been supposed that there was but one of 
that name. The model is good, and the workmanship 
throughout demands high praise. Gerber states that the 
famous Violinist, Tomaso Albinoni, possessed two Violins 
of this maker, dated 1702 and 1709. 

Albani, , Sicily, about 1633. Probably related to 

the Albanis of Botzen. 

Alletzie, Paolo, Munich. See Italian makers. 

Paulus Alletzee hof 

Lauten und Geigen 

macher in Munchen 1710. 

Artmann, , Weimar, near Gotha, i8th century. Was 

■originally a joiner. Copied Amati very cleverly. The var- 
nish is frequently of amber colour. 

Bachmann, Carl Ludwig, born at Berlin, 17 16. Court 
musician and Violin maker. The work is clean," and not 
without style. Bachmann was a performer on the Viol. 
In 1765 he was appointed instrument maker to the court 
of Frederick the Great. Bachmann, in conjunction with 
Ernest Benda, founded in 1770 the concerts for amateurs 
at Berlin. He died in 1800. 

Bachmann, O., Halberstadt, Violin maker, and author of 
a handbook on the construction of bow instruments, pub- 
lished in 1835 at Leipsic- 

Bausch, Ludwig C. A., Leipsic, born at Nuremberg in 
18 1 5. Pupil of B. Fritsche in Dresden. 

'Bausch, Ludwig. B. Son of the above. 

Bausch, Otto B., Leipsic, born 1841, brother of the 

Beckmann, Stockholm, about 1700. The work is rough. 

Bedler, , about 1750. 


■ B^LA, Szepessy, born at Budapest in 1856. Now living 
in London. 

BiNDERNAGEL, , Gotha, 1 8th century. Copied Amati 

chiefly. There are a few of- his instruments which are 
on the model of Stradivari, and are highly valued, in 

BucHSTADTER, — — , Ratisbon, i8th century. His Violins 
are not equal in merit. Some have excellent wood, others 
very indifferent. When one of his best instruments can be 
procured', it is a good substitute for a second-class Italian. 

Christa, Joseph Paul, Munich, 1730. 

Josephus Paulus Christa, Lauten 
und Geigenmacher in Munchen. 17 — 

Darche, , Aix-la-Chapelle, has made rhany imitation 


DiEL, Martin (spelt Diehl by later members of the 
family), Mayence, worked with Nicolaus Dopfer, and later 
with Carl Helmer of Prague. He was a son-in-law of 

DiEL, Nicolaus, born 1779, son of Martin, worked with 
his uncle Jacob Steininger of Frankfort. He succeeded to 
the business of his father. Died 1851. 

DiEL, Johann, brother of Nicolaus. 

DiEL, Jacob, son of Nicolaus, settled in Bremen, 1834, 
later in Hamburg. Died 1873. 

Diehl, Nicolaus Louis, Hamburg, son of Jacob Diehl, 
died 1876. 

Diehl, Friedrich, Darmstadt, born 1 814, son of Nicolaus, 
received a bronze medal Paris Exhibition, 1867. 

Diehl, Johann, Mayence. 

Diehl, Heinrich, son of Johann. 


DoPFER, Nicolaus, 1768. The instruments of this maker 
are well made ; the model is less raised than that of many 
German makers. He made a few large Tenors. Dopfer 
was the master of Martin Diehl. 

DuRFEL, , Altenburg, i8th century. A well-known 

maker of Double-Basses. 

Eberle, J. Ulric, Prague, about 1730 — 1750. Was a 

good copyist of the Italian 

Joannes Udalrieus Eberle . ■,-,, , _, „„j„ 

T , , . „ masters. Eberle also made 

Lautenmacher in Prag, 1730. 

Viols d' Amour, Herr Carh 

Zoeller is the owner of one in excellent preservation, dated 

Edlinger, T., Prague, about 17 12. 

Edlinger, Joseph Joachim, Prague. Son of the above. 

Elsler, Joseph, Mayence, 1720 — 1750. Made many 
good Viols da Gamba. 

Ernst, Franz Anton, born in 1745 in Bohemia, died in 
1805. He was an eminent Violinist, and received lessons 
from Antonio Lolli. In 1778 he was engaged as court 
musician at Gotha. He took great interest in Violin-making, 
and made several excellent instruments. 

Felden, M., Vienna, about 1550. Maker of Violins. 

FiCHOLD, Hans, about 161 2. 

FiCHTL, Martin, Vienna, 1757. Large pattern, good var- 
nish, wood of excellent quality. 

Ficker, Johann Christian, Cremona, 1720. Said to have 
lived in the midst of the greatest makers the world has had ; 
if so, he certainly did not make himself acquainted with the 
art of Violin-making as understood in Cremona. His instru- 
ments may have been made at Mittenwald, and dated from 

FicKER, Johann Gotleib, Cremona, 1789. 


Fischer, Zacharie, Wiirtzburg, 1730. This maker 
adopted the practice of baking the wood 'for the manu- 
facture of Violins. 

Fischer, Anton, Vienna, about 1848. 

Frey, Hans, Nuremberg and Bologna, born about 1440, 
A celebrated maker of Lutes. He was the father-in-law of 
Albert Durer. John Evelyn, in his Diary, 1645, after 
speaking in praise of the cheese and sausages of Bologna, 
refers to the great celebrity of the Lutes by the old masters 
of that city, and mentions Hans Frey. He says they " were 
of extraordinary price, and the workmen were chiefly 

Fritzche, , Leipsic, about 1780 — 1810, 

Gedler, Johann A., Fussen, about 1750. 

Gedler, Johann B., Fussen, about 1780. 

Geiffenhof, Franz, Vienna, about 18 12. The initials 
F. G. sometimes branded on the button. Stradivari model. 
Good work. 

Gerle, Johann, Nuremberg, 1533 to about 1550. Maker of 
Lutes and Viols. He also published a book on the Lute, 1533. 

Griesser, Matthias, Inspruck, 1727. 

Grimm, Carl, Berlin, born about 1794. He died at Ber- 
lin, 1855. 

Grobitz, a., Warsaw, about 1750. 

GuGEMMOS, , Bavaria, 17 — . Indifferent work. 

Haensel, Johann A., Berlin. Contributed an article to 
the "Leipsic Musical Gazette" in i8rr, entitled "Uebet den 
Bau der Violin." 

Hamberger, Joseph^ Presburg, 1845. 

Hamm, Johann Gottfried, Rome, i8th century. Made 
instruments of a wide pattern, often with ivory edges, and 
branded inside with his initials. 


Hammig, W. H., Leipsic. Now living. 

H ASSERT, , Eisenach, i8th century. 

H ASSERT, , Rudolstadt, i8th century. 

Helmer, Carl, Prague, 1735 — 1750. Pupil of Eberle of 

HiLDEBRANDT, Michael C, Hamburg, 1770. 

HiLTZ, Paul, Nuremberg, 1656. Maker of Viols: 

Hoffmann, Martin, teipsic, about 1680 to 1725. Maker 
of Lutes and Viols. 

Hoffmann, Johann Christian, Leipsic, about 1720. Son 
of Martin Hoffmann. Lute and Viol maker. 

Horenstainer, Joseph, Mittenwald, about 1730. Made 
a few Double-Basses of good quality. 

Horenstainer, Matthias, Mittenwald, about 1800. 

Horil, Jacob, Rome, about 1742. 

HuLLER, August, Shoeneck, about 1775. 

HuMEL, Christian, Nuremberg, about 1709. 

Hunger, Christoph Friedrich, Leipsic, born at Dresden, 
1718, died 1787. One of the best German makers. 

Jais, Johann, Botzen, about 1776. 

Jauch, Johann, Gratz Styria, Austria. Worked in Dresden 
about 1774. 

Karb, , Konigsberg, Maker of Viols. 

Kambl, Johann A. Munich, 1640. 

Johan Andreas Kambl Churfurstl. 

Hof Lauten und Geigenmacher 

in Munchen. 

Kembter, , Dibiiigen, about 1730. Stainer model. 

Good wood, and work well purfled. 

KiAPOSSE, SaweS, St. Petersburg, 1750. 
Kirchschlag, , Tyrol, 1780. 


Kloz, -Matthias, Mittenwald, 1670^-1696. Is reported 
to have been a pupil of Stainer ; ^ ' about 1640. The 
work is good and the varnish in soi, q^- jag^of a mellow 
quality, in others somewhat thin. Son. wood that 

he used was cut at the wrong season, an,^„ August^i^^^'y 

Kloz, Sebastian, Mittenwald, son of Mattl,jjj re 

instruments of „HwiV nr.™*''^ 

Sebastian Kloz, in , . 'KlWlg, now; 

,,.^^ ■ ,j A much esteemed. . - jdel 

Mittenwald, An 17 — 

is flat as compare. most 

•Violins of the German school. The varnish varit,^ 

Kloz, George, Tyrol, brother of Sebastian Kloz. Instru- 
ments well made, chiefly yellow in colour; wood often 

Kloz, Egidius, Mittenwald, brother of Sebastian. 

Kloz, Joseph, Mittenwald, son of Egidius. 

Kloz, J. Karl, about 1741. Good work, dark varnish, 
ornamental border round label. 

Kohl, J.ohann, Munich, 1580. Lute-maker to the 
Bavarian Court. 

KoLDiTZ, Mathias Johann, Munich, 1720. 

• Mathias Joannes Koldjz, 
Lauten und Geigenmacher in 
MUnchen 17 — 

KoLDiTZ, J., Rumburg, died 1796. 
Knittle, Joseph, Mittenwald. 

Knitting, , Mittenwald, 1760. 

Kramer, H., 171 7,* Viol-maker. 
Kriner, Joseph, Mittenwald, 1786. 
Laska, Joseph, Prague, bom at Rumburg, 1738, died 
1805. Worked with J. Kolditz. 
Mann, Hans, Naples, 


Maussiell, LeonaH. Nuremberg, 1745. Stainer pattern, 
excellent workm?-^'*^": Thin yellow varnish, raised edges^ 
The style ar '- — ' ^"/ not unlike that of Tecchler. 

jyj-^jj, „., Carl, Pr'^Andreas, Ferdinand. 


itfllLDEBRANDT Andreas Ferdinandus Mahr, 
iHlLTZ Paul ^°^ l-osx^ und Geigenmacher 

^OFFMANN,' in Salzburg. Anno 17- 

Q^*^utes and^^ sometimes with lion scrolls. 

jyjFFMANgjj^ Johann, Nuremberg, about 1550. Maker 

MoHR, Philip, Hamburg, 17 th century. Viol-maker. 

MoLDONNER, , Bavaria, i8th century. 

NiGGEL, Simpertus, Fussen, 17 — . Flat model, good 
workmanship. Branded inside with initials S. N. 

Ohberg, Johann, Stockholm, 1773. Workmanship of 
average merit. Varnish mostly of yellow colour. 

Ott, Johann, Nuremberg, about 1463. Lute-maker. 

Otto, Jacob August, born at Gotha, 1762, died 1830. 
Violin-maker to the court of Weimar. Received instruc- 
tions from Franz Anton Ernest. He published a work in 
1 817 entitled, " Ueber den-Bau und die Erhaltung der 
Geige und aller Bogeninstrumente," and another work with 
more information in 1828, the first English edition of which 
was published in 1848. 

Otto, Georg August, son of Jacob August, born 1807, 
died 1859^ Succeeded to the business of his father at Jena. 

Otto, Christian, Halle, second son of Jacob August. 
Born 1813, died 1876. 

Otto, Heinrich, Berlin, third son of Jacob August, Born 
1815, died 1858. 

Otto, Carl, Ludwigslust, fourth son of Jacob August. 


Born 1825, now living. Violin-maker to the court of 

Otto, C. U. F., Stockholm, fifth son of Jacob August. 
Now living. 

Otto, Ludwig, St. Petersburg, son of Georg August, now 
living. Born at Cologne. 

Otto, Louis, Dusseldorf, son of Carl, now living. 

Otto, Hermann, St. Petersburg", son of Ludwig, now 

Parth, Andreas Nicholas, Vienna, i8th century. 

PFRETZSCHNERjGottlob, Cremona, 1750. Very common- 

Pfretzschner, Carl Friedrich, Cremona, son of the 
preceding ; no merit. 

Plack, F., Schoenbock, 1730 — 1745. 

PossEN, L., Schoengau, Bavaria, about 1553. Maker of 
Viols and Lutes. 

Rauch, , Wurtzburg. 

Rauch, Jacob, Manheim, 1720 — 1750. Brother of the 
above. Court Violin-maker. 

Rauch, Sebastian, Hamburg, 1725. High model, rough 
workmanship. A maker of this name is said to have worked 
at Leitmeritz, Bohemia, about 1750. Possibly the same. 

Rauch, , Breslau, about 1750. 

Reichel, Johann Gottfried, Absam, i8th century. 

Reichel, Johann Conrad, Neukirchen, i8th century, 

Reichers, August, Berlin, now living. Pupil of Bausch 
of Leipsic. 

RiESS, , Bamberg, about 1750. 

RoscHER, C. H. W., Bremen, about 1871. 

RoTH, Christian, Augsberg, 17th century. 

RUPPERT, Franz, Erfurt, i8th century. 


Sainprae, Jacques, Berlin, 17th century. A Baryton 
Viol of this maker is among the musical instruments at the 
Kensington Museum. It is said to have belonged to Johann 
Quantz, the famous flute-player.' The Baryton was a 
favourite instrument with Haydn. He composed several 
pieces for the instrument, and was fond of playing it. The 
Baryton, or Viol di Bordone, is of the character of the Viole 
d' Amour, being strung with sympathetic metal strings. It is, 
however, a larger and more complicated instrument. 

Sawicki, , Vienna, about 1830. 

ScHEiNLEiN, Mathias R, 17 10 — 1771. High built; dark 

ScHEiNLEiN, Johann Michael, Langenfeld, son of the 
above. Similar characteristics. 

ScHELL, Sebastian, Nuremberg, 1727. Lute-maker. 

ScHLiCK, , Leipsic. 

Schmidt, , Cassel, 1800 — 1825. Copied Stradivari 

indifferently, wood of an inferior kind. 

ScHONFELDER, Johann A., Neukirchen, about 1743. 

ScHONGER, Franz, Erfurt, i8th century. 

ScHONGER, Georg, Erfurt, son of the above. 

ScHORN, Johann, Innspruck, about 1680. An excellent 
maker; the varnish is similar to that of Albani ; high 
modelled. He appears to have removed to Salzburg. 

' The flute-playing of Johann Joachim Quantz in 1728 gave so much 
pleasure to the Crown Prince of Prussia, afterwards Frederick the 
Great, that he decided to take lessons from Quantz, who was then in 
the serwce of Augustus, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. 
Quantz was stationed alternately in Dresden and Warsaw. He became 
a member of the orchestra of Augustus in 1718, when Jean Baptiste 
Volumier was its director, of whom mention has been made (page 205) 
relative to his having been sent to Cremona in 171S to await the com- 
pletion of twelve Violins ordered of Stradivari. 



There are Viols of his make dated from there in 1696 
and 1699. 

ScHORN, Johann Paul, Salzburg, about 1700 — 1716. 
Court instrument-maker. 

ScHOTT, Martin, Prague. Chiefly known as a maker of 

Schwartz, Strasbourg, about 1845. 

Schweitzer, , Pesth, about 1800. Flat model, neat 

workmanship. Made a few Tenors. 

Stadelmann, Daniel, Vienna, about 1730 — 1750. Good 
work, model of Jacob Stainer. Thin varnish, sometimes 
yellow colour. 

Stadelmann, Johann Joseph, Vienna, i8th century. 
Copied Stainer ; average merit. 

Stainer, Jacob Absam, born July 14th, 162 1, at Hall. 

The celebrity of this maker is second only to that of the 

great Cremonese artists. His admirers in Germany and 

England were, at one time, more numerous than those of 

^ ^ ^ . ... the principal Italian makers. 

Jacobus Stainer in Absam . 

prope Oenipontum. 17- ^^ ^ manuscript note which 
Sir John Hawkins added to 
his own copy of his History of Music (1776), he says, " The 
Violins of Cremona are exceeded only by those of Stainer, a 
German, whose instruments are remarkable for a full and 
piercing tone." To the connoisseur of to-day such com- 
mendation may seem inexplicable, and cause him to believe 
that Fiddle admirers of past times were incapable of ap- 
preciating true beauty of form, and its bearing upon sound, 
or else that fashion made its influence . felt on the Fiddle 
world as elsewhere. It would be absurd to deny that the 
greatest German maker of Violins that ever lived was a man 
of rare abilities, because it is indelibly written on his chief 



works that he was a thorough artist. Therefore an expression 
of surprise that Jacob Stainer has been estimated higher 
than even Stradivari by the Germans and English, must not 
be understood as a reflection on his abiUties, since it refers 
to the form that he chose to give to his works. To account 
for the apparent inconsistency in the works of Stainer, and 
to strike the balance between his exceptional abilities on 
the one side and his model on the other, is not easy. His 
form was not a borrowed one ; it is as original as that of 
Stradivari — a fact which makes it more than ever unin- 
telligible that he should have been content with it. To 
arrive at anything approaching to a satisfactory solution, we 
must endeavour to trace the history of this model. Jacob 
Stainer was born in the Tyrol, and passed there his early 
years, and probably received his first instructions from one 
of the old Tyrolean Lute and Viol makers, at a period when 
they raised their model, and introduced into the German 
school the scooping round the sides of the backs and bellies, 
the inelegant sound-hole, the harsh outline, and uncouth 
scroll. As experience ripened his understanding, he may 
have felt that these characteristics of the German school were 
not such as could be moulded with advantage by an artist, 
whatever his talent might be, and resolved to do his best to 
unlearn much that he had acquired. In order to do so 
with any chance of success, but one course was open to 
him — that of studying the works of the Italian masters. It 
has been stated that he went to Italy when very young. 
With this view I do not concur. In all cases where there is 
an absence of direct evidence, opinions can only be formed 
from particular analogies bearing on the case under con- 
sideration. Now in the case of Stainer we have nothing to 
guide us but his variations of style, and dates of time and 


place. What is the result of a careful investigation of every 
particle of evidence that we can glean ? The style is , ever 
German, although the great maker is head and shoulders 
above all his countrymen who followed his art. I am thus 
forced to believe that had so excellent an artist visited Italy 
in his youth, as reported, there would have remained but the 
faintest trace of its origin. That men of less ability should 
be unable to entirely sever themselves from their national 
style of work, even under the most favourable circumstances 
for such a release, I can readily understand ; it is an in- 
capacity which has been exemplified over and over again : 
but Jacob Stainer was not one of these ordinary men ; he 
had not his superior in the school of Cremona as a finished 
workman, with the single exception of Antonio Stradivari. 
I l^elieve, therefore, that the German style was deeply 
rooted within him when he ceased to be young, and that if 
he went to Cremona or Venice it was not until he recog- 
nized the inferiority of the school in which he had been 
bred, as compared with that of Cremona or Venice. That 
he did not go far enough in his " second thought," is pretty 
well acknowledged on all sides. His originality was con- 
ceived in the German school, amid the worst examples, and 
it was too late to undo what had gone before. Here, then, 
lies, I consider, the key to the seeming anomaly that so 
great a maker as Stainer should have adopted and clung to 
so clumsy a model. That he became acquainted with 
much of the best work of the Italians is evidenced by his 
improved' style. The varnish he used furnishes even 
stronger evidence of his having possessed a knowledge 
of the subject equal to that of the Cremonese makers. 
Whether he acquired this knowledge in Cremona or 
Venice, cannot be stated with certainly, but I am in- 


•clined to believe that he gained it in the first-named city. 
Who but an artist acquainted with the best work of Italy in 
Violin-making could have made those exquisite Violins 
Iknown as " Elector Stainers " ? The wood selected for its 
rare loveliness, the finished workmanship, and charming 
rose-coloured varnish, render these works of art, of which 
one glimpse is a never-fading memory. These works show 
the diligent zeal with which Stainer laboured in his studies 
of the Italian masters. He contrived to give these instru- 
ments an air of grace quite foreign to the best efforts of his 
brother German makers. In the sound-hole and scroll is 
observable his seeming desire to leave behind the German 
preferences ; and although it must be admitted that he was 
ibut partially successful in his endeavours to stamp out early 
tendencies, the connoisseur cannot but be impressed with 
the fertile resources of the artist's manipulations. Had 
such skill been exercised on a form nearer akin to the 
Italian, the result would have been perfect. 

Prior to the publication of the interesting facts obtained 
by Herr S. Ruf, relative to the personal history of Jacob 
Stainer, we had no really reliable account of this famous 
maker.^ The industry and research of Herr Ruf, has not 
•only supplied all the ascertainable facts with regard to 
■Stainer, but also served to trace the history of Stainer 
"fiction. The last-mentioned portion of Herr RuPs labours 
is singularly instructive as to the manner in which romance 

'The notice of Jacob Stainer in the "Biographie Universelle des 
Musiciens," contains information supplied by J. B. Cartier, the well- 

. known Violinist, which formed a portion of the history of the Viqlin 
which Cartier proposed publishing, also from notes made by Paul L. 
de Boisgelou, who brought together much curious information relative 

"to music and musicians. 


is spliced on to what is intended to be sober history, and 
which results oftentimes in the graft being rendered invisible, 
or even unsuspected. He tells us that the first mention of 
Jacob Stainer is that made by Johann Primisser about a 
century after the death of the Violin-maker, and that he 
merely states that there hved in Absam in 1673 a celebrated , 
maker named Stainer, 

Early in the present century Counsellor Von Sardagna 
collected certain particulars concerning Stainer, which were 
published in 1822. He states that Stainer lived at Absam, 
that it is traditionally reported that he went to Venice or 
Cremona, and died a madman. It appears that this slight' 
material was at once utilized for the manufacture of nearly- 
all the romantic accounts of Stainer with which we are- 
familiar. Herr Ruf says that in the year 1825 there ap- 
peared in a German literary publication a poetical effusion 
entitled "Jacob Stainer," and that in 1829 Dr. Johanr* 
Schuler published a novel of great merit on the same subject. 

Herr Ruf states that August Lewald in 1835 made the 
novel of Dr. Schuler the basis of the romantic account of 
Stainer, published in his " Guide Book to Tyrol," under the 
title of " An Evening in Absam," but without any acknow- 
ledgment whatever. Notwithstanding the growth of Stainer 
literature down to 1835, not a single historical fact concern- 
ing the maker had been brought to light. In the year 1839 
Herr Ruf began his labours of research. He discovered at 
Hall a register of the parish of Absam, wherein he found all 
the information we possess as regards the birth and death 
of Stainer and his family. About this period the poem of 
Dr. Johann Schuler, " Jacob Stainer," was dramatized by 
Theodore Rabenalt, Other poems based on the same 
material appeared in 1843, but still the facts. of Stainer's life 


were all but unknown. At length Herr Ruf was prevailed 
upon by Dr. Schafhaiilt (an ardent admirer and collector of 
Stlainer's Violins) to prosecute his inquiries concerning the 
great maker. 

In the archives of the town and salt mines at Hall, Herr 
Ruf found much information, which he published in the 
local new^spapers, the ephemeral nature of which naturally 
placed his valuable contributions beyond the reach of 
those likely to value them. In the meantime Nicolaus 
Diehl, of Hamburgh, published a little book on Violins, 
into which was imported a portion of the romance trace- 
able to the novels or poems on Stainer. Herr Rufj 
feeling disappointed that his labours in discovering the 
facts relative to Stainer had failed -to clear away the 
cloud of Stainer fiction, published his book, " Der Geigen- 
macher Jacob Stainer von Absam in Tirol, 1872," which 
gives us. a full account of his researches, and should have 
secured to him the full credit due to his industry. His 
facts, however, like the good fiction found in Dr. Schuler's 
novel, " Jacob Stainer," have been used by German writers 
on the subject of the Violin without any acknowledgment. 
Herr Ruf died at Hall in the year 1877. 

It is said that Stainer was apprenticed to an organ-builder 
at Innsbruck, but owing to his weak constitution he was 
unable to continue in the business, and chose instead the 
trade of Violin-making. Amongst the rumours concerning 
this maker may be mentioned that of his having been a 
pupil of Niccolo Amati. It is certain there is no direct 
^evidence in support of it, neither is it shown that his work 
is founded on that of Ainati. I am satisfied that Stainer 
was assisted by neither the Brothers Amati nor .Niccolo 
Amati, and I am strengthened in this opinion by the stead- 


fastly German character of a model which no pupil of Amati 
could have persisted in using, even though based on his 
earliest traditions. 

The marriage of Stainer took place October 7 th, 1645. 
On the 9th of October, 1658, he was appointed by the 
Archduke Leopold (of Austria, Governor of Tyrol) one of 
the "archducal servants," and on the 9th of January, 1669, 
he obtained from the Emperor the title of " Violin-maker to 
the Court." About this period he is said to have incurred the 
displeasure of the Jesuits, which led to his being accused of 
the crime of heresy. The accusation seems to have been 
based on the fact of books of a controversial kind — chiefly 
Lutheran — having been found in his possession. The 
penalty he suffered for daring to indulge in polemical litera- 
ture was six months' imprisonment, and his future prospects 
were completely shattered. Prior to this misfortune he 
appears to have been in pecuniary difficulties, and fre- 
quently at law with one Salomon Heubmer, of Kirzchdorf, 
from whom he had obtained money, loans. In the year 
1677 he petitioned the Emperor Leopold — who was a great 
patron and lover of music — to render him pecuniary assist- 
ance, but failed to procure it. Over-burdened with 
troubles, he was bereft of his reason, and died insane and 
insolvent in the year 1683. 

" Alas ! misfortunes travel in a train, 
And oft in life form one perpetual chain. " 

His widow was left with a family of eight daughters, she 
dying in poverty in 1689, which chronological fact disposes ' 
of the fiction so widely circulated that in consequence of 
the great grief he experienced upon the death of his wife 


he withdrew from the world, and became an inmate of a 
Benedictine monastery, and that he made within its walls 
the famous instruments known as Elector Stainers, which 
he presented to the twelve Electors.- Whether he made 
them to order in the usual manner, whether he presented 
them, or where lie made them, matters little ; they are 
works of great merit, and need no mysterious surroundings 
to call attention to them. The followers of Stainer have 
been numerous, and are mentioned in the lists of German 
and English makers. Probably no maker is more mistaken 
than Stainer : the array of German instruments called by 
his name is at least ten times greater than the number he 
actuaiUy made. Nearly every high-built tub of a Violin 
sails under his coJours. Instruments without any resem- 
blance whatever to those of Stainer are accepted by the 
multitude as original Jacob Stainers. Much of this has 
arisen from thfe variety of style and work said to have been 
shown in the instmments of this maker. That this marked 
variety exists I do not believe. The pattern varies, but the 
same hand is traceable throughout. 

Stainer, Markus, Kufstein, Tyrol, about 1659, described 
as a brother of Jacob. He styled himself on his label 
" Citizen and Violin maker.'' Citizenship carried with it 
special privileges, and this maker apparently recognized the 
honour by having " Burger " after his name. 

Stainer, Andreas, Absam, about 1660. Mention is 
made of a maker of Baryton Viols of this name. 

Staugtinger, Mathias W., Wiirzburg, about 1671. 
Maker of Viols and Lutes. 

Steininger, Jacob, Frankfort, about 1775. Son-in-law 
of the Violin-maker Dopfer, and uncle of Nicolas Diehl, to 
whom he gave instructions in Violin-making. 


Steininger, Franz, St. Petersburg, son of Jacob Stein- 

Stoss, . Makers of this name worked at Prague, 

Vienna, and Fiissen, about the end of the i8th century. 

Stoss, Martin, Vienna, about 1824. Flat model, good 
workmanship. Stradivari pattern, indifferent varnish. 

Straube, — — , Berlin, about 1775. 

Strauss, Joseph, Neustadt, about 1750. 

TiELKE, Joachim, Hamburg, about 1539 — 1592. The 
name of Tielke is associated with the most remarkable 
instruments of the Lute and Guitar kind ever produced in 
relation to rich and chaste ornamentation. It is said there 
are glowing accounts in old German books of the magnifi- 
cent instruments by Tielke, with elaborate designs in silver, 
gold, and jewels.' The ornamentation and workmanship 
seen in the best instruments of this maker bear the impress 
of Italian art of a high order, and evidence the employment 
of Italian draughtsmen by the house of Tielke. In the 
collection of instruments at Kensington is a Chiterna (an 
instrument of the Lute kind) of this make. The body is 
ornamented with tortoiseshell, with mythological figures in 
ivory and precious stones. It is signed, and dated 1539. 
In the possession of Mr. George Donaldson is a Guitar of this 
maker, signed, and dated 1592, which is considered to be 
the most artistic and highly ornamented work known by 
Joachim Tielke. It is wonderfully preserved, and admir- 
ably shows the style and character of the art-work of the 

Tielke, Joachim, Hamburg, about 1660 — 1686. Viol 
and Violin-maker. The dates met with on the instruments 

' Engel's "Descriptive Catalogue of the Musical . Instruments in 
Kensington Museum," 1874. 


signed Tielke cover a period of upwards of a century and a 
half, and thus evidence the existence of the house in con- 
nexion with the manufacture of musical instruments through 
two or more generations. There is of this maker a Viola 
di Bordone in the collection at Kensington, dated 1686. 
Mention is made by Fe'tis of a Violin dated 1670, which 
was in the possession of Andrd of Offenbach; and a 
Chiterna dated 1676, similar to that in the Kensington 
collection, is_ owned by Mr. George Donaldson. M. 
Chouquet, in his catalogue of the collection of instruments 
at the Conservatoire, Paris, refers to a Lute (No. 136) by 

VoEL, E., Mayence, about 1840. Excellent workman- 
ship, scroll well cut. Stradivari model'. The character of 
work is not unlike that of Bernard Fendt. 

VoGEL, Wolfgang, Niiremberg. 

VoGLER, Johann Georg, Wiirzburg, about 1750. 
Johann Georg Vogler, Lauten 
und Geigenmacher in Wiirzburg. 17 — 

VoiGHT, Martin, Hamburg, about 1726. 
Wagner, Joseph, 1730.* 
Weickert, Halle, 1800. 

Weigert, , Lintz, about 1721. Maker of Viols. 

Weiss, Jacob, Salzburg, i8th century. 
Jacob Weiss, Lauten und 
Geigenmacher in Salzburg. 

WengeR, G. F., Salzburg, i8th century. 

WiDHALM, Leopold, Niiremburg, i8th century. One of 

the best imitators of Stainer. 
Leopold Widhalm Lauten und „! 1 ■ ,- , ■. - 

Geigenmacher, Nurnberg Fecit, A. The wood IS frequently hand- 
some, the work finished with 

care. Varnish, although wanting the delicacy of that of 


Stainer, is generally of good quality ; its colour is mostly 
pale red. Nearly all his instruments are branded with the 
initials inside. His name has hitherto been spelt Withalm. 

Witting, J. G., Mittenwald, about 1775. 

Wyemann, Cornelius, Amsterdam, i8th century. 

ZwERGER, Antoni, Mittenwald, about 1750. Neat work, 
good wood, varnish of the character of that seen on the 
instruments of Kloz. 


IT is somewhat remarkable that the Continental writers 
on the Violin should have omitted to mention any 
English maker, either ancient or modern. Such an omission 
must have occurred either from want of information con- 
cerning our best makers, or, if known, they must have been 
deemed unworthy of the notice of our foreign friends. 
There is no mention of an English maker in the work of 
F^tis, " Antoine Stradivari," 1856, although numerous very 
inferior German and Italian makers are quoted. The 
same omission is also conspicuous in " Luthomonographie 
Historique et Raisonn^" 1856, and Otto's " Ueber den Bau 
der Eogeninstrumente," &c., 1828. It may be that Con- 
tinental connoisseurs have credited themselves with the 
works of our best makers, and expatriated them, while they 
have inexorably allowed bad English Fiddles to retain their 
nationality. However, it is my desire that my foreign 
brothers should be enlightened on this point, and in all 
candour informed of the array of makers that England has 
at different times produced, and is yet capable of producing, 
did but the new Violin command the price that would be a 


fair return for the time and skill required in the production 
of an instrument at once useful and artistic. It will be my 
endeavour to show forth the qualities of those of our makers 
whose names, as yet, seem never to have crossed the' 
Channel, so that when these pages on the English School 
are read by distant connoisseurs, and the merits and short- 
comings of the makers therein are fairly weighed by them, 
the good shall be found so to outweigh the indifferent as to 
entirely change the opinions formed of us as makers of the 
leading instrument. 

Until within the last thirty years makers of Violins in 
England would appear to have been comparatively numerous, 
if we take into consideration the undeveloped state of 
stringed instrument music at that period in this country. 
Among those makers were men of no ordinary genius — men 
who worked lovingly, guided by motives distinct from com- 
mercial gain, so long as they were allowed to live by their 
work. When, however, the duties on foreign musical 
instruments were removed, the effect was to partially swamp 
the gallant little band of Fiddle-makers, who were quite 
unable to compete with the French and German makers in 
price (not excellence, be it distinctly understood, for we were 
undoubtedly ahead of our foreign competitors, both in style 
and finish, at this period). The prices commanded by 
many English makers previous to the repeal of the duty 
were thoroughly remunerative. Five to twenty pounds 
were given for English Violins, while Violoncellos and 
Tenors commanded prices proportionately high. The 
English Violin-makers were thus enabled to bestow artistic 
care in the making of their instruments. When, however, 
they were suddenly called upon to compete on equal terms 
with a legion of foreign manufacturers, the result was not 


SO much that their ardour was damped, as that they. them- 
selves were extinguished, and served as another insta.nce of 
the truth of the adage that " the good of the many is the 
bane of the few." 

In matters of magnitude, whether artistic or otherwise, 
competition is undoubtedly healthy, there being always a 
small body of patrons who are willing to check the tendency 
to deteriorate, common to all productions, by encouraging 
the worker with extra remuneration, in order that a high 
degree of excellence may be maintained; but in matters 
confined to a small circle, as in the case of Violin-making, 
the number of those willing to encourage artistic workman- 
ship is so minute as to fail even to support one maker of 
excellence, and thus, when deprived suddenly of its legiti- 
mate protection, the art, with other similar handicrafts, must 
drift into decadence. If we look around the Violin world, 
it is everywhere much the same. In Italy there , is no 
Stradivari in embryo, in France no coming Lupot, in 
Germany no Jacob Stainer, and in England no future 
Banks or Forster. Why so ? The answer is twofold. Partly 
there is fault in the demand, arising from the marked prefer- 
ence of this age for cheapness at the expense of goodness ; 
partly, too, there is a fault in the supply, a foolish desire on 
the part of the makers to give maturity to their instruments, 
wherein they always completely fail, yet they will not give 
up their conceit. Here, again, were we dealing with matters 
of greater magnitude, the evil influence would be lessened, 
the artistic impulses would still be felt, though in -a less 
degree ; whereas, so contracted is the circle of the Violin 
world, that under any stress the support given to makers 
willing to bestow an artist's care on their work is totally 


The case of modern Violin-makers is unfortunate. Old 
Violins being immeasurably superior to modern productions, 
the demand must necessarily set steadily for the former, and 
the modern maker has only the few patrons of new work to 
support him. It cannot be expected that the players of 
to-day should patronize the modern Violin in order that the 
next generation should reap the benefit. Years since it was 
quite a different matter. The makers were well paid for 
their work, and new instruments were then made to supply 
wants similar to those which the horrid Mirecourt copy 
fulfils at present. As with other things, so is it also with 
Violins; if they are to be produced with the stamp of 
artistic merit, they must be paid for accordingly ; without 
patronage the worker necessarily becomes careless. Finding 
that his skill fails to attract attention, he gradually sinks 
down into the mere routine of the ordinary workman. 
When Italy shone brightest in art, the patronage and re- 
muneration which the workers received was considerable. 
Had it been otherwise, the powers of its Raffaele, its Cellini, 
and last (though not least to the admirers of the Violin), its 
Stradivari, would have remained simply dormant. Art, like 
commerce, is regulated in a great measure by supply 
and demand. In Raffaele's day, sacred subjects were in 
demand ; the Church was his great patron, and aided him 
in bringing forth the gift which nature had implanted within 
him. In modern times, landscape-painting became the 
favoured subject, particularly in England; the result of 
which preference has been to place us in the foremost rank 
in that branch of art. The stage furnishes another instance 
of the effect that patronage has in bringing forth latent 
talent. If the history of dramatic art be traced, it will be 
found that its chief works were written when the taste of an 


appreciative public could be securely counted upon. As it 
waned, so the writers of merit became rarer ; or perhaps it 
would be more correct to say, the plays produced became 
less meritorious, the authors being constrained to pander to 
the prevailing tastes. 

As further evidence of the effect of patronage on art, a 
case in point is found in the manufacture of Venetian glass. 
The Venetians, centuries ago, became famous for their works 
in glass, and the patronage they enjoyed was world-wide; 
but their country being thrown into an unsettled condition, 
capital drifted from it, until the blowing of glass, together 
with other industries, was comparatively extinguished. 
Within the past few years the art of making glass has shown 
signs, even in Venice itself, of reviving with all its former 
vigour in the workshops of Salviati, the success of which is 
due in great measure to English capital. 

With regard to English Violin manufacture, there would 
be no reason why Violins should not, at the present moment, 
be produced in England which should fully reach the 
standard of merit maintained in our forefathers' days, if 
only the patronage of the art occupied a larger area. The 
present dearth of English makers does not arise from any 
national want of talent for this particular handicraft ; in feet, 
we have plenty of men quite as enthusiastic as our foreign 
friends for a vocation which in Ertgland also must be pro- 
nounced to be alike, venerable in its antiquity and famed for 
the dexterity of its genius. 

The earliest makers of Viols in England seem to have 
been. Jay, Smith, BoUes, Ross, Addison, and Shaw, names 
thoroughly British. We may take this as good evidence that 
the making of Viols in England originated with the English, 
?nd was not commenced by settlers from the Continent 


Doubtless the form of the English Viol and its brethren were 
taken from the Brescian makers, there being, much affinity 
between these classes of instruments. In the few Violins 
extant by Christopher Wise the Italian character is very 
striking. In them we see a flat model, excellent outline, 
and varnish of good quality. The Viols of Jay have the 
same Italian character. Later on we have names of some 
reputation — Rayman, Urquhart, and Barak Norman. In 
the absence of any direct evidence as regards the nationality 
of these makers it is requisite to endeavour to trace the 
style belonging to their works. It will be observed that 
there was a great improvement in the style of work and 
varnish of instruments made in England commencing with 
the time of Rayman, and it is probable that this step in 
advance was obtained from intercourse with Italy or the 
German Tyrol. Starting with Rayman, there is a German 
ring in the name which makes me think that he came from 
Germany, and, if so, brought with him the semi-Italian 
character of work common to the makers who lived so near 
Brescia. If the work and style of Rayman be carefully 
examined it will be seen that it embraces much in common 
with the inferior Brescian makers. The outline is rugged, 
the sound-hole is of that Gothic form peculiar to Brescia ; 
the head is distinct from that of the early English type. At 
the same period Urquhart made instruments of great merit, 
the varnish of which is superior to that of Rayman, but is 
evidently composed of similar ingredients. Its superiority 
may have arisen from a different mode of mixing only. The 
name of Urquhart has a North British sound, and it is 
probable that he was born in Scotland, and settled, in 
London as an assistant to Rayman, who would impart to 
him the style of foreign work. 



The semi-Italian character pervading the instruments 
made in England at this period seems to have culminated 
in the productions of Barak Norman, whose best works 
bear even a more marked Brescian character than those of 
Rayman. The model varies very much, sometimes being 
high, at other times very flat ; in the latter case the results 
are instruments of the Maggini type. Barak Norman 
frequently double-purfled his instruments, and inserted a 
device in the purfling, evidently following Maggini in these 
particulars. With Barak Norman ends the list of English 
copyists of the Brescian makers. 

We now arrive at the copyists of Jacob Stainer and the 
Amatis, a class of makers who possessed great abilities, and 
knew how to use them. The first name to be mentioned is 
Benjamin Banks, of Salisbury, who may with propriety be 
termed the English Amati. He was the first Enghsh 
maker who recognized the superior form of Amatfs model 
over that of Stainer, and devoted all his energies to a suc- 
cessful imitation. Too much praise could not be lavished 
on Banks for the example which he selected for himself 
and his fellow-makers. 

Next follow the names of Forster, Duke, Hill, Wamsley, 
Betts, Gilkes, Hart, and Kennedy, together with those of 
Panormo, Fendt, and Lott, who although not born in 
England, passed the greater part of their lives here, and 
therefore require to be classed with the English school. 
The mention of these makers will bring the reader to the 
present time. 

Upon scanning this goodly list there will be found ample 
evidence that we in England have had makers of sufficient 
merit to entitle us to rank as a distinct school — a school of 
no mean order. We may therefore assume that the Conti- 


nental writers who from time to time have published lists 
of makers of the Violin, and have invariably ignored Eng- 
land, have erred through want of information regarding the 
capabilities of our makers, both ancient and modern. 

The following hst will be found to enumerate nearly the 
whole of the English makers,' and indicate the distinctive, 
character of their respective works. 


A BSAM, Thomas, Wakefield, 1833. 

Made by 

Thomas Absam, 

Wakefield, Feb. 14, 


Adams, Garmouth, Scotland, 1800. 

Addison, William, London, 1670. 

AiRETON, Edmund. Was originally employed in the 
•workshop of Peter Wamsley, at the " Harp and Hautboy,'' 
in Piccadilly. He made a greg-t many excellent Violins 
and Violoncellos, and chiefly copied Amati. Varnish of 
fair quality ; colour yellow. He died at the advanced age 
of 80, in the year 1807. 

Aldred, , about 1560. Maker of Viols. 

AsKEY, Samuel, London, about 1825. 

Baines, about 1780. 

Baker, — , Oxford. Mention is made of a Viol of this 


maker in the catalogue of the music and instruments of 
Tom Britton, the small-coal man. 

Ballantine, Edinburgh and Glasgow, 1850. 

Banks, Benjamin, Salisbury, born 1727, died 1795. To 
this famous maker must be given the foremost place in the 
English school. He was a thorough artist, and would not 
have been thought lightly of had he worked in Cremona's 
school, and been judged by its standard. This may be 

considered excessive praise of 
Benjamin Banks, our native maker; but an 

Musical Instrument Maker • j- j ■ j r i 

In Catherine Street, Salisbury. ""P'^ejudiced judge of work 
,ygo. need only turn to the best 

specimens of Banks's instru- 
ments, and he will confess that I have merely recorded a 

Banks is, again, one of the many instances of men who have 
gained a lasting reputation, but whose histories have never 
reached the hght to which their names have attained. How 
interesting would it be to obtain the name of his master in 
the knowledge of making instruments ! No clue yhatever 
remains by which we could arrive at a satisfactory conclusion 
on this point. That he was an enthusiast in his art is 
certain, and also that he was aware to some extent that he 
possessed talent of no mean description. This is evidenced 
by the fact that many of his instruments are branded with 
the letters B. B. in several places, as though he felt that 
sooner or later his works would be highly esteemed, and 
would survive base imitations, and that by carefully branding 
them he might prevent any doubt as to their author. Many 
of his best instruments are found to have no brand : it would 
seem, therefore, that he did not so mark them for some 
time. He appears to have early shown a preference for the 


model of Niccolo Amati, and laboured unceasingly in imita- 
tion of him, until he copied him with an exactness difficult 
to surpass. Now that time has mellowed his best works, 
they might pass as original Amatis with those not perfectly 
versed in the characteristics of the latter. Many Gprman 
makers excelled as copyists of Amati; but these makers 
' chiefly failed in their varnish, whereas Banks was most 
happy in this particular, both as regards colour and quality. 
If his varnish be closely examined, its purity and richness 
of colour is readily seen. It has all the characteristics of 
fine Italian varnish, being beautifully transparent, mellow, 
and rich in its varieties of tints. It must be distinctly 
understood that these remarks apply only to the very finest 
works of this maker, there being many specimens which 
bear the label of Banks in the framing of which he probably 
took but a small share, leaving the chief part to be done by 
his son and others. Banks cannot be considered as having 
been successful in the use of his varnish on the bellies of 
his instruments, as he has allowed it to clog the fibre, a 
blemish which affects the appearance very much, and has 
been the means of casting discredit on the varnish among 
those unacquainted with the real cause. The modelling is 
executed with skill. Fortunately, sufficient wood has been 
left in his 'instruments to enable time to exert its beneficial 
effects, a 'desideratum overlooked by many makers of good 
repute. The only feature of his work which can be con- 
sidered as wanting in merit is the scroll, which is somewhat 
cramped, and fails to convey the meaning intended, viz., 
the following of Amati; but as this is a point having refer- 
ence to appearance, and therefore solely affecting the con- 
noisseur, it may be passed over lightly, and the more so 
when we consider that Banks was not the only clever work- 


man that has failed in head-cutting. He made Violins, 
Tenors, and Violoncellos, all excellent ; but the latter have 
the preference. His large Violoncellos are the best ; those 
of the smaller pattern are equally well made, but lack 
depth of tone. The red-varnished instruments are the 

Banks, Benjamin, son of the above, born in September, 
• 1754; died January, 1820. Worked many years with his 
father at Salisbury, afterwards removed to London,, and 
lived at 30, Sherrard Street, Golden Square. 

Banks, James. Brother of the above. For some years 
carried on the business of his father at Salisbury, in con- 
junction with his brother 
James and Henry Banks, Henry. They ultimately sold 
Musical Instrument Makers ^i. u ■ j j 

, ,, . e 11 the busmess and removed 

and Music Sellers, 

18 Salisbury. 02 to Liverpool. The instru- 

ments of James and Henry 
Banks are of average merit. 

Barnes, Robert, 17 16. Worked with Thomas Smith at 
the " Harp and Hautboy " in Piccadilly. Afterwards partner 
with John Norris. 

Barrett, John, 1714. An average workman, who 
followed the model of Stainer. His shop bore the sign of 

the "Harp and Crown." Bar- 
John Barrett, at the Harp and rett was one of -the earliest 
Crown in PickadiUy, 17— copyists of Stainer, and in 
' the chain of English makers 
Made by John Barrett at ye Harp & is linked with Barak Nor- 
Crown in PickadiUy, London, 17 — man and Nathaniel Cross. 

The wood is generally of a 
very good quality, the varnish yellow. 
Barton, George, about 1810. 


Betts, John, born 1755, at Stamford, Lincolnshire, died 
in 1823. Became a pupil of Richard Duke. He com- 
menced business in one of 
Jo. Betts, No. 2, the shops of the Royal Ex- 

London, 17— joyed considerable patronage. 

John Betts does not appear 
to have made a great number of instruments, but employed 
many workmen, into whose instruments he inserted his 
trade label. He was, perhaps, the earliest London dealer 
in Italian instruments. His quaintly-worded business card 
runs : 

"John Betts, Real Musical Instrument Maker, at the Violin and 
German Flute, No. 2, under the North Piazza of the Royal Exchange, 
makes in the neatest manner, Violins the patterns of Antonius Stradi- 
varius, Hi^ronymus Amati, Jacobus Stainer, and Tyrols. Equal for the 
fine, full, mellow tone to those made in Cremona. Tenors, Violon- 
cellos, Pentachords, &c., &c., &c." 

The sound-holes of Betts' instruments are rather wide; 
broad purfling ; scroll well cut. 

Betts, Edward, nephew of John Betts; was a pupil 
of Richard Duke, whose work he copied with considerable 
skill. Of course in trying to imitate Duke he was copying 
Amati, Richard Dukg having spent his life in working after 
the Amati pattern, without attempting to model for himself. 
The care bestowed by Edward Betts on his instruments was 
of no ordinary kind. The workmanship throughout is of 
the most delicate description ; indeed it may be said that 
neatness is gained at the expense of individuality in many 
pf his works. Each part is faultless in finish, but when 
viewed as a whole the, result is too mechanical, giving as it 
does the notion of its having been turned out of a mould. 


Nevertheless, this maker takes rank with the foremost of the 
English copyists, and in his instruments we have as good 
specimens of undisguised work as can be readily found. 
They will be yearly more valued. 

BoLLES, . An early maker of Lutes and Viols. 

" Booth, William, 1779, Leeds. 

Booth, , son of the above, Leeds. 

Boucher, , London, 1764. 

Brown, James, London, born 1770, died 1834. Worked 
with Thomas Kennedy. 

Brown, James, London, son of the above, born 1786, 
died i860. 

Browne, John, London, about 1743. Worked at the 
sign of the " Black Lion,'' Cornhill. Good work. Amati 
pattern. Scroll well cut ; hard varnish. 

Cahusac, , London, ■ 1 788. Associated with the 

sons of Banks. 

Carter, John, London, 1789, worked with John Betts. 

Challoner, Thomas, London. Similar to Wamsley. 

Cole, Thomas, London, 1690. 

Thomas Cole, near Fetter Lane 
In Holborn, 16 — 

CoLE, James, Manchester. 
Collier, Samuel, 1750. 
Collier, Thomas, 1775. 
CoLLiNGWooD, Joseph, London, 1760. 
Conway, WiUiam, 1750. 

CoRSBY, , Northampton, 1 780. Chiefly made Double- 


CoRSBY, George. Lived upwards of half a century in 


Princes Street, Leicester Square, where he worked and 
dealt in old instruments. 
• Cramond, Charles, Aberdeen. 

Crask, George, Manchester. He made a large number 
of instruments, chiefly imitations. 

Cross, Nathaniel, London, about 1700 — 1750. Worked 
with Barak Norman. He made several good Violins. 
Purfling narrow ; excellent scroll. 

Crowther, John, 1760 — 18 10. 

CuTHBERT, London, 1 7th century. Maker of Viols and 
Violins. Many of the latter have merit. Model flat, and 
wood of good quality. Very dark varnish. 

Davidson, Hay, Huntley, 1870. 

Davis, Richard. Worked with Norris and Barnes. 

Davis, William, London. Succeeded Richard Davis in 
the business now carried on by Edward Withers. 

Dearlove, Mark, Leeds. 

Dearlove and Fryer, 

-Musical Instrument Manufacturers, 

Boar Lane, Leeds, 1828. 

Delany, John, Dublin, Used two kinds of labels, one 
of them very small — 

Made by John Delany, 
No. 17, Britain Street, Dublin. 1808. 

In the other which is larger, he states that he made Violins 
that his name might be of immortal memory. 

Made by John Delany, 

In order to perpet»ate his meniory in future ages. 

Dublin. 1808. 

Liberty to all the world 

black and white. 


Dennis, Jesse, London, 1805. 

Devereux, John, Melbourne, now living. When in 
England he worked with B. Simon Fendt. 

Dickinson, Edward, London, 1750. Made instruments 
of average merit The model is high. 

Edward Dickinson, 

Maker, at the Harp and Crown in the Strand, 

near Exeter Change, 

London. 17 — 

DiCKESON, John, 1750 — 1780, a native of Stirling. He 
would seem to have lived in various places, some instruments 
dating from London and some from Cambridge. He was 
an excellent workman, and chiefly copied Amati. His work 
much resembles that of Cappa. 

DiTTON, London, about 1700. Mention is made of an 
instrument by this maker in Tom Britton's Catalogue. 

DoDD, Thomas, son of Edward Dodd, of Sheffield. He 
was not a maker of Violins. Numerous instruments bear 

his name, but they are the 

T. Dodd, work of John Lott and Ber- 

Violin, Violoncello ^^^^ pg^dt. The merit of 

and Bow Maker, ^, . . ,. • r ^i. 

these mstruments is of the 
New street, , . , , , , 

Covent Garden. highest order, and they are 

justly appreciated by both 
player and connoisseur. Thomas Dodd deserves to be 
mentioned in terms of high praise, notwithstanding that 
the work was not executed by him, for his judgment was 
brought to bear upon the manufacture during its various 
stages, and more particularly in the varnishing, in which he 
took the hveliest interest. He had a method of mixing 
colours, the superior qualities of which he seems to have 


fully known, if we may judge from the note on his labels, 
which runs thus: "The only possessor of the recipe for 
preparing the original Cremona varnish. Instruments im- 
proved and repaired." This undoubtedly savours of pre- 
sumption, and is certainly wide of the truth. Nevertheless 
there is ample evidence that the varnish used by Thomas 
Dodd was very excellent, and had a rich appearance rarely 
to be met with in instruments of the English school. Dodd 
was encouraged in the art of varnish-making by persons of 
taste, who readily admitted the superior qualities of his com- 
position, and paid him a handsome price for his instruments. 
He was thus enabled to gratify his taste in his productions 
by sparing no means to improve them. He ultimately 
attained such a reputation for his instruments as to com- 
mand no less a sum than ^^4° or ;£s° fo"" ^ Violoncello. 
Commanding such prices, it is evident that he spared no 
expense, or, what was to him a matter of still greater import- 
ance, no time. He was most particular in receiving the 
instruments in that incomplete stage known in the trade as 
"in the white," i.e., without varnish. He would then care- 
fully varnish them with his own hands, guarding most warily 
the treasured secret of the composition of his varnish. That 
he never departed from this practice may be inferred from 
the fact that the varnish made by the workmen in his em- 
ploy, apart from the establishment, for their own instruments, 
is of an entirely diiferent stamp, and evidently shows that 
they were not in their master's secrets. 

The instrutnents bearing the Dodd label are not valued 
to the extent of their deserts, and there can be but little 
doubt that in the course of time they will be valued accord- 
ing to their true merits. They were made by men of 
exceptional talent, who were neither restricted in price nor 


material. Under such favourable conditions the results 
could not fail to be good. 

DoDD, Thomas, London. Son of Thomas Dodd, musical 
instrument dealer, of St. Martin's Lane. The father, although 
not a maker of Violins, possessed excellent judgment, both 
as regards work and makers, which enabled his son to profit 
considerably during his early years whilst working with 
Fendt and Lott. 

DoRANT, William, London, 1814. 

Duke, Richard, worked from 1750 — 1780. The name 
of this maker has long been a household word with English 

Violinists, both amateur and 

T ,.'/■•' professional. Who has not 

Londoni fecit 17 — ^ 

got a friend who is the for- 
tunate owner of a veritable " Duke " ? The fame of His 
Majesty Antonio Stradivari himself is not greater than that 
of Richard Duke in the eyes of many a Fiddle fancier. 

From his earliest fiddling 

Richard Duke, Maker, j ^i. r t-v 1 

„ „ T J « \. days the name of Duke 
Holbom, London. Ann 17 — ' , ... , - 

became familiar to him; 

he has heard more of him than of Stradivari, whom he 
somehow confuses with Cremona. He fondly imagines 
that Cremona was a celebrated maker, and Stradivari some- 
thing else; inquires, and becomes more confused, and 
returns again to "Duke," with whom he is thoroughly at 

Many excellent judges have wondered how it came to 
pass that Richard Duke should have been so highly valued, 
there being, in their estimation, so little amongst his remains 
worthy of the reputation he gained. The truth is, that no 
maker, with the exception of the great Cremonese artists, 
has been so persistently counterfeited. The name of Duke 


has been stamped upon every wretched nondescript, until 
judges who had not the opportunity of seeing the genuine 
article mistook the copies for the original, and hence the 
confusion. When, however, a really fine specimen of Duke 
is once seen, it is not likely to be forgotten. As copies of 
Amati such instruments are scarcely surpassed, varnish, work, 
and material being of the best description. The copies of 
Stainer were not so successful. 

Duke, Richard, London. Son of the above. 

Duncan, , Aberdeen, 1762. 

Duncan, George, Glasgow. Now living. 

Eglington, , London, 1800. 

Evans, Richard, London, 1750. His label is a curiosity — 

Maid in the Paris of 

Lanirhengel, by Richard 

Evans, Instrument maker, 

in the year 17 — 

Fendt, Bernard, born at Innsbruck, in the Tyrol, in 
1756, died 1832. He was evidently a born Fiddle-maker, 
genius being stainped in a greater or less degree upon all 
his works. To Thomas Dodd belongs the credit of bringing 
his talent into play. Dodd obtained the services of Fendt 
upon his arrival in England, which the latter reached at an 
early age. He remained with Dodd many years, frequently 
making instruments with John Frederick Lott. The instru- 
ments so made bear the label of Thomas Dodd. Lott being 
also a German, reciprocity of feeling sprung up between him 
and Fendt, -which induced Lott to exchange the business to 
which he was brought up for that which his fellow country 
man Fendt had adopted, and henceforth to make Violins 
instead of cabinets. By securing the services of these ad- 
mirable workmen, Dodd reaped a rich harvest. He found 


in them men capable of carrying out his instructions with an 
exactness that could not be surpassed. Dodd was unable to 
use the tools himself, but in Fendt and Lott he had men 
who were consummate masters of them. When the instru- 
ments were finished as far as construction was concerned, 
they were clothed in coats of the master's livery — " Dodd's 
varnish," the secret of making which he kept carefblly to 
himself. With these coats of varnish upon them the work 
was doubly effective, and every point of excellence was made 
to shine with the happiest effect Upon leaving the work- 
shop of Thomas Dodd, Bernard Fendt worked for John 
Betts, making many of those copies of Amati which are 
associated with the name of Betts, and which have so high 
a value. 

Although Fendt was German by birth, his style of work 
cannot be considered as German in character. Having 
early quitted his post of trade in Paris for England, and 
having in this country placed himself under the guidance of 
Dodd, who steadfastly kept before his workmen the originals 
of the great Italian masters for models, his work acquired a 
distinctive stamp of its own, and in its turn gave rise to a 
new and independent class of makers. 

Fendt, Bernard Simon, London, born in 1800, died in 
1851. Son of the above. He was an excellent workman. 
It is to be regretted that he did not follow the excellent 
example set by his father, and let time do its work without 
interruption upon his instruments. Had he doije so they 
would, in many instances, have been equal to those of his 
parent ; but, unfortunately, he worked when the mania for 
obtaining supposed maturity by artificial means was at its 
height, and shared the general infatuation, and, in conse- 
quence, very frequently destroyed all the stamina of his 


instruments. Subsequently he became a partner of George 
Purdy, and carried on a joint business at Finch Lane, in 
the City of London, from whence most of his best instru- 
ments date, having removed to the West End about 1843. 
He was a most assiduous worker. The number of Violins, 
Tenors, Violoncellos, and Double-Basses that he made was 
very great ; indeed his reputation would have been greater 
had he been content to have made fewer instruments and 
have exercised more general care. His copies of Guarneri 
are most numerous, numbering some hundreds. They are 
mostly varnished with a glaring red colour, of a hard nature. 
He made many good Double-Basses of the Gasparo da Salo 
form, the varnish on which is superior to that on his Violins. 
He made also an excellent quartett of instruments — Violin, 
Viola, Violoncello, and Double-Bass, for the Exhibition of 
1851. They were certainly the best contemporary instru- 
ments exhibited, but he failed to obtain the prize medal. 

Fendt, Martin, London, born 1812. Brother of the 
above. Worked for Betts. 

Fendt, Jacob, London, born 1815, died 1849. Third 
son of Bernard Fendt. The best maker among the sons of 
Bernard. His instruments are beautifully finished, and free 
from the stereotyped character belonging to those of his 
brother Bernard. As specimens of the imitator's art they are 
unequalled. One cannot but regret that such a consummate 
workman should have been obliged to waste his energies in 
making new work resemble that of a hundred years before. 
The patronage that he obtained was not of much value, but 
had he brought his work into the market in its natural 
condition he would not have lived by his trade. He was, 
therefore, compelled to foster that which he no doubt felt to 
be degrading. The copies of Stradivari by Jacob Fendt are 


among his best efforts. The work is well done; the dis- 
coloration of the wood cleverly managed, the effects of wear 
counterfeited with greater skill than has ever been done 
before or since, and finally, an amount of style is thrown 
into the work which transcends the ingenuity of any other 
copyist. Had he been allowed to copy the .form of the old 
masters, as Lupot did, without imitating the actual wear of 
the instrument, we should have had a valuable addition to 
our present stock of instruments of the Panormo class. 

Fendt, Francis, London. Fourth son of Bernard. 

Fendt, William, London, born 1833, died 1852. Son of 
Bernard Simon Fendt. Was an excellent workman, and 
assisted his father in the manufacture of several of his 

Ferguson, Donald, Huntley, Aberdeenshire. 

Firth, , Leeds, 1836. 

FoRSTER, John, born about 1688* A maker of spinning- 
wheels and Violins. 

FoRSTER, William, born in 17 13, died 1801. The family 

of the Forsters have played no. 
William Forster, unimportant part in the history 

Violin Maker, of Violins. The attention they 

in Brampton. commanded as makers, both 

from artists and amateurs, has 
probably never been equalled in England. Their instru^ 
ments claimed attention from the moment they left their, 
makers' hands, their construction being excellent in every 
way. William Forster was a native of Brampton, in Cumber- 
land, where he followed the trade of a spinning-wheel maker, 
occupying his spare time in the nnaking and repairing of 
Viohns and musical instruments generally. His labours, as 
far as they relate to Violin-making, appear to have been of 



a very unpretending nature, but they served to impart a taste 
for the art to his son William, who was the best maker of 
the family. 

FoRSTER, William, London, born 1739, died 1807. Son 
of William Forster mentioned above. Worked with his 

father at Brampton in Cum- 
WiUiam Forster,- berland, making spinning- 

• <=. M^i°"°f''"'T . wheels and Violins - two 

in St. Martin s Lane, London, 

i7_ singularly diverse occupa- 

tions. It was, however, to 
the latter industry he gave the most attention, and he soon 
became the great maker of his neighbourhood. He after- 
wards added another string to his bow, viz., that of playing 
country-dances at the village festivities. Thus armed with 
three occupations, he must have been well employed. He 
seems to have early discovered that his abilities required a 
larger field in which to show themselves to advantage, and 
accordingly took the usual course in such circumstances — • 
came to the Metropolis, in which he settled about the year 
1759. He soon obtained employment at a musical instru- 
ment seller's on Tower Hill, and gave up then and for ever 
the making of spinning-wheels, while by throwing all his 
soul- into the manufacture of Violins he soon gave his 
master's patrons the highest satisfaction. He ultimately 
commenced business on his own behalf in the neighbour- 
hood of Duke's Court, St. Martin's Lane, where his abilities 
attracted considerable attention, and secured him the patron- 
age of the dilettanti in the musical world. For several years 
he followed the path trodden by the makers of the period, 
and copied Stainer. His instruments of this date are very 
excellent both in workmanship- and material, but are not 
equal to those of the Amati pattern, which he commenced 


to make about the year 1770. These are beautiful works, 
and have a great charm from their being so varied. Some 
are copies of Antonio and Girolamo Amati, variously 
modelled ; others are copies of Niccolo Amati. The wood 
and varnish also varies very much, but the high standard of 
goodness is well maintained throughout. His varnish was, 
during the last twenty years of his life, very fine in quality, 
and in the manufacture of it he is. said to have been assisted 
by a friend who was an excellent chemist. He made only 
four Double-Basses, three of which were executed for the 
private band of George III. Forster's instruments were 
the favourite equipment of Robert Lindley, and their value 
in his day was far higher than at the present moment. When 
Lindley died, attention was turned to Italian Violoncellos, 
and a vast number having been brought to England, the 
value of Forster's productions was very considerably depre- 
ciated ; now, however, that the cultivation of stringed in- 
strument music has been so much extended, they are rapidly 
rising again to their former level, Italian instruments being 
a luxury not obtainable by every one, and age having so 
benefited the tone of Forster's Violoncellos as to render 
them excellent substitutes. 

FoRSTER, William, London, born in 1764, died 1824. 

,,7M.- T7 . T tr- 1- Son of William Forster, the 
William Forster, Junr., Violm, ' 

Violoncello, Tenor & Bow Maker, second of the family. Al- 

18— Also Music Seller No 43 though this maker did not 

to their Royal Highnesses the attain to the celebrity of his 

Prince of Wales and the Duke of f^^^. j^is instruments are 

Cumberland. r. r 11 ■ j t., 

often fully as good. The 

workmanship is very neat, and the modelling excellent ; the 

varnish being equal to that on his father's instruments. 

Forster, William, London, born in 1788, died 1824. Son 


of William Forster, mentioned above. He was a very good 
workman : he made but few instruments. 

Forster, Simon Andrew, London, born in 1781, died' 
about 1869. Brother of William, mentioned above. He 
learned his business from his father and Samuel Gilkes, who 
worked for William Forster. He made several instruments 
between the years 1828 and 1840, which are of average merit. 

Frankland, , London. 

FuRBER, , London. There were several makers of 

this family, some of whom worked for Betts, of the Royal 

Exchange. Many of their 
John Furber, Maker instruments are excellent, 

13, John s Row, top of Bnck Lane, 

Old St., Saint Luke. 1813. and should unquestionably 

be more valued than they 
are. John Furber made several Violins of the grand Amati 
pattern, and also copied with much ability the " Betts " 
Stradivari, when the instrument belonged to Messrs. Betts 
in the Royal Exchange, for whom he worked. 

Furber, Henry John, son of John Furber, now living in 
Grafton Street. He has made several excellent instruments, 
and maintained the character for good workmanship which 
has been associated with the name of Furber for upwards of 
a century. 

GiBBS, James. Worked for Samuel Gilkes and others. 

Gilkes, Samuel, London, born in 1787, died in 1827. 

Was born at Morton Pinkney, in Northamptonshire. He 

Qjjj^gg became an apprentice of 

From Forster's, Charles Harris, whose style 

Violin and Violoncello Maker, he followed to some extent. 
34, James Street, Buckingham Gate, Upon leaving Harris he 

engaged himself to William 
Forster, making many instruments for him, retaining, how- 


ever, all the features of the style of Harris. In the year 
1 8 10 he left the workshop of Forster, and commenced 
business on his own account in James Street, Buckingham 
Gate, where the few instruments bearing his name were 
made. Too much cannot be said in praise of much of the 
work of this excellent maker. The exquisite finish of many 
of his instruments evidences that the making of them 
was to him a labour of love. Amati was his favourite 

GiLKES, William, London, born 1811, died 1875. Son 
of Samuel Gilkes. Has made a great number of instru- 
ments of various patterns, chiefly Double-Basses. 

GouGH, Walter. An indifferent workman. 

Harbour, , London, about 1785. 

Hardie, Matthew, Edinburgh, date from about 1800. 
He was the best maker Scotland has had. The model is 
that of Amati'; the work throughout excellent. The linings 
are mostly of cedar. He died about 1825-6. 

Hardie, Thomas, Edinburgh. Worked with his father, 
Matthew Hardie. He was born in 1804, died 1856. 

Hare, John, London. About 1700. His label shows 
that he was in partnership, his name being joined to that of 
Freeman, and the address is given as "Near the Royal 
Exchange, Cornhill, London.'' Much resembles the work 
and style of Urquhart. Varnish of fine quality. 

Hare, Joseph, London, probably a son of John Hare, 
above-mentioned. Varnish of excellent quaUty. 

Joseph Hare, at y= Viol and Flute, 

near the Royal Exchange, in Cornhill, London. 

172 — . 

Harris, Charles, London, 1800, This maker is known 


only to a few dealers, as he made chiefly for the wholesale 
merchants of his day. His name was rarely affixed to his 
instruments, but those thoroughly acquainted with his work 
agree in giving him a foremost place among the makers of 
this country. He was, like many other makers of that 
period, engaged in two occupations differing very much 
from each other, being at the same time a Custom-house 
officer and maker of Violins. The former circumstance 
brought him into contact with mercantile men, and enabled 
him to obtain commissions to make Violins for the export 
trade. His business in this direction so increased that he 
obtained the services of his relative, Samuel Gilkes, as his 
assistant. He never aimed at producing a counterpart of 
the instrument that he copied by resorting to the use of 
deleterious means to indicate upon the surface of an instru- 
ment the ravages of time. He faithfully copied the form, 
and thus did what Lupot was doing at the same period. 
The finish of these instruments is excellent, and as they are 
covered with a good quality of varnish, they have every 
recommendation of appearance. 

Harris, Charles. Son of the above. Neat workmanship. 
Well-cut scroll. Sound-holes not well formed. Yellow 
varnish. Worked for a short time for John Hart. 

Hart, John Thomas, born December 17th, 1805, died 
January ist, 1874. He was articled to Samuel Gilkes in 

May, 1820, of whom he 

JohnHart, learned the mechanical 

14, Princes Street, Leicester Square, branch of his profession. He 
London. Anno 18— afterwards centred his atten- 

tion upon the peculiar cha- 
racteristics of the Cremonese and Italian Violin-makers 
generally, and in a comparatively brief space of time ob- 


tained an extensive acquaintance in that direction. His 
unerring eye and powerful memory of instruments once 
brought under his notice secured for him the highest 
position among the connoisseurs of his time. Com- 
mencing business at a period when the desire to possess 
instruments by the famous Italian makers was becoming 
general among amateurs, and' being peculiarly fortunate in 
securing an early reputation as a judge of them, he became 
the channel through which the greater part of the rare Italian 
works passed into England, and it has frequently been said 
that there are very few distinguished instruments in Europe 
with which he was unacquainted. Among the remarkable 
collections that he brought together may be mentioned that 
of the late Mr. James Coding, the remnant of which was 
dispersed by Messrs. Christie and Manson in 1857; the 
small but exquisite collection of Mr. Charles Plowden, 
consisting of four Violins of Stradivari and four of Guar- 
neri, with other instruments of less merit, the whole of which 
again passed into Mr. Hart's possession upon the death of 
their owner ; and, lastly, a large portion of the well-known 
collection of the late Mr. Joseph Gillot, sold by Christie and 
Manson shortly after the famous sale of pictures belonging 
to the same collector. 

Haynes, Jacob, London, 1746. Copied Stainer. The 
style resembles that of Barrett. 

Heesom, Edward, London, 1748. Copied Stainer. 

Hill, Joseph, London. Pupil of Peter Wamsley. His 
Violoncellos and Tenors are well-made instruments. 

Joseph Hill, Maker, 

at the Harp and Flute, 

in .the Hay Market. 



Hill, William, London, 1741. Son of the above. Very 
good work. 

William Hill, Maker, in Poland Street, 
near Broad Street, 17 — 

Hill, Joseph, London, 1800 — 1840. Son of the above. 

Hill, Lockey, London, 1800 — 1835. Brother. of the 
above. Made many excellent instruments. 

Hill, William Ebsworth, London, now living. Son of 
Lockey Hill. Made several instruments in his younger days, 
but, like the rest of our English makers, he long since dis- 
covered that new work was unremunerative, and turned his 
attention to repairing and dealing in old instruments, whereby 
he enjoys .his full share of patronage from the Violin world. 
He exhibited at the Exhibition of 1862 a Violin and Tenor, 
thus showing.that Violin-making was not quite extinguished 
in England. 

Holloway, J., London, 1794. 

Hume, Richard, Edinburgh, i6th century. A maker of 
Lutes, &c. 

Jaye, Henry, London, 17 th century. Maker of Viols, 
which are capital specimens of the work of the period. 
The varnish is excellent. 

Jay, Thomas, London. Related to the above. Excellent 

Jay, Henry, London, about 1744 — 1777. A maker of 

Kits chiefly. At this period 
Made by Henry Jay, ., . .,_..,. 

in long Acre, London. 1746. *^^^^ J''^^"'^^ ^'°^'''^ ""^'^ '" 

much demand by dancing- 
masters. A few years ago a very choice collection of these 
instruments was made by an Irish gentleman residing at 
Paris, who obtained specimens from all parts of Europe. 


Henry Jay also made Violoncellos, some of which have the 
names of Longman and Broderip on the backs. 

Johnson, John, London, 1750. The Viohns bearing his 
label are dated from Cheapside. Johnson was a Music and 

Musical Instrument seller. 
Made and sold by John Johnson j^^ „^j^g Professional Life 
at theHarp and Crown.m Cheapside, ■ t^., ,. , . , , . 

17 London. 53. °^ Dibdm, written by him- 

self, we have the following 
reference to this City music-seller : " My brother intro- 
duced me to old Johnson, who at that time kept a capital 
music-shop in Cheapside.' I soon, however, grew tired of 
an attendance on him. He set me down to tune Harpsi- 
chords, a mere mechanical employment, not at all to my 
taste." " I saw plainly that I might have screwed up 
Harpsichords in old Johnson's shop to all eternity, without 
advancing my fortune ; and as to the songs and sonatas that 
I brought him for sale, they had not been performed at the 
theatres nor Vauxhall, nor any other place, and Johnson 
would not print them." "The Thompsons, however, of St. 
Paul's Churchyard, published six ballads for me, which sold 
at three-halfpence a-piece, and for the copyright of which 
they generously gave me three guineas." Though we may 
not feel disposed to apply the term generous to a payment 
of half-a- guinea for a Dibdin ballad, yet in all probability 
we are indebted to the Thompsons for this particular re- 
cognition of merit. Happily true genius, when in straits, 
generally finds relief. Were it otherwise, and had the 
Thompsons been as deaf to Dibdin as John Johnson 

• Dibdin's brother was captain of a merchant vessel, and was intimate 
with Johnson the music-seller. On the death of Captain Dibdin his 
brother composed " Tom Bowling," the music and words of which 
bespeak the fraternal love of the composer. 


appears to have been, " Tom Bowling," " Poor Jack," and 
many other compositions of sterling merit, might never 
have been written." 

Kennedy, Alexander, London, 1700 — 1786. Was a 
native of Scotland. He was the first maker of Violins in 
his family, which was connected with the manufacture for 
nearly two centuries. 

Alexander Kennedy, Musical Instrument 

Maker, living in Market Street, in Oxford 

Road, London 17 — 

Kennedy, John, London, born 1730; died 1816. 
Nephew of Alexander Kennedy. Made Viohns and Tenors. 

Kennedy, Thomas, London, born 1784; died about 
1870. Son of the above. Probably made more instru- 
ments that any English maker, with the exception of Crask. 

Lentz, Johann Nicolaus, London, 1803. He used 
mostly one kind of wood, viz., close-grained maple. Varnish 
nearly opaque. 

Johann Nicolaus Lentz, fecit 
near the Church, Chelsea. 1803. 

Lewis, Edward, London, 1700. The work is well exe- 
cuted throughout, and the varnish superior. 

Longman and Broderip, Cheapside, London, about 
1760. They were music-publishers and instrument-sellers,- 
and were not Viohn-makers. Benjamin Banks, Jay, and 
others, made many of the instruments upon which the 
name of Longman is stamped. Muzio Clementi was at one 

' Dibdin was evidently discouraged in consequence of Johnson's re- 
fusal to publish his songs : he says, " After I had broken off with John- 
son, I had some idea of turning my thoughts to merchants' accounts — 
the very last thing upon earth for which I was calculated." 


time a partner in the firm. The business ultimately passed 
to CoUard and CoUard. 

LoTT, John Frederick, 1775 — 1853. Was a German by 
birth. He was engaged in the cabinet business early in 
life. He was induced by Fendt to turn his attention to 
making Viohns, and dltimately obtained employment under 
Thomas Dodd, making many of the Violoncellos and 
Double-Basses that carry the label of Dodd within them. 
His work was of a most finished description. His Double- 
Basses are splendid instruments, and will bear comparison 
with Italian work. His varnish was far from equal -to his 
finish. The time he spent in making these instruments 
was double that which any other English maker expended 
over similar work. There is not a single portion of any of 
his Double-Basses that has been carelessly made ; the in- 
terior is as beautifully finished as the exterior. The 
machines on many of his Basses were made by himself, 
a very unusual circumstance. The scrolls are finely cut. He 
was certainly the king of the English Double-Bass makers. 

LoTT, George Frederick, London, born 1800; died 1868. 
Son of the above. Many years with Davis of Coventry 
Street. Was an excellent judge of Italian instruments, and 
a clever imitator. 

LoTT, John Frederick, London, younger brother of the 
above, died about 187 1. Was articled to Davis. Has 
made many clever imitations. He was also an ardent lover 
of Cremonese instruments, and thoroughly understood their 
' characteristics. His career was both chequered and curious, 
sufficiently so, indeed, to cause our eminent novelist, Charles 
Reade, to make it the subject of " Jack of all Trades : a 
Matter-of-Fact Romance." Jack Lott (as he was familiarly 
styled) therefore shares with Jacob Stainer the honour of 


having supplied subject-matter for writers of fiction. It 
miist, however, ,be said that whilst Dr. Schuler's "Jacob 
Stainer " is mainly pure fiction, " Jack of all Trades " is 
rightly entitled " a matterof-fact romance." I. have many 
times heard John Lott relate the chief incidents so graphi- 
cally described by Charles Reade. He was certainly a man 
of singular ability, and his talents were strangely varied. 

Macintosh, Dublin. Succeeded Perry and Wilkinson. 
Died about 1840. 

M.'VRSHALL, John, London, 1750. 

M.A.RTIN, , London, about 1790. 

Meares, Richard, about 1677. Maker of "Viols. 

Richard Meares, without Bishopsgate, 
near to Sir Paul Finder's, London. Fecit 1677. 

MiER, , London, about 1786. 

Morrison, John, London, about 1780 — 1803. 

Naylor, Isaac, Headingly, near Leeds, about 1778 — 1792. 

NoRBORN, John, London, about 1723. 

NoKMANj Barak, London, 1688 — 1740. The instruments 
of this maker are among the best of the Old English school. 
His instructor in the art of Viol and Violin-making is un- 
known, but judging from the character of his work it is very 

probable he learned frorn 

„ ,^ Thomas Urquhart. This 

Barak Norman . . . , , 

^jjj opmion IS strengthened upon 

Nathaniel Cross, examining his earliest instru- 

at the Bass Viol in St. ments. We there find the 

Paul's Church Yard, ^^^^ peculiarities which mark 

London. Fecit 172 — , ..... ,. , .^ 

the individuality of Urquhart. 

Later in life he leaned much to the model of Maggini. 

During his early years he was much esteemed as a maker 
of Viols, many of which have all the marks of careful work 


upon them. On all of these instruments will be found his 
name, surrounded with a design in purfling, under the 
finger-board, or his monogram executed in purfling. The 
same trade token will be found in his Violoncellos. All 
endeavours to discover any existing English Violoncello, or 
record of one, anterior to Barak Norman, have failed, and, 
consequently, if may be assumed that he was the first 
maker of that instrument in England. Here, again, is 
evidence of his partiality for the form of Maggini, both 
father and son, as he copied these makers in nearly all his 
Violoncellos. All the Violoncellos of Barak Norman have 
bellies of good quality ; the modelling is executed skil- 
fully, due care having been observed in leaving sufficient 
wood. His Tenors are fine instruments. Many of these were 
made years before he began the Violoncellos, a fact which 
satisfactorily accounts for the marked difference in form 
peculiar to them. The build is higher, and the sound-hole 
German in character ; the varnish is very dark. About the 
year 1715 Barak Norman entered into partnership with 
Nathaniel Cross, carrying on the joint business at the sign 
of the Bass Viol, St Paul's Churchyard. In a Viol da 
Gamba owned by Walter Brooksbank, Esq., of Windermere, 
is a label in the handwriting of Nathaniel Cross, by which 
he adds the power of speech to the qualities of the quaint 
Gamba ; the words are, " Nathaniel Cross wrought my back 
and belly." The sides and scroll being the work of his partner. 

NoRRis, John, London, born 1739; died 1818. Articled 

to Thomas Smith, the suc- 

Made by Norris and Barnes, cessor of Peter Wamsley. 

Violin, Violoncello and Bow gj^j,^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^ 
Makers, To their Majesties, 
Coventry Street, London. Thomas Smith. He became 
a partner of Robert Barnes. 


Pamphilon, Edward, London, 17th century. The 
Violins of this maker were formerly much prized. The 

model is very high, and the 

Edward Pamphilon, nnnparnnrp somewhat ero- 

April the 3rd, 1685. appearance somewnat gro 

tesque. It is to be regretted 

that the splendid varnish often found on these instruments 

was not put upon better work, 

Panormo, Vincent. (See Italian School.) 

Panormo, Joseph, London. Son of Vincent Panormo. 
His work was excellent. His Violoncellos are decidedly 
superior to his Violins. 

Panormo, George Lewis, London. Brother of the above. 
Made Violins of the Stradivari pattern. • 

Panormo, Louis, London. Made Guitars chiefly. 

Parker, Daniel, London, i8th century. This is another 
maker of the English school, who was possessed of excep- 
tional talent, and whose instruments are well worthy of 
attention from those in search of good Violins at a moderate 
cost. To Parker belongs, in conjunction with Benjamin 
Banks, the merit of breaking through the prejudice so long 
in favour of preference for the Stainer model. 

The dates of his instruments extend from the year 1 740 
to 1785. He left his Violins thick in wood, which has cer- 
tainly enhanced their value now that time has ripened them. 
He used excellent material, which is often very handsome. 
The varnish is of a mellow quality, and fairly transparent. 
A large number of these Violins have been passing under 
other makers' names, and have been but little noticed. 

Pearce, James, London, i8th century. 

Pearce, W., London, now living. 

Pemberton, Edward, LoMdon, 1660. This maker has 
been often mentioned as the author of a Violin said to have 


been presented to the Earl of Leicester by Queen Elizabeth, 
and to suit this legend Pemberton's era has been put back 
a century. The date given above will be found in the 
Violins of this maker. 

Perry and Wilkinson, Dublin, i-j— to 1830. The in- 
struments bearing the labels of these makers are frequently 
excellent in tone, material, and finish. 

Powell, London, i8th century. 

Made by Thomas 

Powell, No. 18, Clemens 

Lane, Clare Market. 


Preston, London, about 1724. Appears .to have used his 

trade label in the instruments he sold, made by makers he 


Preston, John, York, 18th century. 

John Preston, York, 
1791. Fecit. 

Rawlins, Henry, London, about 1781. He appears to 
have been patronized by Giardini, the Violinist, according 

Restauratus Henricus Rawlins 

Auspicio Giardini 

Londini 1781. 

to the label here given. Giardini held the post of leader at 
the Itahan Opera at this period. 

Rayman, Jacob, London, 17 th century. The subject of 

this notice was probably a 
Jacob Rayman dwqlling in Black- German from the Tyrol, who 
man Street, Long — Southwark. ^^i ■, ■ t- 1 i 1 

jg J settled in England about 

1620, and may be considered 
as the founder of Violin-making in this country, there 


being no trace of any British Violin-maker previous to that 

time. His work is quite 
Jacob Rayman, at ye Bell different from that of the old 
Yard in Southwark, ^ ... .,_.., , ~, 

London, 1648. English Viol-makers. The 

instruments of Rayman are of 
a somewhat rough exterior, but full of character. The form 
is flat, considering the general style of the work. The 
sound-holes are striking, although not graceful in any way. 
The scroll is diminutive, but well cut The varnish is very 
fine. In the catalogue of the effects of Tom Britton, mention 
is made of " an extraordinary Rayman." 

Richards, Edwin, London, now living. Maker and 

Rooil, Joseph, Carlisle, about 1800. 

RossE (or Ross), John, Bridewell, London, about 1562. 
Made Viols and Bandoras. 

Ross, John, London, about 1596. Son of the above. 
Maker of Viols. The varnish is excellent in quality. 

Shaw, London, 1655. 

Simpson, London, 1785. 

John Simpson, 

Musical Instrument Maker, 

At the Bass-Viol and Flute, 

In Sweeting's Alley, 

Opposite the East door of the Royal Exchange, 


Smith, Henry, London, 1629. Maker of Viols. 
Smith, Thomas, London. Pupil of Peter Wamsley, and 
his successor at the Harp and Hautboy. 

Made by Thos. Smith, at the Harp and 
Hautboy, in Pickadilly, London. 1756. 



Smith, William, London, about 1770. 

Tarr, William, Manchester. Made many Double Basses 
from about 1829. 

Taylor, London, about 1800. A maker of much merit. 
Instruments of the character of Panormo. 

Thompson, London, 1749. 

Thorowgood, Henry, London. Little known, 

TiLLEY, Thomas, London, about 1774. 

ToBiN, Richard, London; 1800. TPupil of Perry, of 
Dublin. His instruments are much appreciated by the 
best judges. In cutting a scroll he was unequalled amongst 
English makers. 

ToBiN, London. Son of the above. 

Urquhart, London, 17th century. Nothing is known 
concerning the history of this excellent maker. The style 
may be considered as resembling that of Jacob Rayman, 
and it is possible he worked with him. His varnish is equal 
to that on many Italian instruments. 

Valentine, William, London, died about 1877. Made 
many Double Basses for Mr. Hart, which are highly valued. 

Wamsley, Peter, London, i8th century. One of the best 
English makers. His copies of Stainer are very superior. 

Made by Peter Wamsley, 

At ye Golden Harp, in Piccadilly, 

London. 17 — 

Wise, Christopher, London, about 1650. Yellow varnish, 
neat workmanship, flat model, small pattern. 

Withers, Edward, Coventry Street Succeeded William 

Withers, Edward. Son of the above. Wardour Street, 
Soho. Was instructed by John Lott. 



Young, London, about 1728. Lived in St. Paul's Church- 
yard. Purcell has immortalized father and son in the first 
volume of his Catches. 

" You scrapers who want a good Fiddle well strung, 
You must go to the man that is old while he's Young ; 
But if this same Fiddle you fain would play bold. 
You must go to his son, who'll be Young when he's old. 
There's old Young and young Young, both men of renown, 
Old sells, and young plays, the best Fiddles in town ; 
Young and old live together, and may they live long, 
Young, to play an old Fiddle; old, to sell a new song." 


%^t WLioUn ana ft0 (iaotatic0» 

STERNE (himself a votary of the Fiddle) has well said, 
"Have not the wisest of men in all ages, not excepting 
Solomon himself, had their hobby-horses — their running- 
horses, their coins and their cockle-shells, their drums and 
their trumpets, their Fiddles, their pallets, their maggots and 
their butterflies ? And so long as a man rides his hobby- 
horse peaceably and quietly along the king's highway, and 
neither compels you nor me to get up behind him, — pray, 
sir, what have either you or I to do with it ? " He further 
tells us, "There is no disputing against hobby-horses ; " and 
adds, "I seldom do: nor could I, with any sort of grace, 
had I been an enemy to them at the bottom ; happening at 
certain intervals and changes of the moon, to be both Fiddler 
and painter.!' 

The leading instrument is singularly favoured. It may be 
said to have a double existence. In addition to its manifold 
capabilities, it has its life of activity on the one hand, and 
inactivity on the other. At one time it is cherished for its 
powers of giving pleasure to the ear, at another for the 
gratification it affords to the eye. Sometimes it is happily 
called upon to p^form its double part — giving delight to 


both senses. When this is so, its existence is indeed a 
happy one. The VioHn thus occupies a different position 
to all other musical instruments. Far more than any other 
musical instrument it enters into the life of the player. It 
may almost be said to live and move about with him ; the 
treasure-house of his tenderest and deepest emotions, the 
symbol of his own better self Moreover, the Violin is a 
curiosity as well as a mechanical contrivance. Thus it is 
cherished, perhaps for its old associations — it may have been 
the companion of a valued friend, or it may be prized as a 
piece of artistic work, or it may be valued, independently of 
other associations, for the simple purpose for which it was 
made, viz., to answer the will of the player when touched 
with the bow. The singular powers centred in the Violin 
have been beautifully expressed by Oliver Wendell Holmes, 
who says : "Violins, too. The sweet old Amati ! the divine 
Stradivari ! played on by ancient maestros until the bow 
hand lost its power, and the flying fingers stiffened. Be- 
queathed to the passionate young enthusiast, who made it 
whisper his hidden love, and cry his inarticulate longings, 
and scream his untold agonies, and wail his monotonous 
despair. Passed from his dying hand to the cold virtuoso, 
who let it sluniber in its case for a generation, till, when his 
hoard was broken up, it came forth once more, and rode 
the stormy symphonies of royal orchestras, beneath the 
rushing bow of their lord and leader. Into lonely prisons 
with improvident artistes ; into convents from which arose, 
day and night, the holy hymns with which its tones were 
blended ; and back again to orgies, in which it learned to 
howl and laugh as if a legion of devils were shut up in it ; 
then, again to the gentle dilettante who calmed it down with 
easy melodies until it answered him softly as in the days of 


the old maestros j and so given into our hands, its pores all 
full of music, stained, like the meerschaum, through and 
through with the concentrated hue and sweetness of all the 
harmonies which have kindled and faded on its strings." 
The gifted author of "The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table" 
has evidently made himself acquainted with the various. life- 
phases of a Violin. 

The fancy for the Violin as a curiosity has been a matter 
of slow growth, and has reached its present proportions 
solely from the intrinsic merits of its object. The Violin 
has not come suddenly to occupy the attention of the curi- 
ous, like many things that might be named which have 
served to satisfy a taste for the collection of what is rare or 
whimsical, and to which an artificial value has been imparted. 
In those days when the old Brescian and Cremonese makers 
flourished, the only consideration was the tone-producing 
quality of their instruments ; the Violin had not then taken 
its place among curiosities. The instruments possessing 
the desired qualities were sought out until their scarcity 
made them legitimate food for the curious. Beauties, 
hitherto passed over, began to be appreciated, the various 
artistic points throughout the work of each valued maker 
were noted, and in due time Violins had their connoisseurs 
as well as their players. 

Besides Italy, England, France, and Germany have each 
had their great men in the Fiddle world, whose instruments 
have ever been classed as objects of virtu. Mace, in his 
"Musick's Monument," published in 1676,- gives, perhaps, 
the earliest instance of curiosity prices in England. " Your 
best provision (and most compleat) will be a good chest of 
Viols ; six in number, viz., two Basses, two Tenors, and two 
Trebles, all truly and proportionally suited ; of such there 


are no better in the world than those of Aldred, Jay, Smith; 
(yet the highest in esteem are) Bolles and Ross (one Bass 
of Bolles I have known valued at ;£io6). These were old." 
From the above curious extract we glean that the Fiddle 
family was receiving some attention. The makers in England 
whose instruments seem to have reached curiosity prices are 
Bolles, Jay, Barak Norman, Duke, Wamsley, Banks, and 
Forgter': the value attached at different periods to the works 
of these men has nearly approached the prices of Cremonese 
work. Of course the high value set upon the instruments 
of the makers above nairied was confined to England. 

Turning to France, we find that many of the old French 
makers' instruments brought prices greatly in excess of their 
original cost. The favourite French makers were Medard, 
Bocquay, Pierray, of the old school, and Lupot and Pique 
of the modern. 

In Germany there have been makers whose works have 
brought very high prices. Stainer, Albani, Widhalm, 
Scheinlein, are names that will serve to associate high 
values with German work. In the case of Jacob Stainer, 
the celebrity of his instruments was not confined to Ger- 
.many ; they were highly prized by the English and French, 
and at one period were more valued than the best Amatis. 
It was not until the vast superiority of Italian Violins over 
all others was thoroughly recognized, that the love of the 
instrument as a curiosity reached its present climax. In 
Italy, the value set upon the chief Cremonese works, though 
great, was comparatively insignificant, as far as the Italians 
themselves are concerned, and when France and England 
came into competition with them for the possession of their 
Violins by Amati, Stradivari, Guarneri, and the gems of 
other makers, they at once yielded the contest. 


The introduction of Italian instruments into Great Britain 
was a matter of slow growth, and did not assume any pro- 
portions worthy of notice until the commencement of the 
present century, when Loudon and Paris became the chief 
marts from whence the rare works of the old Italians were 
distributed over, Europe. By this time the taste of the 
Fiddle world had undergone a considerable change. The 
instruments in use among the dilettanti in France and 
England had hitherto been those built on the German 
model of the school of Jacob Stainer. The great German 
maker was copied with but little intermission for upwards 
of a century, dating from about 1700 to 1800, a period of 
such considerable extent as to evidence the popularity of 
the model. Among the Germans who were following in 
■ the footsteps of Stainer were the family of Kloz, Widhalm, 
Statelmann, and others of less repute. In England there 
was quite an army of Stainer-worshippers. There was Peter 
Wamsley, Barrett, Benjamin Banks, the Forsters, Richard 
Duke, and a whole host of little men. Among the makers 
mentioned there are three, viz., Banks, Forster, and Richard 
Dtike, who did not copy Stainer steadfastly. Their early 
instruments are of the German form, but later they made 
many copies of the Cremonese. To Benjamin Banks we 
are indebted for having led the English makers to adopt the 
pattern of Amati. He had long laboured to popularize the 
school which he so much loved, but met with little encourage- 
ment in the beginning, so strong was the prejudice in favour 
of the high model. However, he triumphed in the end, and 
completely revolutionized the taste in England, till our 
Fiddle-fanciers became total sb-StainersI Then commenced 
the taste for instruments of flat form. Where were they to be 
found? If the few by the early English makers be excepted, 


there were none but those of the Italians to be had, and 
perhaps a few old French specimens. Attention was thus 
directed to the works of the Cremonese, and the year 1800 
or thereabouts may be put. down as the time when the tide 
of Italian Violins had fairly set in towards France and 
England. The instruments by the Amalis'were those chiefly 
sought after ; the amount of attention they commanded at 
this period was probably about equal to that bestowed upon 
the works of Stradivari and Guarneri at the present time. 
Violins of Amati and other iiiakers were, up to this time, 
obtainable at nominal prices. The number in Italy was 
far in excess of her requirements, the demand made upon 
them for choir purposes in former days had ceased, and the 
Violins were thus quite out of proportion to the players. 
The value of an Amati in England in 1799 and 1804, may 
be gathered from the following extracts from the day-book 
of 'the second Wilham Forster, who was a dealer as well as 
maker: — "20th April, 1799. A Violoncello by Nicholas 
Amati, with case and bow, ;^i7 17s. od.;" and further 
on — "5th July, 1804, an Amati Violin ;^^i los. od." These 
prices were probably less than those which William Forster 
received for many instruments of his own make. It is 
certain that these low prices did not long continue; the 
price increased in due proportion to the vanishing properties 
of the supply. The call for Violins by the Amatis was so 
clamorous as speedily to effect this result; the prices for 
them were doubled, trebled, and often quadrupled, until 
they no longer found a home in their native land. The 
value set on them by the French and English so far ex- 
ceeded that which the Italians themselves could afford, 
even though inclined to indulge in such things, that the 
sellers were as eager to sell as the buyers to buy. '^ During 


the time of this scramble for instruments of Cremona, the 
theory of the flat model was fast gaining ground. The cir- 
culation of the works of Cremona among the players of 
France and England led to a comparison of the various 
forms, and it was found that the elevated model was inferior 
in every way when tested by the works of the great Italian 
makers. Hitherto no distinction had been drawn as regards 
value among the productions of the several members of the 
Amati family. Andrea had been looked upon as equivalent 
to Girolamo, Antonio, or Niccolo ; but attention now began 
to be directed towards the works of the brothers, and to 
those of Niccold m particular, as the flat model gained in 
the appreciation of the Fiddling world. Grand Amatis be- 
came the coveted Fiddles ; they were put up frequently at 
twice the value of the smaller patterns — a position they still 
maintain. The taste for the flat form having thus been 
developed, the works of Antonio Stradivari came to the 
front, slowly but surely ; their beauties now became known 
outside the circle in which they had hitherto been ihovihg : 
a circle made up chiefly of royal orchestras (where they were 
used at wide intervals), convent choirs, and private holders, 
who possessed them without being in the least aware of 
their merits. They were now eagerly, sought by soloists in 
all parts of Europe, who spread their fame far and wide. 
Their exquisite form and finish captivating the dilettanti, 
the demand increased to an extent far beyond that com- 
manded by the works of the Amatis at the height of their 

There were a few Stradivari instruments in England when 
Amati was the favourite maker, and their value at that 
period may be estimated, if it be true that Cervetto, the 
father of the famous Violoncellist, was unable to dispose of 


a Stradivari Violoncello for five pounds, a circumstance 
which shows how blind our forefathers were to the merits of 
the greatest maker the world has had. Among the artists 
of the early part of the present century who used the instru- 
ments of Stradivari were Boccherini, Viotti, Rode, Kreutzer, 
Habeneck, Mazas, Lafont, and Baillot. 

About the year 1820 the fame of Giuseppe Guarneri as a 
great maker was published beyond Italy, chiefly through the 
instrumentality of Paganini. That wonderful player came 
to possess a splendid specimen of Guarneri del Gesli, dated 
1 743, now sleeping in the Museum at Genoa, which Paganini 
used in his tour through France and England. He became 
the owner of this world-famed Violin in the following curious 
manner. A French merchant (M. Livron) lent him the in- 
strument to play upon at a concert at Leghorn. When the 
concert had concluded, Paganini brought it back to its 
owner, when M. Livron exclaimed, "Never will I profane 
strings which your fingers have touched ; that instrument is 
yours." A more fitting present or higher compliment could 
not have been offered. The nameg of Amati and Stradivari 
became familiar to the musical world gradually, but Guar- 
neri, in the hands of a Paganini, came forth at a bound. 
This illustrious Violin was often credited with the charm 
which belonged to the performer ; the magical effects and 
sublime strains that he drew forth from it must, it was 
thought, rest in the Violin. Every would-be Violinist, whose 
means permitted him to indulge in the luxury, endeavoured 
to secure an instrument by the great Guarneri. The de- 
mand thus raised brought forth those gems of the Violin- 
maker's art now in the possession of wealthy amateurs and 
a few professors. When the various works of the gifted 
Guarneri were brought to light, much surprise was felt that 


such treasures should have been known to such a handful 
of obscure players, chiefly in the churches of Italy. The 
Violin used by Paganini belongs to the last period of the 
great maker, and consequently, is one of those bold and 
massive instruments of his grandest conception, but lacks 
the beautiful finish of the middle period. The connoisseur 
of those days had associated Giuseppe Guarneri with Violins 
of the type of Paganini's only ; their surprise was great when ^ 
it was discovered that there were three distinct styles in the 
works of Guarneri, one evidencing an artistic grandeur, 
together with a high finish, but little inferior to those of 
Antonio Stradivari. The marked difference between these 
epochs of Guarneri's manufacture has led to a great amount 
of misconception. Fifty years since, the world possessed 
httle information on the subject, and the connoisseur. of 
those times could not believe it possible that these varied 
styles emanated from one mind. The opportunities given 
to the connoisseur of later days of comparing the various in- 
struments of the several epochs of Guariieri have set at rest , 
all doubts concerning them. They no longer require dates 
or labels ; theyare as easily distinguished and classed as the 
works of Amati or Stradivari. 

Attention was claimed for the works of Maggini by the 
charming Belgian Violinist, Charles de B^riot, who, §arly 
admiring the large proportions and powerful tone of Mag- 
gini's instruments, decided to use one for public playing. 
That an artist so refined as De Bdriot, and one who attached 
so much importance to that sympathy between the Violin 
and player which should make it the vehicle for presenting 
its master's inward feelings, should have selected a Violin of 
large size, and adapted for giving forth a great volume of 
tone, was a matter of surprise to a great many of his con- 


temporaries. Those who judge only from his school Ot 
playing anticipated that he would have selected Amati as 
embodying the qualities he so passionately admired. It is 
certain, however, that .he succeeded in bringing the pene- 
trating power of his Maggini thoroughly under his control. 
In the instruments of Maggini, De B^riot doubtless recog- 
nized the presence of vast power, together with no incon- 
siderable amount of purity of tone, and to bring forth these 
qualities to the best advantage was with him a labour of 
love. The popularity of Maggini's Violins rapidly raised 
their value. Instruments that, before De B^riot made them 
widely known, might have been purchased for ten pounds, 
realized one hundred. The Violin known as " De Bdriot's 
Maggini " remained in his possession till within a short time 
of. his death, when it was disposed of to his friend and 
patron, the Prince de Chimay, it is said, for the enormous 
sum of six hundred pounds, a price far in excess of the 
average value of Maggini's instruments. In this instance, 
the association of De B^riot with the instrument is sufficient, 
perhaps, to account for the rare price set upon it. . 

We now reach the time when Carlo Bergonzi began to be 
regarded as a maker of the first class. As a Cremonese 
maker, he was one of the latest to receive the attention 
to which his exceptional merits fairly entitled him. To 
English connoisseurs belongs the credit of appreciating this 
great maker. 

The recognized merits of the makers already named 
naturally caused a demand for Italian instruments generally. 
If the masters could not be had, the pupils must be found ; 
hence a "whole host of Italian makers, quite unknown in 
England fifty years since, became familiar to the connois- 
seur. The works of Guadagnini, Gagliano, Grancino, Santo 


Serafino, Montagnana, and others whose names it is unne- 
cessary to give, passed from Italy into France and England, 
until the various schools of Itahan Violin manufacture were 
completely exhausted. When we look back, it is surprising 
that so much has been achieved in, such a brief space of 
time. The knowledge of Italian works in 1800 was of the 
slenderest kind, both in France and England ; in less than 
three-quarters of a century those countries have contrived to 
possess themselves of the iinest specimens of Cremonese in- 
struments, together with those of other Italian schools. We 
here have an example of the energy and skill that is brought 
to bear upon particular branches of industry when once a 
demand sets in. Men of enterprise rise with it unnoticed, 
and lead the way to the desired end. In the case of Italian 
Violins it was Luigi Tarisio who acted as pioneer — a being 
of singular habits, whose position in the history of the Violin, 
considered as a curiosity, is an important one. This re- 
markable man was born of humble parents, wholly uncon- 
nected" with the musical art. In due time he chose the 
trade of a carpenter, which vocation he followed with 
assiduity, if not with love. He amused himself during his 
leisure hours in acquiring a knowledge of playing on the 
Violin, an accomplishment that was destined to exercise an 
influence on his future Hfe, far greater than was ever con- 
templated by the young carpenter. That his playing was 
not of a high order may be readily imagined : it was con- 
fined chiefly to dance-music, with which he amused his 
friends, Fiddling to their dancing. His first Violin was a 
very common instrument, but it served to engender within 
him that which afterwards became the ruling passion of his 
life. His study of this little instrument was the seed from 
which grew his vast knowledge of Italian works. So much 


was his attention absorbed by the form of the instrument 
that any skill in playing upon it became quite a secondary 
consideration. H.e endeavoured to see all the Violins within 
his reach, and to observe their several points of difference. 
The passion for old Violins, thus awakened, caused him to 
relinquish his former employment entirely, and to devote 
the whole of his attention to the art which he so loved. He 
soon became aware of the growing demand for Italian works, 
and felt that, possessed with a varied and proficient know- 
ledge of the different styles of workmanship belonging to 
the Italian schools of Violin-making, he could turn his pre- 
sent acquirements to a profitable as well as pleasurable use. 
He resolved to journey in search of hidden Cremonas. His 
means were, indeed, very limited. His stock-in-trade con- 
sisted only of a few old Violins of no particular value. With 
these he commenced'his labours, journeying in the garb of 
a pedlar,- on foot, through Italian cities and villages, and 
often playing his VioUn in order to procure the bare means 
of existence. Upon entering a village he endeavoured to 
ingratiate himself with the villagers, and thus obtain infor- 
mation of the whereabouts of any inhabitants who Were pos- 
sessed of any member of the Fiddle family, his object being 
to examine and secure, if possible, such instruments as were 
possessed of any merit. It can readily be conceived that 
at the commencement of the present century, numbers of 
valuable Cremonese and other instruments were in the hands 
of very humble people. Luigi Tarisio knew that such must 
be the case, and made the most of his good fortune in being 
the first connoisseur to visit them. His usual method of 
trading was to exchange with the simple-minded villagers, 
giving them a Violin in perfect playing order for their shabby 
old instrument that lacked all the accessories. It was in- 


deed the case of Aladdin's Lamp, and as potent were these 
Eiddles as the wonderful lamp or ring itself. In the posses^ 
sion of Luigi Tarisio they drew forth from the purses of the 
wealthy gold that would have enabled the humble villagers 
to have ceased labour. It is an axiorri, however, that every- 
thing on this earth is only of value providing it is in its 
proper place, and these rare old instruments, in the keeping 
of the poor peasants, could scarcely be considered to be in 
their proper element ; their ignorant possessors were alike 
unable to appreciate their sterhng worth, as works of art, or 
their powers of sound. Luigi Tarisio, after gathering to- 
gether a number of old rarities, made for his home, and 
busied himself in examining the qualities of his stock,, 
selecting the best works, which he laid aside. With the 
residuum of those instruments he would again set put, using 
them as his capital wherewith to form the basis of future 
transactions among the peasantry and others. He visited 
the numerous monasteries throughout Italy that he might 
see the valuable specimens belonging to the cTiapel orches- ' 
tras. He found theni often in a condition ill becoming their 
value, and tendered his service to regulate and put them 
into decent order; services gladly accepted and faithfully, 
performed by the ardent connoisseur. By the handling of 
these buried treasures, his knowledge and experience were 
greatly extended. Makers hitherto unknown to him became 
familiar. When he met with instruments apparently beyond 
the repairer's skill, he would make tempting offers of pur- 
chase, which were often accepted. Having accumulated 
many instruments of a high order during these journeys, he 
began to consider the best means of disposing of them. He 
decided upon visiting Paris. He took with him the Violins 
he valued least, resolving to make himself acquainted with 


the Parisian Fiddle market before bringing forth his 
treasures. It is said that he undertook this journey on foot, 
depriving himself often of the common necessaries of life, 
that he might have more money to buy up his country's 
Fiddles. His first visit to Paris was in. 1827, an eventful 
year in the history of Italian Violins, as far as relates to 
Paris. Upon arriving in the French capital, he directed his 
steps to the nearest luthier, one Aldric, to whom he had 
been recommended as a purchaser of old instruments of high 
value. Upon arriving at the shop of M. Aldric, Tarisio 
hesitated before entering, feeling suddenly that his appear- 
ance was scarcely in keeping with his wares, his clothes 
being of the shabbiest description, his boots nearly soleless, 
and his complexion, naturally inclined to blackness, further 
darkened by the need of ordinary ablutions. However, he 
set aside these thoughts, and introduced himself to the 
luthier as having some Cremona Viohns for sale. Aldric 
regarded him half-contemptuously, and with a silent intent 
to convey to Tarisio that he heard what he said, but did not 
believe it. The ItaUan, to the astonishment of the luthier, 
was not long in verifying his statement ; he opened his bag 
and brought forth a beautiful Niccolo Amati, of the small 
pattern, in fine preservation, but having neither finger-board, 
strings, nor fittings of any kind. The countenance of the 
luthier brightened when he beheld this unexpected specimen 
of the Italian's wares. He carefully examined it, and did 
his best to disguise the pleasurable feelings he experienced. 
He demanded the price. The value set on it was far in ex- 
cess of that he had anticipated ; he erroneously arrived at 
the probable cost from an estimate of the shabby appearance 
of the man. He had been comforting himself that the 
Italian was unaware of the value put upon such instruments. 


He decided to see further the contents of the bag before ex- 
pressing an opinion as to the price demanded for the Amati. 
VioHns by Maggini, Ruggeri, and others, were produced — 
six in number. Tarisio was asked to name his price for the 
six. After much giving and taking they became the property 
of the luthier. This business was not regarded as satisfac- 
tory by Tarisio ; he had over-estimated the value of his goods 
in the Paris market ; he had not learned that it was he 
himself who was to create the demand for high-class Italian 
instruments by spreading them far and wide, so that their 
incomparable qualities might be observed. He returned to 
Italy with his ardour somewhat cooled ; the ready sale at 
the prices he had put upon his stock was not likely to be 
realized, he began to think.' However, with the proceeds of 
his Paris transaction he again, started in search of more 
Cremonas, with about the same satisfactory results. He 
resolved to visit Paris again, taking with him some of his 
choicest specimens. He reached the French capital with a 
splendid collection — one that in these days would create a 
complete furore throughout the world of Fiddles. He 'ex- 
tended his acquaintance with the Parisian luthiers, ^mong 
whom were MM. Vuiliaume, Thibout, and Chanot senior. 
They were all delighted with the gems that Tarisio had 
brought, and encouraged him to bring to France as many 
more as he could procure, and at regular intervals. He did 
so, and obtained at each visit better prices. 

This remarkable man may be said to have lived for nought 
else but his Fiddles. Mr. Charles Re'ade, who knew him 
well, says,' "The man's whole soul was in Fiddles. He was 
a great dealer, but a greater amateur; he had gems by him 
no money would buy from him." It is related of him that 
' "Cremona Violins," Pall Mall Gazette, August, 1872. 


he was in Paris upon one occasion, walking along the 
Boulevards with a friend, when a handsome equipage be- 
longing to a French magnate passed, the beauty of which 
was the talk of the city. Tarisio's attention being directed 
to it by his friend, he calmly answered him that " he would 
sponer possess one ' Stradivari' than twenty such equipages." 
There is a very characteristic anecdote of Tarisio, which is 
also related by Mr. Reade in his article on- Cremona Violins, 
entitled the "Romance of Fiddle-dealing": — "Well, one 
day Georges Chanot, senior, made an excursion to Spain, to 
see if he could find anything there. He found mighty little, 
but coming to the shop of a Fiddle-maker, one Ortega, he 
saw the belly of an old Bass hung up with other things. 
Chanot rubbed his eyes, and asked himself was he dream- 
ing? the belly of a Stradivari Bass roasting in a shop window ! 
He went in, and very soon bought it for about forty francs. 
He then ascertained that the Bass belonged to a lady of 
rank. The belly was full of cracks ; so, not to make two 
bites of a cherry, Ortega had made a nice new one. Chanot 
carried this precious fragment home and hung it up in his 
shop, but not in the window, for he was too good a judge 
not to know that the sun will take all the colour out of that 
maker's varnish. Tarisio came in from Italy, and his eye 
lighted instantly on the Stradivari belly. He pestered 
Chanot till the latter sold it him for a thousand francs, and 
told him where the rest was. Tarisio no sooner knew this 
than he flew to Madrid. He learned from Ortega where 
the lady lived, and -called on her to see it. ' Sir,' says the 
lady, ' it is at your disposition.' That does not mean much 
in Spain. When he offered to buy it, she coquetted with 
him, said it had been long in her family ; money could not 
replace a thing of that kind, and, in short, she put on the 


screw, as she thought, and sold it him for about four thou- 
sand francs. What he did with the Ortega belly is not 
known; perhaps sold it to some person in the toothpick 
trade. He sailed exultant for Paris with the -Spanish Bass 
in a case. He never let it go out of his sight. The pair 
were caught by a storm in the Bay of Biscay ; the ship 
rolled ; Tarisio clasped his Bass tightly and trembled. It 
was a terrible gale, and for one whole day they were in real 
danger. Tarisio spoke of it to me with a shudder. I will 
give you his real words, for they struck me at the time, and 
I have often thought of them since. ' Ah, my poor Mr, 
Heade, the Bass of Spain was all but lost! ' 

" Was not this a true connoisseur — a genuine enthusiast ? 
Observe, there was also an ephemeral insect called Luigi 
Tarisio, who would have gone down with the Bass ; but that 
made no impression on his mind. De minimis non curat 
Ludovicus ! 

" He got it safe to Paris. A certain high-priest in these 
mysteries, called Vuillaurae, with the help of a sacred vessel,, 
called the glue-pot, soon re-wedded the back and sides to 
the belly, and the Bass now is just what it was when the 
ruffian Ortega put his finger in the pie. It was sold for 
20,000 fr. (;^8oo). I saw the Spanish Bass in Paris twenty- 
five years ago, and you can see it any day this month you 
like, for it is the identical Violoncello now on show at Ken- 
sington numbered i88. Who would divine its separate ad- 
ventures, to see it all reposing so calm and uniform in that 
case ? — Post tot naufragia tutus ^ 

The love of Tarisio for the masterpieces of the great 
makers was so intense, that often when he had parted with the 
works he so admired, he never lost sight of them, and waited a 
favourable opportunity for again making himself their owner. 


It is related of him that upon one occasion he disposed 
of a beautiful Stradivari, in perfect preservation, to a Paris 
dealer. After having done so he hungered for it again. 
For years he- never visited Paris without inquiring after his 
old favourite, and the possibihty of its again being offered 
for sale, that he might regain possession of it. At last his 
perseverance was rewarded, inasmuch as he heard that it 
was to be bought; He instructed his informant to obtain 
for him a sight of it. The instrument was fetched, and 
Tarisio had scarcely patience enough to wait the opening of 
the case, so anxious was he to see his old companion. He 
eagerly took up the Violin, and turned it over and over, 
apparently lost to all about him, when suddenly his keen 
eye rested upon a damage it had received, which was hidden 
by new varnish. His heart sank within him ; he was over- 
come by this piece of vandalism. In mingled words of 
passion and remorse he gave vent to his feelings- He placed 
it in its case, remarking sadly that it had no longer any charm 
. for him. 

In the year 1851 Tarisio visited England, when Mr. John 
Hart, being anxious that he should see the chief collections 
of Cremonese instruments in this country, accompanied him 
to the collection, amongst others, of the late Mr. James 
Coding, which was then the finest in Europe. The instru- 
ments were arranged on shelves at the end of a long room, 
and far removed from them sat the genuine enthusiast, 
patiently awaiting the promised exhibition. Upon Mr. 
Coding taking out his treasures he was inexpressibly 
astonished to hear his visitor calling out the, maker of each 
instrument before he had had time to advance two paces 
towards him, at the same time giving .his host to understand 
that he thoroughly knew the instruments, the greater nura- 


ber having been in his possession. Mr. Coding whispered 
to a friend standing by, "Why the man must certainly smell 
them, he has not had time to look." Many instruments in 
this collection Tarisio seemed never tired of admiring. He 
took them up again and again, completely lost to all around 
— in a word, spell-bound. There was the "King" Guar- 
neri — the Guarneri known as Lafont's — the beautiful 
Bergonzi Violin — the Viola known as Lord Macdonald's — 
General Kidd's Stradivari Violoncello — the Marquis de la 
Rosa's Amati — Ole Bull's Guarneri — the Santo Serafino 
'Cello — and other remarkable instruments too numerous to 
mention. Who can say what old associations these Cremona 
gems brought to his memory? For the moment, these 
Fiddles resolved themselves into a diorama, in which he 
saw the chief events of his life played over again. With far 
greater truthfulness than that which his unaided memory 
could have supplied, each Fiddle had its tale to relate. 
His thoughts were carried back to the successful energies 
of his past. 

Tarisio may be said to have lived the life of a hermit to 
the time of his death. He had no pleasures apart from his 
Fiddles ; they were his all in this world. Into his lodgings, 
in the Via Legnano, near the Porta Tenaglia, in Milan, no - 
living being but himself was ever permitted to enter.' His 
nearest neighbours had not the least knowledge of his occu- , 
pation. He mounted to his attic without exchanging a word 
with any one, and left it securely fastened to start on his 
journeys in the same taciturn manner. He was conse- 
quently regarded as a mysterious individual, whose doings 

• The house is now turned, with those adjoining, into a manufactory. 
When Luigi Tarisio live there it was a small restaurant, similar to those 
seen in the side streets of Soho, 


were unfathomable. The time, however, has arrived when 
the veil hiding the inner life of this remarkable man should 
be lifted, and here I am indebted for particulars to Signor 
Sacchi, of Cremona, who received them from a reliable 
source. Tarisio had been seen by his ever-watchful neigh- 
bours to enter his abode, but none had noticed him quit it 
for several days. The door was tried and found locked ; 
no answer was returned to the sundry knockings. That 
Tarisio was there the neighbours were convinced. The 
facts were at once brought under the notice of the municipal 
authorities, who gave instructions that An entry should be 
made by force into the mysterious man's apartment. The 
scene witnessed was indeed a painful one. On a miserable 
couch rested the lifeless body of Luigi Tarisio ; around, 
everything was in the utmost disorder. The furniture of 
the apartment consisted mainly of a chair, table, and the 
couch upon which lay the corpse. A pile of old Fiddle- 
boxes here and there, Fiddles hung around the walls, others 
dangling from the ceiling, Fiddle-backs, Fiddle-heads, and 
bellies in pigeon-holes ; three Double-Basses tied to the 
wall, covered over with sacking. This was the sight that 
met the gaze of the authorities. Little did they imagine 
they were surrounded with gems no money would have 
bought from their late eccentric owner. Here were some 
half-dozen Stradivari Violins, Tenors, and Violoncellos, the 
chamber Gasparo da Said Double- Bass now in the posses- 
sion of Mr. Bennett, and the Ruggeri now belonging to Mr. 
J. R. Bridson, besides upwards of one hundred Italian 
instruments of various makers, together with a number of 
different nationalities. All these were passed over by the 
visitors as so much rubbish in their search for something 
more marketable. At last they, alighted on a packet of 


valuable securities together with a considerable amount of 
gold. A seal was placed upon the apartment, pending 
inquiries as to the whereabouts of the dead man's relatives. 
In due time, some nephews came forth and laid claim to the 
goods and chattels of the Italian Fiddle connoisseur. 

Luigi Tarisio died in October, 1854. Three months 
later, upon the news being communicated to M. Vuillaume 
of Paris, he soon set out for Milan, and had the good for- 
tune to secure the whole of the collection, at a price which 
left him a handsome profit upon the transaction, besides 
the pleasurable feeling of becoming the possessor of such a 
varied and remarkable number of instruments. 

Having given the reader all the information I have been 
able to collect concerning Tarisio, I will only add that he 
had advantages over all other connoisseurs, inasmuch as he 
found the instruments mostly in their' primitive condition, 
and free from any tampering as regards the labels within 
them. He was thus enabled to learn the characteristics of 
each without fear of confusion. The days of taking out the 
labels of unmarketable names and substituting marketable 
counterfeits had not arrived. 

The principal buyers of Italian instruments on the Con- 
- tinent, when dealing in this class of property was in its 
infancy, were Aldric, MM. Chanot senior, Thibout, Gand, 
Vuillaume of Paris, and Vuillaume of Brussels. In London, 
among others, were Davis, Betts, Corsby, and John Hart. 
There is yet another, the omission of whose name would be 
a blemish in any notice of the Violin and its connoisseurs. 
I refer to Mr. Charles Reade, the novelistj who in early life 
took the highest interest in old Italian Violins. We are 
indebted to hiih in a great measure for bringing into this 
country many of the most beautiful specimens we possess. 



Impressed with the charms of the subject, he visited the 
Continent for the pleasure it afforded him of bringing to- 
gether choice specimens, and thus opened up the intercourse 
between England and the Continent for the interchange of. 
old Violins which continues to this day. It would be diffi- 
cult to find an instance, where the intricacies of the subject 
were so quickly mastered as in his case. Without assist- 
ance, but solely from his own observation, he gained a 
knowledge which enabled him to place himself beside the 
chief Continental connoisseurs, and .compete for the owner- 
ship of Cremonese masterpieces. These were the men who 
laid bare the treasures of Cremona's workshops, and spread 
far and wide love and admiration for the fine old works. 
Connoisseurship such as theirs is rare. To a keen eye was 
united intense love of the art, patience, energy, and memory 
of no ordinary kind, all of them attributes requisite to make 
a successful judge of Violins. 

Charles Lamb, on being asked how he distinguished his 
" ragged veterans " in their tattered and unlettered bindings, 
answered, " How does a shepherd know his sheep ? " It 
has "been observed that, " Touch becomes infinitely more 
exquisite in men whose employment requires them to 
examine the polish of bodies than it is in others. In music 
only the simplest and plainest compositions are relished at 
first ; use and practice extend our pleasure — teach us to 
relish finer melody, and by degrees enable us to enter into 
the intricate and ' compounded pleasures of hannony." 
.Thus it is with connoisseurship in Violins. Custom and 
observation, springing from a natural disposition, make 
prominent, features and minute points of difference before 
unseen, resulting in a knowledge of style of which it has . 
been well said "Every man has his own, like his own nose." 


As an ardent votary of the Violin, regarded from a point 
of view at once artistic and curious, Count Cozio di Salabue 
takes precedence of all others. He was born about the 
time when the art of Italian Violin-making began to show 
signs of decadence,, and having cultivated a taste for Cre- 
monese instruments, he resolved to gratify his passion by 
bringing together a collection of Violins which should, be 
representative of the work and character of each maker, 
and serve as models to those seeking to tread the path of 
the makers who made Cremona eminent as a seat of Violin ' 
manufacture. Virtuosity emanating* from a spirit of benefi- 
cence is somewhat rare. When, however, utility occupies a 
prominent place in the thoughts of the virtuoso, he becomes 
a benefactor. The virtuosity of Count Cozio was of this 
character. His love for Cremonese instruments was neither 
whimsical nor transient. From the time when he secured 
the contents of the shop of Stradivari, to the end of his 
life — a period of about fifty years — he appears to- have 
exerted himself to obtain as much information as possible 
relative to the art, and to collect masterpieces that they 
might in some measure be the means of recovering a lost 
art. When in the year 1775 he secured ten instruments 
out of ninety-one which Stradivari left in his shop at the 
time of his death, he must surely have considered himself 
singularly fortunate, and the happiest of collectors." That 
such good fortune prompted him to make fresh overtures 

' These instruments and the tools appear to have been in the posses- 
sion of Paolo from the year 1743, when Francesco died, and Paolo 
opened the shop in the Piazza S. X)omenico, as a cloth warehouse. He 
therefore seems to have only decided to dispose of his father's tools when' 
he was in a feeble state of health, he having died, as already noticed, 
before the purchase was settled, aged 68. 


of purchase cannot he wondered at. We learn from the 
correspondence of Paolo Stradivari that the Count had 
caused two letters to be sent by the firm of Anselmi di 
Briati to Paolo inquiring if he was willing to part with the 
tools and patterns used by his father Antonio, and that 
Paolo replied on May 4th, 1776, " I have already told you 
that I have no objection to sell all those patterns, measures, 
and tools which I happen to have in- my possession, pro- 
vided that they do not remain in Cremona, and you will 
recollect that I have shown you all the tools I have, and 
also the box containing' the patterns. ... I place all at your 
disposal, and as it is simply a friendly matter (Paolo Stradi- 
vari appears to have had large dealings in cloth and other 
goods with the firm of Anselmi di Briati, of Casale, a small 
city on the P6), I will give you everything for twenty-eight 
giliati.""^ It does not appear that Paolo's correspondents 
were moved in their answer by any feelings of sentimentality 
or of friendship : on the contrary, the tone of the letter was 
clearly commercial, they having made an offer of twenty- 
three giliati less than demanded. Paolo Stradivari in his 
reply, dated June 4th, 1776, says : " Putting ceremony aside, 
I write in a mercantile style. I see from your favour of the 
13th ultimo (which I only received by the last courier), that 
you offer me five giliati for all the patterns and moulds 
which I happen to possess, as well as for those lent to 
Bergonzi, and also for the tools of the trade of my late 
father ; but this is too little ; however, to show you the desire 
I have to please you, and in order that not a single thing 

' A giliati was a Tuscan gold coin bearing the arms of Florence. 
The value of which was 9s. 6Jd. Its present purchasing power would 
probably be three times as much, and therefore the sum asked by Paolo 
Stradivari would be equal to ;^38 12s. lojd. 


belonging to my father be left in Cremon^, I will part with 
them for six giliati, providing that you pay them at once 
into the hands of Domenico Dupuy & Sons, silk stocking 
manufacturers. I will send you the things above-mentioned, 
conditionally that I keep the five giliati and use the other 
one to defray expenses for the case, the packing, and the 
custom-house duty, which will be necessary to send them, 
and I shall let you have back through Messrs. Dupuy, 
residing under the Market Arcades in Turin, any balance 
that should remain, or (if you like) you may pay the said 
Messrs. Dupuy seven giliati, and I shall then defray all the 
expenses, and send also the two snake-wood bows which I 
possess. (Signed) Paolo Stradivari." 

In reply to this interesting letter, Messrs. Anselmi di 
Briati appear to have written accepting the terms offered by 
Paolo Stradivari, and to have explained to him that they 
had been in treaty with a certain Signor Boroni, relative to 
the purchase of a Violin, and having come to terms they 
wished the instrument to be packed with the tools and 
moulds. Paolo, in acknowledging this communication, 
June 25th, 1776, says : "In reply to your favour of the loth 
instant, Signor Boroni will hand me over the Violin upon 
hearing that the money has been paid to Messrs. Dupuy. 
I shall then have no objection to place it in the same case 
together with the patterns and implements left by my 
father." From this and subsequent correspondence we 
learn that Messrs. Anselmi di Briati, being wholesale 
traders, were in a suitable position to act as intermediaries 
in the purchase of VioUns on behalf of Count Cozio. Their 
business necessitated their visiting Cremona, and thus they 
appear to have seen the Violin of Signor Boroni, and also 
another belonging to a monk or friar named Father Ravizza,. 


both of which were subsequently bought, as seen by the 
following extracts from a letter of Paolo Stradivari : — 

"Cremona, July roth, 1776. We learn from Messrs. 
Dupuy of the receipt of the seven giliati, which you have 
paid on our account. ... As we have already prepared 
everything, we shall therefore inform Father Ravizza and 
Signor Boroni; I have, however, to mention that I did not 
think I possessed so many things as I have found. It being 
according to what has been promised, it cannot be discussed 
over again. ... It will be a very heavy case, on account of 
the quantity of patterns and tools, and consequently it will 
be dangerous to put the Violins in the-same package." The 
writer refers to the two instruments before mentioned : — " I 
fear without care they will let it fall in unloading it, and the 
Violins will be dairiaged ; I inform you therefore of the fact. 
. . . You must let me know how I have to send the case. 
If by land, through the firm of Tabarini, of Piacenza, or to 
take the opportunity of sending by the P6." In passing, it 
may be remarked that the distance between Cremona and 
Casale by the riyer P6 is about sixty miles. The latter cor- 
respondence makes known the fact of the precious freight 
having been consigned to the firm of Anselmi di Briati by 
way of the P6, and that it was entrusted to the care and 
charge of a barge-rhaster named Gobbi. 

It is by no means uncommon to discover the memories 
of men kept green in our minds from causes strangely 
curious and unexpected. Many seek to render their names 
immortal by some act the nature of which would seem to be 
imperishable, and chiefly fail of their object ; whilst others, 
obscured and unthought of, live on by accident. Imagine 
the paints and brushes, the pencils and palettes, the easel" 
^nd the sketches of Raffaele having been given over to a 


P6 barge-master, and that chance had divulged his name. 
Would he not in these days of microscopic biography have 
furnished work for the genealogist, and been made the sub- 
ject of numberless pictures ? Hence it is that the admirers 
of Stradivari cannot fail to remember the name of honest 
Gobbi, who carried the chest wherein were the tools with 
which the Raffaele of Violin-making wrought the instruments 
which have served to render his memory immortal. 

Soon after the date of Paolo's last letter, he became 
seriously ill, dying on the 9th of October, 1776. The cor- 
respondence was then taken up by his son Antonio. He 
says in his letter dated November 21st, 1776, "I shall 
send you the case with the patterns and tools of my late 
grandfather Antonio, which was packed and closed before 
my father was bedridden. You will find it well arranged, 
with mark on it, and with red tape and seal as on the ^ 
Violins already sent to you." He next refers to other pat- 
terns which he found locked up in a chest, and which he 
believes were unknown or forgotten by his father, and 
offers to dispose of them, with a Viola, and concludes by 
promising to send the receipts, the copies of which show 
that the remnants of the tools and patterns were bought for 
three giliati. • 

It is unnecessary in this place to make further reference 
to Count Cozio as a collector, the chief information concern- 
ing him being spread over the section of Italian makers. 
The fac-simile of one of the Count's letters which the reader 
will find in the fourth edition of this work, will serve both as 
an interesting remembrance of him and as evidence of his 
keen interest in all relating to the art of which he was so 
distinguished a votary. 

Probably the earliest collector of Italian Violins in Eng- 


land was William Corbett. He was a member of the King's 
orchestra, and having obtained permission to go abroad, 
went to Italy in 1710, and resided at Rome many years, 
where he is said to have made a rare collection of music 
and musical instruments. How he managed to gratify his 
desire in this direction seems not to have been understood by 
his friends, his means, in their estimation, not being equal to 
such an expenditure. Hence arose a report that he was 
employed by the Government to watch the Pretender, 
Corbett died at an advanced age in 1748, and bequeathed 
his "Gallery of Cremonys and Stainers " to the authorities 
of Gresham College, with a view that they should remain for 
inspection under certain conditions, leaving ten pounds per 
annum to an attendant to show the instruments. Whether 
the wishes of the testator were carried out in any way there 
is no information, but the instruments are said to have 
been disposed of by auction a short time after his decease. 

The principal early collectors in this country were the, 
Duke of Hamilton, the late Duke of Cambridge, the Earl of 
Falmouth, the Duke of Marlborough, Lord Macdonald, and 
a few others. Later, Mr. Andrew Fountaine, of. Narford 
Hall, Norfolk, becam.e the owner of several fine Italian 
instruments, and ma.di himself better acquainted with the 
subject, perhaps, than any amateur of his time. Among the 
Stradivari VioUns which Mr. Fountaine possessed was that 
which he purchased from M. Habeneck, the 'famous profes- 
sor at the Paris Conservatoire in the early part of the present 
century. Another very fine specimen of the late period, 
1734, was also owned by him, a Violin of grand proportions, 
in a high state of preservation, and of the richest varnish. 
This instrument is numbered with those of Mr. W. A. 
Tyssen Amherst. The Guarneri Viohns that he possessed 


were of a very high class. Among these may be mentioned 
a very small Violin by Giuseppe Guarneri, probably unique, 
which instrument was exhibited among the Cremonese 
Violins at the South Kensington Museum in 1872, together 
with another of the same size by Stradivari, and a third by 
the brothers Amati. 

The number of ratities brought together by the late Mr. 
James Coding, was in every respect remarkable.* At one 
period he owned twelve Stradivari Violins, and nearly the 
same number by Giuseppe Guarneri, all high-class instru- 
ments. It would take up too much time and spaceto name the 
particular instruments which were comprised in this collec- 
tion. The remnant of this group of Cremonese Fiddles was 
dispersed by Messrs. Christie and Manson, in 1857.^ Mr. 
Plowden's collection was another remarkable one, consisting 
of eight instruments of the highest class. 

The late Joseph Gillott was a collector, who, in point of 
number, exceeded all others. He did not confine himself 
solely to the works of the greatest makers, but added 
specimens of every age and clime ; and at one time he must 
have had upwards of 500 instruments, the chief part of 
which belonged to the Italian school. When it is remem- 
bered that the vast multitude of stringed instruments dis- 
posed of by Messrs. Christie and Manson in 1872 did not 
amount to one-half the number originally owned by Mr. 
Gillott, some idea of the extent of his collection may be 
gained. Among the many curious instances of the love of 
collecting Violins, which sometimes possesses those unable 
to use them, perhaps that of Mr. Gillott is the most singular. 

Notable collections, be they of Fiddles, medals, pottery, 
or pictures, have sometimes had their rise in accidents of a 
curious kind. Lord Northwiek dated his passion for coins 


to a bag of brass ones, which he purchased in sport for 
eight pounds. His lordship ended by purchasing, in con- 
junction with Payne Knight, the collection of Sir Robert 
Ainslie, for eight thousand pounds, besides sharing with the 
same collector the famous Sicilian coins belonging to the 
Prince Torremuzza. The Gillott collection of Fiddles had 
its origin in a picture deal. Mr. Gillott happened to be 
making terms in his gallery at Edgbaston relative to an ex- 
change of pictures with Ed win Atherstone,' poet and 
novelist, who collected both Violins and pictures. A diffi- 
culty arose' in adjusting the balance, when Mr. Atherstone 
suggested throwing a Fiddle in as a counterpoise. " That 
would be to no purpose," remarked Mr. Gillott, " for I have 
neither knowledge of music nor of the Fiddle." "I am 
aware of that,'' rejoined his friend; " but Violins are often 
of extraordinary value as wof^s of art." Mr. Gillott, becom- 
ing interested in the subject, agreed to accept the Fiddle as 
a make-weight, and the business was settled. A few "months 
later the floor of his picture gallery on all sides was lined 
with cases, single and double, containing Violins in seem- 
ingly endless profusion. It-was about the year 1848 he 
conceived the notion of bringing together this mammoth col- 
lection; and in about four years ,he had made himself 
master of the largest number of Italian instruments ever 
owned by a single individual. He suddenly relinquished 
the pursuit he had followed with such persistency ; he dis- 
posed of a great number, and laid the remainder aside in 
his steel-pen works at Birmingham, where they slumbered 

' "Edwin Atherstone, born 1788, died 1872 ; was the author of "The 
Fall of Nineveh," and "The Last Days of Herculaneum," two poems 
in blank verse, and of a novel, " The Sea Kings of England," of which 
Sir Walter Scott wrote approvingly.. 


for upwards of twenty years. The time at last arrived when 
this pile of Fiddles was to be dispersed. It fell to my lot 
to classify them, and never shall I forget the scene I wit- 
nessed. Here, amid the din of countless machines busy 
shaping magnum-bonums, swan-bills, and divers other 
writing implements, I was about to feast my eyes on some 
of the choicest works of the old Italian Fiddle-makers. 
Passing through offices, warehouses, and workshops, I 
found myself at a door which my conductor set himself 
to unlock — an act not often performed, I felt assured, from 
the sound which accompanied his deed. To adequately 
describe what met my eyes wh^ the door swung back on 
its hinges, is beyond my powers of description. Fiddles 
here ! — Fiddles there ! — Fiddles everywhere, in wild dis- 
order ! I interrogated my friend as to the cause of their 
being in such an unseemly condition, and received answer 
that he had instructions to remove most of the instruments 
from their cases and arrange them, that I might better judge 
of their merits. I was at a loss to understand what he 
meant by arranging, for a more complete disarrangement 
could not have been effected. Not wishing to appear un- 
mindful of the kindly intentions of my would-be assistant, I 
thanked him, inwardly wishing that this disentombment had 
been left entirely to me. The scene was altogether so 
peculiar and unexpected as to be quite bewildering. In the 
centre of the room was a large warehouse table, upon which 
were placed in pyramids upwards of seventy Violins and 
Tenors, stringless, bridgeless, unglued, and enveloped in the 
fine dust which had crept through the crevices of the card- 
board sarcophagi in which they had rested for the previous 
quarter of a century. On the floor lay the bows. The 
scene might not inappropriately be compared to a post-mor- 


tern examination on an extended scale. When left alone I 
began to collect my thoughts as to the best mode of con- 
ducting my inquiry. After due consideration I attacked 
pyramid No. i, from which I saw a head protruding which 
augured well for the body, and led me to think it belonged 
to the higher walks of Fiddle-life. With considerate care 
I withdrew it from the heap, and gently rubbed the dust off 
here and there, that I might judge of its breeding. It 
needed but little rubbing to make known its character; .it 
was a Viola by Giuseppe Guarneri, filius Andrese, a charm- 
ing Specimen -(now in the owner'ship of the Earl of Harring- 
ton). Laying: it aside, I pulled out from the pile several 
■others belonging to the same class. Being too eager to learn 
•of what the real merits of this huge pile of Fiddles consisted, 
I rapidlypassed from one to the other wJthout close scrutiny, 
leaving that for an after pleasure. So entirely fresh were 
these instruments to me, that the delight I experienced in 
-thus digging them out may well be understood by the con- 
noisseur. After thus wading through those resting on the 
table, I discovered some shelves, upon which were a number 
■of cases, which I opened. Here were fine Cremonese in- 
struments in company with raw copies — as curious a mix- 
ture of good and indifferent as could be well conceived. 
■Not observing any Violoncellos, when my attendant pre- 
sented himself I inquired if there were not some in the 
collection. I was unable to make him understand to what 
I referred for, some little time, but when I called them big 
Fiddles, he readily understood. He had some faint idea of 
having seen something of the kind on the premises, and 
started off to make iriquiry. Upon his return, I was 
conducted to an under warehouse, the contents of which 
were of a varied character. Here were stored unused lathes. 


Statuary, antique pianos, parts of machinery, pictures, and 
picture-frames. At the end of this long room stood, in 
stately form, the " big Fiddles," about fifty in number — five 
rows, consequently ten deep. They looked in their cases 
like a detachment of infantry awaiting the word of com- 
mand. Years had passed by since they had been called 
upon to take active service of a pacific and humanizing 
nature in the ranks of the orchestra. Had they the power 
of speech what tales of heroism might they have furnished 
of the part they played at the "Fall of Babylon," and the 
"Siege of Corinth," aye! and "Wellington's Victory" 
(Beethoven, Op. 91). . A more curious mixture of art and 
mechanism could not easily be found than that which the 
contents of this room exhibited. With what dehght did I 
proceed to open these long-closed cases ! The character of 
the Violins naturally led me to anticipate much artistic 
worth in the Violoncellos, and I had not judged erroneously. 
Bergonzi, Amati, Andrea Guarneri, Cappa, Grancino, 
Testore, Landolfi, and men of less note, were all well repre- 
sented in this army of big Fiddles. Having glanced at the 
merits and demerits of these instruments, I observed to my 
conductor that I imagined I had seen all. " No," he 
answered ; " I was about to mention that there are a few 
Violins at Mr. Gillott's residence, and perhaps we had better 
go there at once." I readily assented, and in due time 
reached Edgbaston. There seemed no doubt as to the where- 
abouts of these instruments, and I was at once ushered into 
the late Mr. Gillott's bedroom. Pointing to a long mahogany- 
glazed case occupying one side of the chamber, the atten- 
dant gave me to understand I should there find the Violins. 
At once I commenced operations. Pushing aside the first 
sliding door, I saw a row of those card-board cases made to 


hold the Violin only, which many of my readers will doubt' 
less remember seeing at the time of the sale at Messrs. 
Christie's. By this time it may readily be imagined that an 
idea had taken possession of my mind, that I had not, after 
all, seen the best portion of the collection. The circum- 
stance of Violins being deposited in tlie sleeping apartment 
of their owner was sufficient to give birth to this conjecture. 
Upon removing the lid of the first card-board case, my eyes 
rested on a charming Stradivari of the Amati period, a gem 
of its kind. Gently laying it on the table, that I might 
examine it later,- I opened the next case. Here rested a 
magnificent Giuseppe Guarneri, the instrument afterwards 
bought by Lord Dunmore, date .1732, Pursuing my 
delightful occupation, I opfefied' another case, the contents 
of which put the rest completely in the shade — here rested 
the Stradivari, date 17 15, the gem of the collection. Un- 
able to sustain my curiosity, I rapidly opened sixteen cases 
in allj-from which I took out six Stradivari, two Guarneri, one 
Bergonzi, two Amati, and five o'ther Violins of a high class. 
It was observed at the time of the sale of this remarkable 
collection, which took place shortly after the dispersion of 
Mr. Gillott's gallery of pictures, that " Every well-ordered 
display of fireworks should have its climax of luminous and 
detonating splendour, throwing into the shade all the pre- 
liminary squibs, crackers, and rockets, the Catherine wheels, 
the Roman candles, and the golden rain. The French, 
with modest propriety, term this consummation a bouquet.''' 
I cannot find anything more applicable than this word to the 
scene I have attempted to describe. It only remains for 
me to say, in reference to this array of Fiddles, that I 
passed a week in their company, and a more enjoyable one 
I have never had during my professional career. 


Dr. Johnson, who understood neither Fiddling nor paint- 
ing, who collected neither coins nor cockle-shells, maggots 
nor butterflies, was clearly of the same opinion as the author 
of " Tristram Shandy," that there is no disputing against 
hobby-horses. He says : " The pride or the pleasure of 
making collections, if it be restrained by prudence and 
morality, produces a pleasing remission after more laborious 
studies ; furnishes an amusement, not wholly unprofitable, 
for that part of life, the greater part of many lives, which 
would otherwise be lost in idleness or vice ; it produces a 
useful traffic between the industry of indigence Tand the 
curiosity of wealth, and brings many things to notice that 
would be neglected." 


fefeetc^ of tft ^roffw^js of ttic Wiiolin. 

IT may be said that the Violin made its appearance about 
the middle of the i6th century. There are instances 
where reference is made to Violins and Violin-playing in 
connection with times prior to that above-named, but no 
reliance can be placed on the statements. Leonardo da 
Vinci, who died in 1523, is spoken of as having been a cele- 
brated performer on the Violin. The instrument he used is 
described as having had a neck of silver, with the singular 
addition of a carved horse's head.' This description, how- 
ever, is sufficiently anomalous to make one rather sceptical, 
as to whether the instrument denoted possessed any par- 
ticular affinity to the present Violin. Reference is made to 
the picture of the " Marriage at Cana," by Paolo Veronese, 
as furnishing evidence of the form of instruments used in 
Italy in the i6th century, and a description is given of the 
musical part of the subject as follows : " In the foreground, 
in the vacant space of the semicircle formed by the table, at 
which the guests of the marriage at Cana are seated, Titian 

' " Lives of Hadyn and Mozart,'' translated from the French by 
L. A. C. Bombet. 1818. 



is playing on the Double-Bass, Pablo Veronese and Tinto- 
retto on the Vibloricello ; a man with a cross on his. breast is 
playing on the Violin, Bassano is blowing the Flute, and a 
a Turkish slave the Sackbut." 

The naming of the performers is presumably correct, and 

greatly heightens our interest in the group liausically. It is 
dear, however, that the nomenclature of the instruments is 
erroneous. In the engraved section of the famous picture 
here g^ven, Paolo Veronese is represented taking part in the 
performance of a Madrigal, wearing an expression of coun- 
tenance indicative of rapt pleasure, engendered by the 
mingling of the tone? of his Tenor Viol in the harmonies. 


Behind Paolo Veronese is seated Tintoretto, playing an in- 
strument identical with that in the hands of the painter of 
the picture. On the opposite side of the table is Titian, 
with the point of his bow almost touching the dog, playing 
the fundamental tones on the Violono. He apparently 
displays an amount of real relish for his task, which bespeaks 
a knowledge of the responsibility belonging to the post of 
Basso. The ecclesiastic seated next to Titian, wearing the 
chain and crucifix, is performing on a Soprano Viol. The 
instruments, in short, are Italian Viols, the Tenors of which 
were strung with six strings, and' the Violono, or Bass, with 
six or seven. It is this order of Viols to which reference is 
made in the work of Ganassi del Fontegb, and they are, 
therefore, distinct from the four-stringed Viols made at 
Brescia and Mantua. 

The earliest player on the Violin of whom we have any 
account worthy of attention was Baltazarini, a native of 
Piedmont. He removed to France in the year 1577, whither 
he was sent by Marshal de Brissac to superintend the music 
of Catherine de Medici. He was probably the introducer 
of Italian dances into Paris, and he delighted the court as 
much by his skill on the Violin as by his writing of ballet 

During the last half of the i6th century a new species of 
music made way in Italy which exercised a marked effect 
on the progress of the Violin, namely, that of the concert 
orchestra. It was chiefly cultivated at Venice and Ferrara. 
At the latter place the Duke of Ferrara maintained a great 
number of musicians in his service. At this period there 
were no concerts of a public character ; they were given in 
the palaces of the wealthy, and the performers were chiefly 
those belonging to their private bands. 


The opeira, in which instruments were used to accompany 
the voice, began to be put upon the stdge, of the public 
theatres in Italy about the year 1600. The opera " Orfeo," 
by Claudio Monteverde, a Cremonese, famous both as a 
composer and Violist, was represented in 1608. The opera 
in those times differed essentially from that of modern days. 
Particular instruments were selected to accompany each 
character ; for instance, ten Treble Viols to accompany 
Eurydice, two Bass Viols to Orpheus, and so on. No men- 
tion is made of Violin's further than that two small Violins 
(duoi Violini piccoli alia Francese) are to accompany the 
character of Hope, from which it is inferred that a band of 
Violins was in use not much later. 

It is to the introduction of the Sonata that the rapid pro- 
gress in the cultivation of Violin-playing is due. Dr. Bur- 
ney tells us the earliest Sonatas or Trios for two Violins and 
a Bass he discovered were published by Francesco Turini, 
organist of the Duomo, at Brescia, under the following title : 
" Madrigali k una, due, e tre voci, con alcune Sonate k due 
e k tre, Venezia, 1624." He says : "I was instigated by 
this early date to score one of these Sonatas, which consisted 
of only a single movement in figure and imitation through- 
out, in which so Uttle use was made of the power of the bow 
in varying the expression of the same notes, that each part 
might have been as well played on one instrument as 

In this branch of composition Corelli shone forth with 
considerable lustre, and gave great impetus to the culture of 
the Violin. It was at Rome that his first twelve Sonatais 
were pubhshed, in 1683. In 1685 the second set appeared, 
entitled " Balletti da Camera;" four years later the third set 
was published. The genius of Corelli may be said to have 


revolutionized Violin-playing. He had followers in the chief 
cities of Italy. There was Vitali at Modena, Visconti at 
Cremona (who, it is said, tendered his advice to Stradivari 
upon the construction of his instruments — advice, I think, 
little needed) ; Veracini at Bologna, and a host of others. 
Dibdin, the Tyrtaeus of the British navy, said : " I had 
always delighted in Corelli, whose harmonies are an assem- 
blage of melodies. I, therefore, got his Concertos in single 
parts, and put them into score, by which means I saw all the 
workings of his mind at the time he composed them ; I so 
managed that I not only comprehended in what manner the 
parts had been worked, but how, in every way, they might 
have been worked. From this severe but profitable exercise, 
I drew all the best properties of harmony, and among the 
rest I learnt the valuable secret, that nien of strong minds 
may violate to advantage many of those rules of composition 
which are dogmatically imposed." 

We must now retrace our steps somewhat, in order to 
allude to another Violinist, who influenced the progress of 
the leading instrument out of Italy,, viz., Jean Baptiste Lulli. 
The son of a Tuscan peasant, born in the year 1633, Lulli's 
name is so much associated with the romantic in the history 
of Violin-playing that he has been deprived in a great 
measure of the merits justly his due for the part he took in 
the advancement of the instrument. The story of Lulli and 
the stew-pans' bristles with interest for juvenile musicians, 

' Lulli having shown a disposition for music, received some instruc- 
tions on the rudiments of the art from a priest. The Chevalier de Guise, 
when on his travels in Italy, had been requested by Mademoiselle de 
Montpensier, niece of Louis XIV. , to procure for her an Italian boy as 
page, and happening to see Lulli in Florence, he chose him for that 
purpose, on account jof his wit and vivacity, and bis skill in playing on 


but the liero is often overlooked ' by' graver people, on 
account of his culinary associations. When LuUi was ad- 
mitted to the Violin band of Louis XIV., he found the 
members very incompetent ; they could not play at sight, 
and their style was of the worst description. The king 
derived much pleasure from listening to Lulli's music, and 
established a new band on purpose for the composer, 
namely, " Les petits Violons," to distinguish it from the 
band of twenty-four. He composed much music for the 
court ballets in which the king danced. 

LuUi contributed greatly to thie improvement of French 
musia He wrote several operas, and many compositions 
for the Church, all of which served to raise the standard of 
musical taste in France. To him also belongs the credit of 
having founded the French national opera. 

We will now endeavour to trace the progress of the Violin 
in England. It is gratifying to learn that, even in the primi- 
tive age of Violin -playing, we were not without our national 
composers for the instrument. Dr. Benjamin Rogers wrote 
airs in four parts for Violins so early as 1653 (the year 
Corelli was born). John Jenkins wrote twelve sonatas for 
two Violins and a Bass, printed in London in 1660, which 
were the. first sonatas written by an Englishman. About 
this date Charles II. established his band of twenty-four' 
Violins. During his residence on the Continent, he had 
frequent opportunities of hearing the leading instrument, 
and seems to have been so much impressed with itS' beauties 
that he set up for himself a similar band to that belonging 

the guitar. The lady, however, not liking his appearance, sent him 
into her kitchen, where he was made an under scullion, and amused 
himself by arranging the stew-pans in tones and semitones, upon which 
he would play various airs, to the utter dismay of the cook. 


to the French Court. The leader was Thomas Baltzar, who 
was regarded as the best player of his time. Anthony Wood 
met Baltzar at Oxford, and says he " saw him run up his 
fingers to the end of the finger-board of the Violin, and run 
them back insensibly, and all in alacrity and in very good 
time, which he nor any one in England saw the like before." 
Wood tells us. that Baltzar "was buried in the cloister be- 
longing to St. Peter's Church, in Westminster." The emo- 
luments attached to the Royal band, according to Samuel 
Pepys, appear to have been somewhat irregular. In the 
Diary, December 19th, 1666, we read : " Talked of the 
King's family with Mr. Kingston, the organist. He says 
many of the musique are ready to starve, they being five 
years behindhand for their wages ; nay. Evens, the famous 
man upon the Harp, having not his equal in the world, did 
the other day die for rfiere want, and was fain to be buried 
at the alms of the parish, and carried to his grave in the 
dark at night without one linke, but that Mr. Kingston met 
it by chance, and did give lad. to buy two or three links." 

The state of the Merry Monarch's exchequer in 1662, 
according to an extract from the Emoluments of the Audit 
Office, seems to have been singularly prosperous. An order 
runs as follows : " These are to require you to pay, or cause 
to be paid, to John Banister, one of His Majesty's musicians 
in ordinary, the sum of forty pounds for two Cremona 
Violins, by him bought and delivered for'His Majesty's ser- 
vice, as may appear by the bill annexed ; and also ten 
pounds for strings for two years ending 24th June, 1662." 

The King's band was led in 1663 by the above-named 
John Banister, who was an excellent Violinist. His name 
is associated with the earliest concerts in England, namely, 
those held at " four of the clock in the afternoon " at the 


George Tavern, in Whitefriars. Roger North informs us 
the shopkeepers and others went to sing and " enjoy ale 
and tobacco," and the charge was one shiUing and " call for 
what you please." 

In the year 1683, Henry Purcell, organist of the Chapel 
Royal, pubUshed twelve sonatas for two Violins and a Bass. 
These famous instrumental compositions were written, the 
author tells us, in " just imitation of the most famed Italian 
masters, principally to bring the seriousness and gravity of 
that sort of musick into vogue." Purcell, in conformity with 
an age of dedications, thus addressed the Merry Monarch : — 

"May it please your Majesty, I had not assuin'd the confidence of 
laying ye following compositions at your sacred feet, but that, as they 
are the immediate results of your Majestie's Royal favour and benignity 
to me (which have made me what I am), so I am constrained to hope I 
may presume amongst others of your Majestie's over-obliged and 
altogether undeserving subjects that your Majesty will, with your 
accustomed clemency, vouchsafe to pardon the best endeavours of your 

" Most humble and obedient subject and servant, 

"H. Purcell." 

Charles II. is said to have understood his notes, and to 
sing in (in the words of one who had sung with him) a 
plump bass, but that he only looked upon music as an 
incentive to mirth, not caring for any that he could not 
"stamp the time to." The endeavour of his accompUshed 
and gifted young organist to lead the King and his people 
to admire what he terms " the seriousness and gravity " of 
Italian music, and "to loathe the levity and balladry of 
our neighbours," was indeed worthy of Englandls greatest 

In the year 1678, Thomas Britton, known as the "musical 


small-coal man," gave concerts in this country, and a long 
series it was, extending over a period of forty-six years. The 
shape the movement took was that of a musical chib, which 
was maintained at Britton's expense. 

The concert-room of Tom Britton was over his coal-shop 
in Aylesbury Street, leading froxn Clerkenwell Green to St. 
John Street. From the year 1678 to the time of his death, 
in 1 7 14, the concerts of Britton were attended by persons of 
all ranks. 

" Tho' mean thy rank, yet in thy humble cell, 
Did gentle peace and arts unpurchased dwell. 
Well pleased, Apollo thither led his train, 
And Music warbled in her sweetest strain. 
Cyllenius too, so fables tell, and Jove 
Came willing guests to poor Philemon's grove. 
Let useless pomp behold, and blush to find 
So low a station, such a liberal mind."" 

Thus the first germ of the great musical societies gave a 
marked impulse to the culture of stringed music in England. 
Attention was turned to the subject ; its humanizing effects 
were recognized, and parties met in several places for the 
practice of chamber music. Our progress in Violin -playing 
at this date was clearly satisfactory. We had a Violinist 
named John Henry Eccles, belonging to a clever family of 
musicians. He became a member of the band of Louis 
XIV., and was regarded as an.excellent player and musician. 
He published in Paris some solos for the Violin in 1720. 
His brother Thomas was also a good Violinist. Fortune, 
however, did not smile upon him. He is described as being 
one of those itinerant musicians — perhaps the last of them — 

' These verses Were written by Mr. John Hughes, who was a fre- 
quent performer on the Violin at Britton's concerts. (Hawkins.) 


who in winter evenings went to taverns, and for a slender 
subsistence bore the insults of those disinclined to listen to 
their performance. This order of itinerant musicians may 
be described as having descended from the Fiddling min- 
strels, which the. wealthy in earlier times often retained in 
their houses, giving them coats and badges bearing the 
family arms. These musicians, in place of amusing the 
nobility ultimately attended wakes and fairs. They were 
sometimes retained at the large inns, where the guest while 
eating, an old English writer .says, was "offered music, 
which he may freely take or refuse, and if he be solitary the 
musicians will give him the good day, with music in the 
morning." In Puritan times this class of musician was 
thought to have so much increased as to need a special act 
for their suppression, which gave rise to Butler's creation, 
the " Champion Crowdero." Returning to our subject with 
Thomas Eccles, we have the following interesting account 
of the unfortunate Violinist, by a musician : " It was about 
the month of November, 1753, that I, with some friends, 
were met to spend the evening at a tavern in the City, when 
this man, in a mean but decent garb, was introduced to us 
by the waiter ; immediately upon opening the door I heard 
the twang of one of his strings from under his coat, which 
was accompanied by the question, 'Gentlemen, will you 
please to hear my music ? ' Our curiosity, and the modesty 
of the man's deportment, inchned us to say yes, and music 
he gave us, such as I had never heard before, nor shall 
again under the same circumstances. With as fine and 
delicate a hand as I ever heard, he played the whole fifth 
and ninth solos of Corelli, and two songs of Mr. Handel ; in 
short, his performance was such as would command the 
attention of the nicest ear, and left us his auditors much at 


a loss to guess what it was that constrained him to seek hisj 
living in a way so disreputable. He made no secret of his 
name ; he said he was the youngest of three brothers, and 
that Henry, the middle one, had been his master, and was 
then in the service of the King of France. He lodged in 
the Butcher Row, near Temple Bar, and was well known to 
the musicians of his time, who thought themselves disgraced, 
by this practice of his, for which they have a term of re- 
proach not very intelligible ; they call it going a-busking."^ 

I have now to mention a Violinist whose talents raised the- 
instrument greatly, particularly in England, viz., Francesco 
Geminiani. He was instructed by Corelh, and imbibed 
much of his master's breadth of style. He came to England 
in the year 1714. In 1716 he published a set of twelve 
sonatas, which attracted some notice at the time from thejr 
novelty. In these he plunged into difificulties deemed then 
very unusual, but withal his compositions were elegantly 
written. He afterwards wrote and pubhshed solos and 
concertos, besides a "Treatise on Good Taste," and the 
" Art of Playing on the Violin," the latter being the first 
instruction book for the instrument deserving of the name. 
The instrumental music at this period was composed for 
four Violins, Tenor, Violoncello, and Double-Bass, and was 
called the Concerto Grosso. 

Having lightly sketched the progress of the Violin in 
England down to about the year 1750, it will, perhaps, be 
better to take up the thread of the instrument's progress in 
Italy, which we brought to the days of Corelli. 

The iirst half of the i8th century was rich in Italian 
Viohnists and writers for the instrument, of whom the chief 

' The term " busker " is still applied to musicians who perform out- 
side public-houses, on steamboats, and elsewhere. 


was Giuseppe Tartini, born 1692. Dr. Burney says of his 
compositions : " Though he made Corelli his model in the 
purity of his harmony and simpHcity of his modulation, he 
greatly surpassed that composer in the fertility and origi- 
nality of his invention; not only in the subjects of his 
melodies, but in the truly cantahile manner of treating them. 
Many of his adagios want nothing but words to be excellent 
pathetic opera songs. His allegros are sometimes difficult ; 
but the passages fairly belong to the instrument for which 
they were composed, and were suggested by his consum- 
mate knowledge of the finger-board and the powers of the 
bow. As a harmonist, he was, perhaps, more truly scientific 
than any other composer of his time, in the clearness, cha- 
racter, and precision of his Basses, wljich were never casual, 
or the effect of habit or auricular prejudice and expectation, 
but learned, judicious, and certain." It would be difficult 
to add to this judgment of the compositions of TartinL 
The truth of Barney's remarks are better understood at 
this moment than when penned. During the space of 
nearly a century the sonatas of Tartini lay dormant, and 
only within the past 'few years have their beauties been 
again recognized. Such works as Tartini's are all-important 
links in the chain of musical progress. 

Pietro Locatelli, a pupil of CoreUi, introduced a style of 
playing quite in advance of his time. His compositions 
abound with novel combinations ; double stops, harmonics, 
and arpeggios are displayed with wonderful results. Burney 
says that "Locatelli had more hand, caprice, and fancy 
than any Viohnist of his time." 

The immediate follower of the style of Locatelli was 
LoUi, born 1728, who wrote pleasing airs and used novel 
effects, but failed to go further. It was one of his feats to 



play on one string, a performance very properly held in 
contempt in our day, having neither sense nor grace to 
recommend it. 

Felice Giardini was another musician of the style of 
Locatelli.' He was born at Turin, in the year 1-7 16. His 
performance at Naples and Berlin excited considerable 
notice. In 1742 he visited England, and created some 
sensation, his style being new to the British public. 

Boccherini probably did more towards furthering the 
cultivation of stringed instrument music than any composer 
of his day, with the exception of Haydn. There are in his 
compositions movements of varied styles, well written for 
their respective' instruments. His quintetts are among his 
chief productions, and their elegance and brilliancy is 
remarkable. The part allotted to his own instrument, the 
Violoncello, often bristles with difficulties, and hence it is 
that these compositions are so seldom heard. Boccherini 
was the first composer who wrote quintetts with two Violon^ 
cello parts. 

We now reach a stage in the history of the progress of 
the Violin the importance of which cannot be over-esti- 
mated ; I refer to the influence which the compositions of 
Giovanni Battista Viotti exerted upon the cultivation of our 
instrument. With the famous Viotti sprang up a school of 
Viol in -playing as marked in style as that introduced by 
Corelli. Viotti was a pupil of Pugnani, and owed his 
success to the rare teaching of that master. The sensation 
that Viotti created in Paris was great. His varied style, his 
rich tone and elegance in playing, were far beyond any- 

• In "Les Mattres Classiques," edited by M. Alard, and the " Hohe 
Schule,'' edited by Ferdinand David, will be found some of the best 
examples of this composer, as well as of many others noticed here. 

sketch: of its progress. 355 

thing that the Parisian public had previously experienced* 
With Viotti was ushered in a new era in solo playing. His 
concerto's exhibit the capabilities of the instrument in 
elegantly constructed passages, such as none but a master 
of the Violin could pen. He wrote upwards of twenty 
concertos, those in A minor, in G, in D, and in E minor 
being the favourites, and to this day highly esteemed by 
Violinists of every school. His duos and trios are pleasing 
and effective, andj though long since superseded by works 
of greater erudition, they form a landmark in the history of 
the progress of the instrument. 

Campagnoh, born in 1751, was a composer of rare ability. 
Had he written nothing but the "Studies on the Seven 
Positions of the Viohn " he would have left enough to 
mark the character of his genius. Happily he has be- 
queathed to us many other writings. The "Fantasias and 
Cadences," forming a book of upwards of 100 pages, is a 
work full of interest to the Violinist. His modulations are 
singularly effective. He has also written some Studies for 
the Tenor, and, lastly, a " Violin School." I cannot but 
think that Campagnoli's educational compositions do not 
receive the attention which they merit, and are too often 
laid aside as old-fashioned. There is a certain quaintness 
in his writings, but this much may be said of many other 
compositions whose beauties are not neglected on that 
account. It would be difiScult to find material more solid 
than that afforded by the writings of Campagnoli, if the 
foundation of Violin-playing of the highest character is to 
be laid. 

We reach the pinnacle of the Italian school of Violin- 
playing in the wondrous Paganini; born the i8th February, 
1784, died May 27th, 1840. It is needless to recount the 


extraordinary achievements of this remarkable man. M. 
Fetis and others have collected the most interesting particu- 
lars relative to Paganini and his compositions, and to their 
entertaining accounts the reader can turn for information. 
It is sufficient to mention that Paganini carried the mar- 
vellous in Violin-playing as far as seems possible. The 
number of his imitators has been enormous, and many of 
them, withal, so barbarous as to render anything savouring 
of "k la Paganini" contemptible. The compositions of 
Paganini are no longer Paganini's when played by others. 
He, above all Violinists that ever lived, possessed an in- 
dividuality in his style of playing which has hitherto defied 

From Paganini to his pupil Camillo Sivori is the next 
step in my notice. The artistic career of Sivori has been a 
glorious one. Elegance of style and charming purity of 
tone are qualities peculiarly his. 

Antonio Eazzini, both as a solo Violinist and composer 
for the instrument, has achieved lasting fame. 

Having, endeavoured to lightly sketch the history of 
Italian performers, and of Italian music bearing on the 
instrument to the present time, it remains to notice a 
remarkable follower of the Italian school of Violin-playing 
in the Norwegian, Ole Bornemann Bull. The executive 
skill of this famous Violinist was of the highest -order, and • 
perhaps no other artist, with the exception of Paganini, 
gained such a world-wide renown. 

It is now necessary to refer to the course of events touch- 
ing the Violin in France. As the influence of Viotti 
resulted in a remodelling of the French style of playing, 
our survey will make it necessary to go back the greater part 
of a century. 


Jean Marie Leclair, the pupil of Semis, is the first 
Violinist deserving of mention. He was born at Lyons in 
1697. In 1729 he visited Paris, where he was engaged at 
the opera. He wrote several sonatas for Violin and Bass, 
and for two VioUns and Bass, besides other compositions. 
The difficulties occurring in many of these writings are of 
no ordinary character, and if they were rendered with 
anything approaching to exactness, the progress made on 
the Violin must have been very rapid between the days of 
Lulli and those of Leclair. 

Pierre Gavinifes claims attention both as an executant 
and composer. There is a freshness about his compositions 
which has caused many of them to be recently roused froni 
their long sleep, and re-issued in the improved' garb of a 
modem edition. His best^known works are the twenty-four 
Studies, Concertos, and Sonatas. 

Although there were several Violinists in France of 
average ability between the time of Gavinifes and that of 
Rode, they scarcely claim attention in this somewhat hasty 
sketch; and I will, therefore, pass to the players linked 
with Viotti to his pupil Rode. He was born at Bordeaux 
in 1774. Fetis remarks, "from Corelli to Rode there is no 
hiafus in the school, for Corelli was the master of Somis, 
Somis of Pugnani, Pugnani of Viotti, and Viotti of Rode." 

His twenty-four Caprices, and his Concertos, and Airs, 
are much admired by all Violinists for their elegance and 
effectiveness. Paganini played the concertos of Rode 
publicly upon several occasions. Baillot and Kreutzer 
were associated with Rode at the Paris Conservatoire, and 
likewise in the compilation of the well-known Instruction 
Book written expressly for the use of the pupils at the 
Conservatoire. Baillot was famed for his admirable bowing 


and refined playing. Kreutzer is, of course, better known 
from his Forty Studies than from anything else that he has 
written. His concertos partake more of the study than of 
the name they bear, and are valued accordingly. 

Lafont was instructed by both Rode and Kreutzer, and 
held a high position among the Violinists of his time. 

Frangois Antoine Habeneck was a pupil of Baillot at the 
Paris Conservatoire, where he distinguished himself, and 
became a professor. Among his pupils were Alard, Sainton, 
and Deldevez. 

M. Alard was born in 1815. He succeeded Baillot at 
the Conservatoire in 1843, holding the position until within 
the last few years, retiring shortly after the death of his 
father-in-law, M. Vuillaume. M. Alard was the master of 
Sarasate. M. Sainton was born in 18 13 at Toulouse. He 
took the first prize at the Conservatoire in 1834. He 
settled in London in 1845. Shortly afterwards he became 
principal pr'ofessor of the Violin at the Royal Academy of 
Music, and leader under Signor Costa. 

It now remains for me to notice the Belgian school. 
The first to name is Charles de Beriot, one of the most 
delicious players we have had. As a composer for his 
instrument, he opened up entirely fresh ground ; he 
banished all that was dry, and gave us those fresh and 
pleasant Airs with Variations, and Morceaux de Salon, 
teeming with novel effects. It can never be said that De 
Bferiot alarmed the amateur with outrageous difficulties ; on 
the contrary, he gave them passages comparatively easy to 
execute, full of effect, and yet withal astonishing to the 
listener. De Beriot probably made more amateur Violinists 
than any composer of his time. 

Henri Vieuxtemps was a thorough master of his art. 


His Concertos are compositions worthy of the title they 
bear ; they do not consist of a number of difificulties strung 
together without meaning, but are properly constructed 
works. He has written many Fantasias, all of which are 
the delight of good Violinists. His compositions being 
most difficult to render, they are chiefly known among 
artists, but in these days of rapid development in Violin- 
playing among amateurs, a new and wide field will certainly 
be opened for them. 

From Belgium to Poland seems a wide step in my dis- 
course, but it is not really so. Although the Polish Violin- 
ists retain much originality in their style of playing and 
compositions, it is to the French school that they belong. 
Lipinski, Wieniawski, and Lotto were all educated in the 
Paris school. 

Lipinski has written a good deal for his instrument, and 
instructed many well-known players. 

Henri Wieniawski was essentially a great artist. He was 
a marvellous Violinist, and displayed great genius as a com- 
poser for his instrument. 

Adolphe PoUitzer settled in London many years since; 
and .occupies a leading position among our resident 

Having lightly touched upon the various heads of the 
French school, I must again take up the thread of the 
English history of the instrument from about i7SOi at which 
period we may trace a growing admiration for Violin-playing, 
notwithstanding the disparagement which this accomplish- 
ment received from different notabilities. Foremost among 
the revilers stands Lord Chesterfield, who considered playing 
upon any musical instrument to be illiberal in a gentleman. 
The Violin would seem to have been regarded, by hiS' lord- 


ship with a Supreme amount of displeasure. His opinion 
of Violinists savoured greatly of that held by the framers 
of ^he statute passed in the reign of Elizabeth touching 
minstrels, Who were to be included among "rogues, vaga^ 
bonds, and sturdy beggars " when wandering abroad. Lord 
Chesterfield says, " Music is usually reckoned one of the 
liberal arts, and not unjustly, but a man of fashion who is 
seen piping or Fiddling at a concert degrades his own 
dignity. If you love music, hear it ; pay Fiddlers to play 
for you, but never Piddle yourself." SUch was Lord Chester- 
field's advice to his son. It is quite evident that he had no 
notion of the exquisite enjoyment derivable from being an 
executant in a quartett, the conversational powers of which 
have been so frequently noticed. That Lord Chesterfield's 
strictures discouraged the practice of the Violin in the 
higher circles of society is very probable, appearing as they 
do in a work which was held in the light of a text-book 
upon the conduct of a gentleman for some considerable 
time. Happily, the hollowness of much of his advice 
came to be recognized, and he who deemed cards and dice 
a necessary step towards fashiotia:ble perfection, and ordained 
that Fiddlers were to be paid to play for you as substitutes 
for your own personal degradation, came to be remembered, 
possibly, more on account of the laxity Of his precepts 
than for any other reason. 

In the days of Lord Chesterfield lived Michael Christian 
Festing, who was particularly zealous in the cause of music. 
He was a pupil of Geminiani, and wrote several solos. 
Festing still further carried out the idea of Britton the 
" small-coal man," by bringing together a number of noble^ 
men and gentlemen amateurs for the practice of concerted 
music. They met at the Crown and Anchor tavern in the 


Strand, and named their society the " Philharmonic." So 
much for his furtherance of the art. It now remains to 
notice the great boon which Festing conferred upon his 
brother professors and their descendants. It is this which 
has given his memory lasting hfe in the annals of English 

We are indebted to Festing as the chief instrument in 
the formation of the Royal Society of Musicians, which he 
may be said to have founded in the year 1738. This 
society derived its origin from the following curious circum- 
stance. Festing being one day seated at the window of 
the Orange Coffee House, then at the corner of the Hay- 
market, observed a very intelligent-looking boy, who was 
driving an ass and selling brickdust. The lad was in a 
deplorable condition, and excited the pity of the kind- 
hearted musician, who made inquiries concerning him, and 
discovered that he was the son of an unfortunate professor 
of music. Struck with grief and mortification that the 
forlorn object before him should be the child of a brother 
musician, Festing resolved to attempt something for the 
boy's maintenance. Shortly after, with the help of other 
benevolently-disposed persons, he raised a fund for the 
support of decayed musicians and their families, and thus 
laid the foundation of the society, which is the first of its 
kind in Europe. Handel was one of its first and principal 
members, and left it a legacy of ;£'i,ooo. Little did Festing 
and his supporters dream that their society, humble enough 
in 1738, would grow into a society possessing ^80,000 in 
1874, a sum which, however high-sounding, is yet insuffi- 
cient to permk the committee to dispense the full amount 
of good desired. 

Returning again to our subject, we find that in Festing's 


lifetime there were several patrons of the art, the chief of 
whom were the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cumberland, 
and the Earl of Mornington. Speaking of the Earl, the 
Hon. Daines Barrington says he " furnishes an instance of 
early attention to musical instruments. His father played 
well, for a gentleman, on the Violin, which always delighted 
the child while in his nurse's arms, and long before he 
could speak." When he was nine years old, "an old 
portrait-painter came to the family seat, who was a very 
indifferent performer on the Violin, but persuaded the child 
that if he tried to play on that instrument, he would soon 
be able to bear a part in a concert. With this inducement 
he soon learned the two old catches of the ' Christ-Church 
Bells,' and ' Sing one, two, three, come follow me ; ' after 
which, his father and the painter accompanying him with 
the other two parts, he experienced the pleasing effects of 
a harmony to which he himself contributed. Soon after 
this he was able to play the second Viohn in Corelli's 
sonatas, which gave him a steadiness in time that never 
deserted him." 

We may now glance at the period when Salomon came 
to England in 1781. Too much stress can scarcely be laid 
upon the good effected by Salomon's talents for the progress 
of music, and more particularly in behalf of instrumental 
music. We are deeply indebted to this musician for the 
spirit and enterprise which he displayed, in bringing to 
England, at no trifling pecuniary risk, the immortal Haydn. 
Salomon having established a series of twenty concerts in 
1790, it occurred to him that to invite the famous musician 
to London, would aid his enterprise. He communicated 
with Haydn, offering him the sum of fifty pounds for each 
concert. These terms were accepted, and Haydn set out 

sketch: of its progress. 363 

for London, at the age of fifty-nine. He remained in 
England over a year, and composed the celebrated "Twelve 
Symphonies" known as the Salomon, set. "Salomon was 
one of the promoters of the Philharmonic Society, and led 
the orchestra at the first concert given by the society in 
1813. Enough has been said to show the nature of the 
part he took in the development of music in England; 
Enjoying the friendship of those who moved in the higher 
circles of society, where his polished manners and high 
attainments ever made him a welcome guest, he was enabled 
to command such patronage as to make his laudible ven- 
tures successful. 

Among the Violinists of Salomon's day, resident in 
England, were WilUam and Francois ' Cramer, to whom 
severally were assigned the leadership of the Ancient 
Concerts and of the Opera.. 

The next Violinist who gained some celebrity was Nicholas" 
Mori, born in London in the year 1796. He was associated 
with the formation of the Royal Academy of Music, in 
Tenterden Street, and became the principal instructor on 
the Violin at that institution. Paolo Diana (a Cremonese 
known under his adopted name of Spagnoletti) and Kies- 
wetter each contributed their share towards the advance- 
ment of the instrument during their stay in this country. 

The names of Dando and Henry Blagrove bring us to 
the players of our own time. These thoroughly representa- 
tive English Violinists have done much to raise the standard 
of the public taste. In the year 1835, the "Concerti da 
Camera" were established (in imitation of those. given in 
Paris by Pierre Baillot), and served to extend our knowledge 
of classical chamber -music. The formation of the Musical 
Union still further increased our knowledge and taste in 


the same direction. The long roll of celebrated continental 
artists introduced at the Society's concerts sufficiently 
stamps its character. All that remained to he done was to 
make the Quartett popular, and to bring it within the reach 
of all. This has been achieved by the indefatigable labours 
of Mr. Chappell in his Monday Popular Concerts.^ For 
some time the public failed to appreciate Mr. Chappell's 
scheme, but the enterprising director, nothing daunted, 
continued his course, and has now the gratification of being 
besieged in his citadel at St. James's Hall, from the com- 
mencement of the season to its close. 

Before closing our remarks on the progress of Violinr 
playing in England, we have still to mention a few other 
names in connection with this subject. Henry C. Cooper^ 
was a Violinist" who ranked with the chief representatives of 
the English Soloists, and during a long professional career 
achieved much success. He set on foot, together with his 
coadjutors, M. Sainton, Hill, and Signor Piatti, the Quartett 
Association, the concerts of which were given at Willis's 
Rooms during several seasons. The career of Mr. John 
Carrodus has been watched by his brother artists with 
much interest. As a pupil of Herr Molique, he gave early 
signs of exceptional talents ; it was felt that he must inevit- 
ably come to the front ; all that was predicted, and even 
more, has come to pass. He now has a commanding 
position among the foremost Viojinists of our time, both as 
a soloist and leader. With the names of Messrs. Henry 
and Alfred Holmes, I come to a close of the English branch 
of the subject. The brothers Holmes attracted the notice 
of Spohr, who was so delighted wjth their abilities that he 
composed and dedicated to them three Duets for two 


The first name of any note in connection with the Violin 
in Germany is that of Graun, who was born in the year 
1 700. He became concert-master to th^ King of Prussia, 
and excelled as a Violinist. His pupil, Francis Benda, 
next claims attention. Dr. Burney says of him: "His 
manner wag neither that of Tartini, nor of Veracini, nor 
that of SLTif other leader ; it was purely his own, though 
founded on the several models of the greatest masters ; " 
and Hillar tells us that "his tones were of the finest 
description, the clearest and most euphonious that can ■ be 
imagined." Benda pubhshed studies for his instrument, 
and also several solos and other works, all of which are 
admired for their good and cantabile style. 

About this period appeared the admirable compositions 
for the Violin of that great master of his art, John Sebastian 
Bach — works differing essentially from those of his con- 
• temporaries. 

" He was not of an age, but for all time." 

To describe the character and beauties of Bach's Violin 
writings is neither within my province nor capacity. As an 
amateur Violinist and an observer of all that relates to the 
Violin, I may refer, however, to the vast amount of good 
which the compositions of Bach have exercised upon the 
cultivation of Violin-playing, and the marvellous developr 
ment that they have received at the hands of many of our 
leading Violinists. For this happy state of things we are 
largely indebted to Herr Joachim; but for him these 
treasures might have remained hidden behind a cloud of 
airs varik, fantasias, and what not, for many a year to come, 
Herr Joachim has made the Sonatas of Bach familiar to 
thousands who a few years since scarcely knew of their ex- 


istence. The difficulties which abound in these solid writ- 
ings could only have been written by a master perfectly 
acquainted with the capabilities of the instrument Many'a 
tyro who plunges into the stream of Bach's crotchets and 
quavers soon finds himself encompassed by a whirlpool of 
seeming impossibilities, and is frequently heard to exclaim 
that the passages are impracticable. Vain delflsion ! Bach 
was himself a Violinist, and never penned a passage the 
rendering of which is impossible. The ease and grace with 
which a Joachim makes every note heard and felt, induces 
maiiy a one to wrestle with Bach, the more so when it is 
found that the great aiithor has confined himself to the lower 
positions of the instrument. Vain delusion number two ! 
Bach exacts more on terra firma than many later writers 
have claimed in their wildest aerial flights. 

From Bach to Handel is an easy step in our discourse. 
They were born within a year of each other, and were 
possessed of minds of similar calibre, though differently ex- 
ercised. It would not, perhaps, be over-strained to call 
them respectively the Nelson and Wellington of music. 
The compositions of Handel materially advanced the 
Violin. His Overtures, Trios, Sonatas, and Concertos, were 
all received with the utmost attention, and led on to works 
by later composers, which would probably have never ex- 
isted but for Handel's example. 

We now reach the time when the Syitiphony was perfected 
by Haydn, who, following the steps of Bach, brought this 
branch of the art to a degree of perfection hitherto unknown. 
TThe influence of this composer on the progress of the 
Violin cannot be over-estimated. The Quartetts of Haydn 
are two well known to need more than mention here. The 
Quartetts of Giardini and Pugnana were laid aside to give 


place to the inspired compositions. The following amusing 
comparison drawn by a lady between the Quartetts of Haydn 
and the speech of articulate humanity appears in Bombet's 
"Letters on Haydn," and though pretty well known, will 
lose nothing by repetition : — 

" In listening to the Quartetts of Haydn, this lady felt as 
if present at a conversation of four agreeable persons. She 
thought that the first Violin had the air of an eloquent man 
of genius, of middle age; who supported a conversation, the 
subject of which he had suggested. In the second Violin 
she recognized a friend of the first; who sought by all pos? 
sible means to display him to advantage, seldom thought of 
himself, and kept up the conversation rather by assenting to 
what was said by the others than by advancing any ideas of 
his own. The Alto was a grave, learned, and sententious 
man. He supported the discourse of the first Viohn by 
laconic maxims, striking for their truth. The Bass was a 
worthy old lady, rather inclined to chatter, who said nothing 
of much consequence, and while she was talking the other 
interlocutors had time to breathe. It was, however, evident 
that she had a secret inclination for the Alto, which she 
preferred to the other instruments." 

It may be said that the foregoing extract is more funny 
than just. Probably this is the case ; however, I make use 
of it as throwing some light on the enjoyment derivable 
fi:om listening to a Quartett, without reference to its critical 

Resuming our subject again : Haydn wrote eight easy 
Sonatas for Violin and Pianoforte, but they are not of suf- 
ficient importance to cause them to be much played. Haydn 
used frequently to take the Tenor parts in his Quartetts. 

Leopold Mozart, born in 17 19, the father .of the illustrious 


musician, was a Violiftist, and wrote a " Method " for, his 
instrument. He died in 1787. 

To the great Mozart Violinists owe much ; his composi- 
tions for the instrument raised it considerably. It is un- 
necessary to give here a detailed list of his writings in which 
the; Violin takes part — they are happily known to most 
players. Mozart played the Violin from boyhood, and was 
taught by his father. It is gratifying to know that nearly all 
the great composers played upon stringed instruments, if not 
with proficiency, yet enough to enable them to make 
pleasurable use of their acquirements. Sebastian Bach, 
Handel, and Schubert were Violin-players; Hadyn and 
Mendelssohn could take their Tenor part in a Quartett ; and 
lastly, Beethoven used to amuse himself with the Double^Bass. 
Their compositions evidence a practical knowledge of 
stringed instruments as distinct from theory. The glorious 
compositions of Beethoven for the Violin need no comment 
here ; their beauties have formed the theme . of the ablest 
critics; and I have no desire to contribute my humble mite 
to their exhaustive remarks. 

With Fesca we again come amongst the Violinists. He 
was born at Magdeburg, in 1789. His Quartetts are very 
pleasing compositions ; they are chiefly " Solo Quartetts." 

The next Violinist claiming attention is the highly gifted 
Louis Spohr, the greatest composer for the Violin that ever 
lived, who combined in his own person high executive 
powers with a rare fecundity of classical composition. The 
Concertos of Spohr belong to an entirely different class 
from those of Viotti, Kreutzer, and others, inasmuch as 
Spohr's music is written so as not only to display the beauties 
of the instrument, but also to give the noblest specimens of 
its orchestration. His Duets for two Violins, his Tenor and 


Violin Duet and Quartetts, are all two well known to need 
more than passing mention. 

From Spohr has grown up a school of Violin-playing of a 
very distinctive character. Bernard Molique was endowed 
with great powers, both as a performer and a composer for his 
instrument. His Concertos are compositions of the highest 
character, and require for their rendering a finished artist. 

Joseph Mayseder was a Violinist of a different order to 
that of Spohr or Molique. His style was exceedingly bril- 
liant. Mayseder may also be said to have created a school 
of his own, and owing to the circulation that his composi- 
tions obtained in England, his style was introduced among 
a great number of our countrymen. Kalliwoda wrote and 
played very much in the Mayseder manner. His Airs and 
Variations are especially brilliant compositions ; his Over- 
tures are also much admired for their sparkling and 
dramatic character. 

I come now to notice one of the greatest artistes of our 
time — Herr Ernst — whose playing was impassioned in the 
highest degree. He made the Violin express his innermost 
thoughts in tones of dehcious tenderness such as his hearers 
can never forget. By nature noble, generous, and affection- 
ate, the shade and substance of each trait was faithfully re- 
flected in his exquisite playing. His compositions are 
among the finest solo writings we have. To mention his 
"Otello," "Airs Hongrois," " Le Prophbte," and his 
" Studies," will be suflicient to call to the mind of most 
Violinists the high character of his compositions. 

It now only remains for me to briefly allude to the German 
artists each Concert Season makes us familiar with. First 
and foremost is the mighty Herr Joachim, a host in himself. 
His able coadjutor Herr Strauss is justly admired for his 



intellectual rendering of the works of the great masters, and 
the artistic spirit he invariably displays. Herr Wilhelmj is 
regarded as one of the first players of our time, his executive 
powers being of the highest order. 


anecDotesf anD 91pi0«llanek conncttet \mt^ 

' The squire, in state, rode on before, 

The trophy-Fiddle, and the case 
Plac'd on his shoulder lilce a mace." 


THE important part played by the renowned Champion- 
Crowdero in Butler's inimitable satire has never failed 
to give keen enjoyment to all lovers of wit and humour. 
This being so, his exploits should be doubly appreciated by 
the votaries of the Fiddle, since it was he who valiantly de- 


fended the cause of Fiddling against the attacks of Hudi- 
bras — 

" When civil fury first grew high, 
And men fell out, they knew not why ; 
When hard words, jealousies, and fears 
Set folks together by the ears. 
And made them fight, like mad or drunk. 

Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling, 
And out he rode a-colonelling." 

The absurdities into which the genius of Cervantes hur- 
ried Don Quixote and Sancho served to allay the extrava- 
gances of knight-errantry. The adventures of Hudibras and 
Ralpho, undertaken to extinguish the sports and pastirnes of 
the people, aided greatly in staying the hand of fanaticism, 
which had suppressed all stage plays and interludes as 
" condemned by ancient heathens, and by no means to be 
tolerated among professors of the Christian religion." 

With Crowdero we are taken back upwards of two cen- 
turies in the history of the Violin ; from times wherein it is 
held in the highest esteem and admiration, to days when it 
was regarded with' contempt and ridicule. Crowdero (so 
called from crowd, a Fiddle) was the fictitious name for one 
Jackson, a milliner, who lived in the New Exchange, in the 
Strand. He had served with the Roundheads, and lost a 
leg, which brought him into reduced circumstances, until he 
was obliged to Fiddle from one alehouse to another for his 
existence. Hudibras — 

" On stirrup-side, he gaz'd about 
Portending blood, lij^e blazing star, 
The beacon of approaching war." . 


Ralpho rode on, with no less speed 

Than Hugo in the forest did ; 

But far more in returning made, 

For now the foe he had survey'd" 

Rang'd, as to him they did appear. 

With van, main battle, wings, and rear. 

I' th' head of all this warlike rabble, 

Crowdero marched, expert and able. 

Instead of trumpet and of drum. 

That makes the warrior's stomach come, 

Whose noise whets valour sharp, like beer 

By thunder turn'd to vinegar ; 

(For if a trumpet sound, or drum beat. 

Who has not a month's mind to combat ?) 

A squeaking engine he ^pply'd 

Unto his neck on north-east side,' 

Just where the hangman can dispose. 

To special friends, the knot or noose ; 

For 'tis great grace, when statesmen straight 

Dispatch a friend, let others wait. 

His warped ear hung o'er the strings. 

Which was but souse to chitterlings ; " 

For guts, some write, ere they are sodden, ■ 

Are fit for music, or for pudding ; 3 

' Several explanations of this passage have been set forth by Butler's 
commentators. Dr. Grey asks, " Why the north-east side? Do Fid- 
dlers always, or most generally, stand or sit according to the points of 
the compass ? " Dr. Nash suggests the poet may have had in view " a 
conceit," which is in Brown's "Vulgar Errors," viz., that the body of 
man is magnetical, and being placed in a boat will never rest till the 
head respecteth the north. Dr. Nash remarks, " Now, the body lying 
on its back with its head towards the north, or standing upright with the 
face towards the east, the reader will find the place of the Fiddle on the 
left breast to be due north-east." 

' Dr. Nash says, "Souse is the pig's ear, and chitterlings the 
pig's guts ; the former allude to Crowdero's ear, which lay on the 
Fiddle ; the latter to the strings of the Fiddle, which are made of cat- 

3 Black pudding and sausages are placed in skins of gut. 


From whence men borrow ev'ry kind 
Of minstrelsy, by string or wind* 
His grisly beard was long and thick, 
With which he strung his Fiddle-stick ; 
For he to horse-tail scorned to owe 
For what on his own chin did grow. 

And now the field of death, the lists. 
We enter'd by antagonists, 
And blood was ready to be broach'd. 
When Hudibras in haste approach'd 
With Squire and weapons, to attack 'em { 
But first thus from his horse bespoke 'em, 
' What rage, O citizens ! What fury 
Doth you to these dire actions hurry ? 

In name of King and Parliament 
I charge ye all — no more foment. 

. . . first surrender 
The Fiddler as the prime offender, 
Th' incendiary vile, that is chief 
Author and engineer of mischief ; 
That mtikes division between friends 
For profane and malignant ends. ' 

* This passage evidently refers to Violists meeting to make division 
to a ground, namely, in the words of Christopher Simpson, " Aground, 
subject, or bass (calljt which you please) is prickt (written) dowii in two 
several papers, one for him who is to play the ground (upon an organ, 
harpsichord, or other instrument), the other for him who plays upon the 
Viol, who having the Said ground before his eye (as his theme or sub- 
ject) plays such variety of descant and division thereupon as his skill and 
present invention do then suggest to him." The poet's allusion to 
" Th' incendiary vile (Viol) that is chief author and engineer of mis- 
chief" humorously points to the popularity of the Viol. The poet's 
mention of persons meeting and performing on their Viols, thus making 

" . . . division between friends, 
For profane and malignant ends," 


He and that engine of vile noise 
On which illegally he plays,' 
Shall (dictum factum) both be brought . 
To condign punishment, as they ought.' 
• * • • t * . « 

This said he clapped his hand on sword, 
To show he meant to keep his word. 

is evidently a most humorous allusion to the case of the Royalist, Sir 
Roger L'Estrange, the friend of Butler, and to whom was given the 
names of the real persons shadowed under fictitious characters in the 
satire. Sir Roger, whilst in St. James's Park, heard an Organ being 
played in the house of one Mr. Hickson. His intense love of music 
prompted him to seek admittance. He found there a company of five 
or six persons, and being himself a good Violist, was prevailed upon to 
take a part. By-and-by Cromwell entered, without, Sir Roger ex- 
plains in a pamphlet (" Truth and Loyality Vindicated," printed the 
year before the first part of Hudibras was .published, in 1662), "the 
least colour of a design or expectation." Sir Roger went on making 
division with his Viol, apparently regardless of the presence of the Pro- 
tector and thus earned for himself the title of Oliver's Fiddler, besides 
giving rise to the report that he solicited a private conference with 
Cromwell under the pretext of " making division " with his Viol. Dr. 
Johnson has truly said of Hudibras, "The manners, being founded on 
opinions, are temporary and local, and therefore become every day less 
intelligible and less striking. . . . Much, therefore, of that humour 
which transported the century with merriment is lost to us, who do not 
know the sour solemnity, the sullen superstition, the gloomy morose- 
ness, and the stubborn scruples of the ancient Puritans, . . . and can- 
not, but by recollection and study, understand the lines in which they 
are satirized. Our grandfathers knew the picture from the life; we 
judge of the life by contemplating the picture." 

' Alluding to an ordinance made in 1658 : " And be it further en- 
acted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person or persons, com- 
monly called Fiddlers, or minstrels, shall at any time after the said first 
day of July (1657) be taken playing, Fiddling, and making music in any 
inn, alehouse, or tavern, or shall be taken proffering themselves, or de- 
siring, or intreating any person or persons to hear them play, &c„ &c., 
shall be adjudged .... rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars." 


He drew up all his force into 
One body and into one blow. 

The Knight, with, all its weight, fell dawn 

Like a feather bed betwixt a wall 
And heavy brunt of cannon ball. 

Crowdero only kept the field, 
Not stirring from the place he held ; 
Though beaten down and wounded sore, 
1' th' Fiddle, a:nd a leg that bore 
One side of him — not fhat of bone, 
But much its better, th' wooden one. 
He spying Hudibras lie strew'd 
Upon the ground, like log of wood, 

In haste he snatch'd the wooden limb 
That, hurt in th' ankle, lay by him. 
And, fitting it for sudden fight, 
Straight drew it up, t' attack the Knight ; 

Vowing to be reveng'd, for breach 
Of Crowd and skin, upon the wretch, ' 
Sole author of all detriment 
He and his Fiddle underwent. 

When Ralpho thrust himself between. 
He took the blow upon his arm, 
To shield the Knight from further harm, 
And, joining wrath with force, bestow'd 
On th' wooden member such a load. 

' Crowd, a Fiddle, and therefore for injury done by "breach, " or 
cracks, to Crowdero's instrument. 


That down it fell and with it bore 

Crowdero, whom it propp'd before. 

To him the Squire right nimbly run, 

And setting his bold foot upon 

His trunk, thus spoke : " What desp'rate- frenzy 

Made thee, thou whelp of sin, to fancy 

Thyself, and all that coward- rabble, 

To encounter us in battle able ? 

How durst th', I say, oppose thy curship 

'Gainst arms, authority, and worship, 

And Hudibras or me provoke, 

but first our care 
Must see how Hudibras doth fare." 
This said, he gently rais'd the Knight, 

To rouse him from lethargic dump. 
He tweak'd his nose with gentle thump, 
Knock'd on his breast, as if t had been 
To raise the spirits lodg'd within ; 
They, waken'd with the noise, did fly 
From inward room to window eye, 
And gently op'ning lid, the casement, 
Look'd out, but yet with some amazement. 
This gladded Ralpho much to see, 
Who thus bespoke the Knight ; quoth he, 
Tweaking his nose, "You are, great sir, 
A self-denying conqueror ; 
As high, victorious, and great 
As e'er fought for the churches yet. 

The foe, for dread 
Of your nine-worthiness, is fled ; 
All, save Crowdero, for whose sake 
You did th' espous'd cause undertake ; 
And he lies pris'ner at your feet, 
To be disposed as you think meet, 

■ST8 the violin. 

Either for life, or death, or sale. 
The gallows, or perpetual jail ; 
For one wink of your powerful eye 
Must sentence him to live or die ; 
His Fiddle is your proper purchase, 
Won in the service of the Churches ; 
And by your doom must be allow'd 
To be or be no more, a Crowd. " 

The Knight began to rouse. 
And by degrees grew valorous ; 
He stared about, and seeing none 
Of all his foes remain, but one. 
He snatch'd his weapon that lay near him, 
And from the ground began to rear him. 
Vowing to make Crowdero pay 
For all the rest that ran away. 
But Ralpho now, in colder blood. 
His fury mildly thus withstood. 
" Great sir," quoth he, " your mighty spirit 
Is raised too high ; this slave doth merit 
To be the hangman's business sooner 
Than from your hand to have the honour 
Of his destruction ; I, that am 
A nothingness in deed and name, 
Did scorn to hurt his forfeit carcase. 
Or illtreat his P'iddle or case ; 

Will you employ your conq'ring sword 
To break a Fiddle, and your word ? 

I think it better far 
To keep him prisoner of war." 

He liked the squire's advice, and soon 
Resolved to see the business done. 


Ralpho dispatch'd with speedy haste, 
And having ty'd Crowdero fast, 
He gave Sir Knight the end of cord. 
To lead the captive of his sword. 

The Squire in state rode on before, 
And on his nut-brown whinyard bore 
The Trophy- Fiddle, and the case 
Leaning on shoulder, like a mace.' 
The Knight himself did after ride. 
Leading Crowdero by his side, 
And tow'd him if he lagg'd behind. 
Like boat against the tide and wind. 
Thus grave and solemn they march on. 
Until quite thro' the town th' had gone. 
At further end of which there stands 
An ancient castle, that commands ' 
Th' adjacent parts ; in all the fabric 
You shall not see one stone nor a brick 
But all of wood, by powerful spell 
Of magic made impregnable. 

Thither arriv'd, th' advent'rous Knight 
And bold Squire from their steeds alight 
At th' outward wall, near which there stands 
A bastile, built t' imprison hands ; 

' The Fiddle-case referred to is one covered with leather, studded 
with nails, and with a lid opening at the end, and might be likened 
unto a mace. 

' This is an enigmatical description of a pair of stocks and whipping- 
post. It is so pompous and sublime that we are surprised so noble a 
structure could be raised from so ludicrous a subject. We perceive wit 
and humour in the strongest light in every part of the description."— 
Note by Dr. Grey. 



On top of this there is a spire 

On which Sir Knight first bids the Squire 

The Fiddle, and its spoils, the case,' 

In manner of a trophy, place. 

That done, they ope the trapdoor gate. 

And let Crowdero down thereat ; 

Crowdero making doleful face, 

Like hermit poor in pensive place. 

To dungeon they the wretch commit, 

And the survivor of his feet. 

But the other that had broke the peace 

And head of knighthood, they release. 

Though a delinquent false and forged, 

Yet b'ing a stranger, he's enlarged. 

While his comrade that did not hurt 

Is clapp'd up fast in prison for't ; 

So Justice, while she winks at crimes, 

Stumbles on innocence sometimes. 

■ Dr. Nash suggests the following rendering: "His spoils, the Fiddle, 
and the case. " 


GEORGE Herbert's references to musig 

George Herbert, poet and divine, said of music, " That it 
did' relieve his drooping spirits, compose his distracted 
thoughts, and raised his weary soul so far above earth, that 
it gave him an earnest of the joys of heaven before he pos- 
sessed them." His worthy biographer, Izaak Walton, tells 
us — " His chiefest recreation was music, in which heavenly 
art he was a most excellent master, and did himself compose 
many divine hymns and anthems, which he set and sung to 
his Lute or Viol ; and though he was a lover of retiredness, 
yet his love to music was such that he went usually twice 
every week, on certain appointed days, to the Cathedral 
Church in Salisbury, and at his return would say, ' That his 
time spent in prayer and Cathedral music elevated his, soul, 
and was his heaven upon earth.' But before his return 
thence to Bemerton, he would usually sing and play his part 
at an appointed private music meeting ; and, to justify this 
practice, he would often say, ' Religion does not banish 
mirth, but only moderates and sets rules to it.' " 

In walking to Salisbury upon one occasion to attend his 
usual music meeting, George Herbert saw a poor man with a 
poor horse that was fallen under his load. He helped the 
man to unload and re-load ; the poor man blessed him for 
it, and he blessed the poor man. Upon reaching his musi- 
cal friends at Salisbury they were surprised to see him so 
soiled and discomposed; but he told them the occasion, and 
when one of the company said to him " He had disparaged 
himself by so dirty an employment," his answer was, " That 
the thought of what he had done would prove music to him 
at midnight; and that the omission of it would have up- 
braided and made discord in his conscience whenever he 


should pass by that place ; for if I be bound to pray for all 
that be in distress, I am sure that I am bound, so far as 
it is in my power, to practise what I pray for ; and though 
I do not wish for the like occasion every day, yet let me tell 
you, I would not willingly pass one day of my life without 
comforting a sad soul, or showing mercy ; and I praise God 
for this occasion; and now let us tune our instruments.'' 

Herbert's love of imagery was often curious and startling. 
In singing of " Easter " he said — 

" Awake my lute and struggle for thy part 

With all thy heart. 
The Cross taught all wood to resound his name. 

Who bore the same. 
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key 
Is best to celebrate this most high day. 
Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song 

Pleasant and long : 
Or since all music is but three parts vied 

And multiplied, 
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part. 
And make up our defects with his sweet art. " 

The Sunday before the death of "Holy George Herbert," 
Izaak Walton says " he rose suddenly from his bed, or 
couch, called for one of his instruments, took it into his 
hand and said — 

" My God, my God, my music shall find Thee ; 
And every string 
Shall have his attribute to sing." 

And having tuned it, he played and sung — 

" The Sundays of man's life, 

Threaded together on Time's string, 
Make bracelets to adorn the wife 
Of the eternal, glorious King ; 


On Sundays heaven's door stands ope, 

Blessings are plentiful and ripe, 
More plentiful than hope." 

The thought to which Herbert has given expression in 
his lines on Easter — that " All music is but three parts vied 
and muhiphed " — was also in the mind of Christopher 
Simpson, who, in his work on "The Division Viol," 1659, 
uses it as a musical illustration of the doctrine of Trinity in 
Unity. He says : "I cannot but wonder, even to amazement, 
that from no more than three concords (with some inter- 
vening discords) there should arise such an infinite variety, 
as all the music that ever has been, or ever shall be, com- 
posed. When I further consider that these sounds, placed 
by the interval of a third one above another, do constitute 
one entire harmony, which governs and comprises all the 
sounds that by art or imagination can be joined together in 
musical concordance, that, I cannot but think a significant 
emblem of that Supreme and Incomprehensible Three in 
One, governing, comprising, and disposing the whole 
machine of the world, with all its included parts, in a most 
perfect and stupendous harmony." 

It is interesting to notice an earlier and remarkable allusion 
to the union of sound from the pen of Shakespeare — 

" If the true concord of well-tuned sounds, 

By unions married, do offend thine ear. 
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds 

In sijngleness the parts that thou shouldst bear. 
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another, 

Strikes each in each by mutual ordering, 
ResembHng sire and child and happy mother, 

Who, all in one,'0ne pleasing note do sing." 



" Music and the sounds of instruments — says the lively 
Vigneul de Marville — contribute to the health of the body 
and the mind ; they assist the circulation of the blood, they 
dissipate vapours, and open the vessels, so that the action 
of perspiration is freer. He tells the story of a person of 
distinction, who assured him that once being suddenly 
seized by violent illness, instead of a consultation of physi- 
cians, he immediately called a band of musicians, and their 
Violins played so well in his inside that his bowels became 
perfectly in tune, and in a few hours were harmoniously be- 
calmed." — D' Israeli's " Curiosities of Literature." 

Dr. Abercrombie recommends " Careful classification of 
the insane, so that the mild and peaceful melancholic may 
not be harassed by the ravings of the maniac. The import- 
ance of this is obvious ; but of still greater importance," he 
contjinues, " it will probably be to watch the first dawnings 
of reason, and instantly to remove from the patient all 
associates by whom his mind might be again bewildered." 

The following case, mentioned by Pinel, is certainly an 
extreme one, but much important reflection arises out of 

" A musician confined in the BicStre, as one of the first 
symptoms of returning reasoij, made some slight allusion to 
■ his favourite instrument. It was immediately procured for 
him ; he occupied himself with music for several hours every 
day, and his convalescence seemed to be advancing rapidly. 
But he was then, unfortunately, allowed to come frequently 
in contact with a furious maniac, by meeting him in the 
gardens. The musician's mind was unhinged; his Violin 
was destroyed; and he fell back into a state of insanity . 


which was considered as confirmed and hopeless." — Aber- 
crombiis " Intellectual Powers" 


Is like an Echo, a retail dealer in sounds. As Diana is the 
goddess of the silver bow, so is he the Lord of the wooden 
one ; he has a hundred strings to his bow j other people are 
havr-legged, he is how-armed ; and though armed with a bow 
he has no skill in archery. He plays with cat-gvA and Kit- 
Fiddle. His fingers and arms run a constant race; the 
former would run away from him did not a bridge interpose 
and oblige him to pay toll. He can distinguish sounds as 
other men distinguish colours. His companions are crot- 
chets and quavers. Time will never be a match for him, 
for he beats him most unmercifully. He runs after an Italian 
air open-mouthed, with as much eagerness as some fools 
have sought the philosopher's stone. He -can bring a tune 
over the seas, and thinks it more excellent because far- 
fetched. His most admired domestics are Soprano, Sici- 
liano, Andantino, and all the Anos and Inos that constitute 
the musical science. He can scrape, scratch, shake, di- 
minish, increase, flourish, &c. ; and he is so delighted with 
the sound of his own Viol, that an ass would sooner lend 
his ears to anything than to him; and as a dog shakes a pig, 
so does he shake a note by the ear, and never lets it go till 
he makes it squeak. He is a walking pillory, and crucifies 
more ears than a dozen standing ones. He often involves 
himself in dark and intricate passages, till he is put to a 
shift, and obliged to get out of a scrape— hy scraping. His 
Viol has the effect of a Scotch Fiddle, for it irritates his 
. hearers, and puts them to, the itch. He tears his audience, 



in various ways, as I do this subject ; and as I wear away 
my pen, so does he wear away the strings of his Fiddle. 
There is no medium to him ; he is either in a flat or a 
sharp key, though both are natural to him. He deals in 
third minors, and major thirds; proves a turncoat, and is 
pften in the majority and the minority in the course of a few 
minutes. He runs over \h&flat as often as any Newmarket 
race-horse ; both meet the same fate, as they usually termi- 
nate in a cadence ; the difference is — one is driven by the 
whiprhand, the other by the bow-arm ; one deals in stakado, 
the other in staccato. As a thoroughbred hound discovers, 
by instinct, his game from all other animals, so an experienced 
musician feels the compositions of Handel or Corelli. — 
Yours, Timothy Catgut, Stamford." — Monthly Mirror. 


The following interesting account of this marvellous com- 
position was given by Tartini to M. de Lalande, the cele- 
brated astronomer ; — 

" One night in the year 17 13, 1 dreamed that I had made 
a compact with his Satanic Majestyj by which he was 
received into my service. Everything succeeded to the 
utmost of my desire, and my every wish was anticipated by 
this my new domestic. I thought that on taking up my 
Violin to practise, I jocosely asked him if he could play on 
that instrument. He answered that he believed he was 
able to pick out a tune ; and then, to my astonishment, 
began to play a sonata, so strange and yet so beautiful, and 
executed in so masterly a manner, that I had never in ray 
life heard^ anything so exquisite. So great was my amaze- 
ment that I could scarcely breathe. Awakened by the 



viol^: emotion, I instantly ic^ed my Violin, in the hope 
of being able to catch some part of the ravishing melody 
which I had just heard, but all in vain. The piece which I 
composed according to my scattered recollection is, it is 
trBi, the be:,t of my (works. I have called it the ' Sonata 
del Biavolo,' but, it is so far inferior to the one I heard in 

ifl'> dream, that I should have dashed my Violin into a 
tJilousand pieces, and given up music for ever, had it been 
ffcssible to deprive myself of the enjoyments which I derive 
' ftoin it." 

In the " Reminiscences of Michael Kelly " we are told 
:at in the year 1779 Kelly was at Florence, and that he 
js present at a concert given at the residence of Lord 


Gowper, where, he says, he had " the gratification of hearing 
a sonata on the Violin played by the great Nardini ; though 
very far advanced in years, he played divinely. Lord 
Cowper requested him to play the popular sonata, coinposed 
by his master, Tartini, called the. ' pevil's Sonata.' Mr. 
Jackson, an English gentleman present, asked Nardini 
whether the anecdote relative to this piece of music was 
true. Nardini answered that 'he had frequently heard 
Tartini relate the circumstance,' and at once gavt an 
account of the composition, in accordance with that fur- 
nished by M. de Lalande." 


" Dr. Johnson was observed by a musical friend of his to 
be extremely inattentive at a concert, whilst a celebrMed 
solo-player was running up the divisions and sub-divisions of 
notes upon his Violin. His friend, to induce him to take 
greater notice of what was going on, told him how extremely' 
difficult it was. 'Difficult do you call it, sir ? ' repliec the 
Doctor ; ' I wish it were impossible! " — Seward's " Anedi!ote\ 
of Dr. Johnson." ' | 

" In the evening our gentleman farmer and two d:he«\ 
entertained themselves and the company with a great ni.m- 1 
ber of tunes on the Fiddle. Johnson desired to have ' l)K{ 
ambition fire thy mind ' played over again, and appeared' |tc 
give a patient attention to it; though he owned to melthfet 
he was very insensible to the power of music. I told I him 
that it affected me to such a degree, as often to agitate m 
nerves painfully, producing in my mind alternate sensation 
of pathetic dejection, so that I was ready to shed tears; anc 


of daring resolution, so that I was inclined to rush into the 
thickest part of the battle. ' Sir,' said he, ' I should never 
hear it if .it made me such a fool.' " — BoswelVs " Life of 


" Goldsmith :■ ' I spoke of Mr. Harris, of Salisbury, as 
being a very learned man, and in particular an eminent 

"Jahnson : ' I am not sure of that. His friends give him 
out as such, but I know not who of his friends are able to 
judge of it.' 

" Goldsmith : ' He is what is much better; he is a worthy, 
humane man.' 

" Johnson : ' Nay, sir, that is not to the purpose of our 
argument ; that will as much prove that he can play upon 
the Fiddle as well as Giardini, as that he is an eminent 

"Goldsmith: ' The greatest musical performers have but 
small emoluments ; Giardini, I am told, does not get above 
seven hundred a year.' 

"Johnson ; ' That is indeed but little for a man to get, who 
does best that which so many endeavour to do. There is 
nothing, I think, in which the power of art is shown so much 
as in playing on the Fiddle. In all other things we can do 
something at iirst ; any man will forge a bar of iron if you 
give him a hammer ; not so well as a smith, but tolerably ; 
and make a box, though a clumsy one ; but give him a Fiddle 
and a Fiddlestick, and he can do nothing.'" — BoswelVs 
" Life of Johnson." 


DR. Johnson's epitaph on phillips, the welsh 


Johnson and Gaxrick were sitting together, when among 
other things Garrick repeated an epitaph upon Phillips, by a 
Dr. Wilkes, which was very commonplace, and Johnson said 
to Garrick, " I think, Davy, I can make a better." Then, 
stirring about his tea for a little while in a state of medita- 
tion, he, almost extempore, produced the following verses : — 

" Phillips, whose touch harmonious could remove 
The pangs of guilty power or hapless love ; 
Rest here, distress'd by poverty no more ; 
Here find that calm thou gav.'st so oft before ; 
Sleep undisturbed within this peaceful shrine, 
Till angels wake thee with a note like thine ! " 

Boswell says, " Mr. Garrick appears not to have recited 
the verses correctly, the original being as follows. One of 
the various readings is remarkable, and it is the germ of 
Johnson's concluding line : — 

" Exalted soul, thy various sounds could please 
The love-sick virgin, and the gouty ease ; 
Could jarring crowds, like old Amphion, move 
To beauteous order and harmonious love ; 
Rest here in peace, till angels bid thee rise, 
And meet thy Saviour's concert in the skies." 

Boswell's " Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides " contains 
the author's letter to Garrick asking him to send the " bad 
verses which led Johnson to make his fine verses on Phillips 
the musician." Garrick replied, enclosing the desired 

Boswell remarks, " This epitaph is so exquisitely beautiful 
that I remember even Lord Kames, strangely prejudiced as 


he was against Dr. Johnson, was compelled to allow it very 
iiigh praise. It has been ascribed to Garrick, from its 
appearing at first with the signature G. ; buf I heard Mr. 
Garrick declare that it was written by Dr. Johnson." 

The epitaph of Phillips is in the porch of Wolverhampton 
Church. The prose part of it is curious ; — 

Near this place lies 

Charles Claudius Phillips, 

Whose absolute contempt of riches, 

and inimitable performances upon the Violin, 

made him the admiration of all that knew him. 

He was born in Wales, 

made the tour of Europe, 

and, after the experience of both kinds of fortune. 

Died in 1732. 


He said he knew " a drum from a trumpet, and a bagpipe 
from a guitar, which was about the extent of his knowledge 
of music." He further tells us that " if he had learnt music 
he should have been afraid he should have done nothing 
else but play. It was a method of employing the mind, 
without the labour of thinking at all, and with some applause 
from a man's self" These remarks are better appraised and 
understood when we bear in mind Dr. Johnson's own 
estimate of his musical knowledge together with his having 
derived pleasure from listening to the sounds of the bag- 
pipes. If a performance on those droning instruments was 
in the Doctor's mind when he said that the reflective powers 
need not be exercised in performing on a musical instru- 
ment, there might be some truth in the observation. The 
labour of thinking, however, cannot be dispensed with in 


connection with playing most musical instruments, and least 
of all the Violin. 


^^ Johnson: 'Moral evil is occasioned by free will, which 
implies choice between good and evil. With all the evil 
that there is, there is no man but would rather be a free 
agent, than a mere machine without the evil ; and what is 
best for each individual must be best for the whole. If a 
man would rather be the machine, I cannot argue with him. 
He is a different being from me.' 

" Boswell: ' A man, as a machine, may have agreeable 
sensations ; for instance, he may have pleasure in music' 

"Johnson : ' No, sir, he can-not have pleasure in music ; at 
least no power of producing music ; for he who can produce 
music may let it alone ; he who can play upon a Fiddle may 
break it : such a man is not a machine.' " — " Tour to the 


The following extracts, taken from " A Country Clergy- 
man of the Eighteenth Century," a pleasant and entertaining 
book (consisting of selections from the correspondence of 
the Rev. Thomas Twining, M.A.), cannot fail to interest the 
reader. The Rev. Thomas Twining was born in 1735. He 
was an excellent musician, both in theory and practice, and 
a lover of the Violin. He had collected much valuable 
information with regard to music, with a view to writing a 
history of the subject. Upon learning that Dr. Burney was 
engaged on his History of Music, he not only generously 


placed his valuable notes at the service of the Doctor, but 
revised the manuscript of his friend's History. Dr. Burney, 
in the preface of his work, says : " In order to satisfy the 
sentiments of friendship, as well as those of gratitude, I 
must publicly acknowledge my obligations to the zeal, 
intelligence, taste, and erudition of the Rev. Mr. Twining, a 
gentleman whose least merit is being perfectly acquainted 
with every branch of theoretical and practical music." 

The- publication of the volume containing the interesting ■ 
correspondence between Dr. Burney and his friend not only 
serves to enlighten us relative to the substantial aid given to 
our musical historian, but also makes us acquainted with an 
English eighteenth century amateur and votary of the Fiddle 
of singular ability and rare humility : — 

"Colchester, February isth, 1791. 
" To Dr. Burney,— 

" And now, my dear friend, let's draw our stools to- 
gether, and have some fun. Is it possible we can help talking of Haydn 
first ? How do you like him ? What does he say ? What does he do ? 
What does he play upon ? How does he play ? . . . The papers say 
he has been bowed to by whole orchestras when he has appeared at the 
play-houses. Is he about anything in the way of composition ? Come, 
come ! I'll pester you no more with interrogations ; but trust to your 
generosity to gratify. my ardent curiosity in your own way.. I have just 
— and I am ashamed to say but just — Sent for his 'Stabat Mater.' 
Fisin' told me some quartetts had, not long ago, been published by him. 
He has written so much that I cannot help fearing he will soon have 
written himself dry. If the resources of any human composer could be 
inexhaustible, I should suppose Haydn's would ; but as, after all, he is 
but mortal, I am afraid he must soon get to the bottom of his genius-" 
box. My friend Mr. Tindal is come to settle (for the present at least) 
in this neighbourhood. He is going to succeed me in the curacy of 
Fordham. He plays the Fiddle well, the Harpsichord well, the Violon- 

' James Fisin was born in Colchester ; was intimate with Dr. Burney, 
and well known as a Professor of Music. 


cello well. Now, sir, when I say ' well,' I can't be supposed to mean 
the wellness that one should predicate of a professor who makes the 
instrument his study ; but that he plays in a very ungentlemanlike 
manner, exactly in time and tune, with taste, accent, and meaning, and 
the true sense of what he plays ; and, upon the Violoncello, he has 
execution sufficient to play Boccherini's quintettos, at least what may 
be called very decently. But ask Fisin, he will tell you about our 
Fiddling, and vouch for our decency at least. I saw in one of the 
public prints an insinuation that Haydn, upon his arrival in London, 
had detected some forgeries, some things published in his name that 
were not done by him. Is that true ? It does not seem very unlikely." 

Haydn left Vienna Dec. isth, 1790, and arrived with 
Salomon in London on New Year's Day, 1791. The Rev. 
Thomas Twining's interrogations addressed to Dr. Burney 
respecting him were therefore made but a few weeks after 
Haydn's first arrival in England. Between the months of 
January and May much had been seen and heard of Haydn, 
information of which Dr. Burney gave to his friend, as seen 
in the following letter : — 

"Colchester, May 4th, 1791. 
" To Dr. Burney,— 

" How good it was of you to gratify me with another canto of 
the ' Haydniad ! ' It is all most interesting to me. I don't know any- 
thing — any- musical thing — that would delight me so much as to meet 
him in a snug quartett party, and hear his manner of playing his own 
music. If you can bring about such a thing while I am in town, either 
at Chelsea, or at Mr. Burney's, or at Mr. Salomon's, or I care not 
where — if it were even in the Black Hole at Calcutta (if it is a good 
hole for music) — I say, if by hook or crook you could manage such a 
thing, you should be my Magnus Apollo for the rest of your life. I 
mention Salomon because we are a little acquainted. He has twice 
asked me to call upon him, and I certainly will do it when I come to 
town. I want to hear more of his playing ; and I seem, from the little 
I have seen of him, to like the man. I know not how it is, but I 
really receive more musical pleasure from such private cameranious 


Fiddlings and singings, and keyed instrument playings, than from all 
the afprit of public and crowded performances. 

" I have lately had a sort of Fiddle mania upon me, brought on by 
trying and comparing different Stainers and Cremonas, &c. I believe I 
have got possession of a sweet Stradivari, which I play upon with mijch 
more pleasure than my Stainer, partly because the tone is sweeter, 
mellower, rounder, and partly because the stop is longer. My Stainer 
is undersized, and on that account less valuable, though the tone is as 
bright, piercing, and full, as of any Stainer I ever heard. Yet, when I 
take it up after the Stradivari it sets my teeth on edge. The tone 
comes out plump, all at once. There is a comfortable reserve of tone 
in the Stradivari, and it bears pressure ; and you may draw upon it for 
almost as much tone as you please. I think I shall bring it to town 
vrith me, and then you shall hear it. 'Tis a battered, shattered, cracky, 
resinous old blackguard ; but if every bow that ever crossed its strings 
from its birth had been sugared instead of resined, more sweetness could 
not come out of its belly. Addio, and ever pardon my sins of infirmity. 

"Yours truly, 

'* T T '* 


William Jackson, organist of Exeter Cathedral, was inti- 
mate with Gainsborough, and besides being a thorough 
musician, painted with ability. He was also the author of 
many essays. In one of these he makes us acquainted with 
the character of Gainsborough's musical abilities. He says, 
" In the early part of my life I became acquainted with 
Thomas Gainsborough, the painter, and as his character was 
perhaps better known to me than to any other person, I will 
endeavour to divest myself of every partiality, and speak of 
him as he really was. Gainsborough's profession was paint- 
ing, and music was his amusement — yet, there were times 
when music seemed to be his employment, and painting his 

" When I first knew him he lived at Bath, where Giardini 


had been exhibiting his then unrivalled powers on the Violin. 
.His excellent performance made Gainsborough enamoured 
of that instrument; and conceiving, like the servant-maid in 
the Spectator, that the music lay in the Fiddle, he was frantic 
until he possessed the very instrument which had given him 
so much pleasure — but seemed much surprised that the 
music of it remained behind with Giardini. He had scarcely 
recovered this shock (for it was a great one to hini) when he 
heard Abel on the Viol da Gamba. The Violin was hung 
on the willow ; Abel's Viol da Gamba was purchased, and 
the house resounded with melodious thirds and fifths from 
' morn to dewy eve ! ' Many an Adagio and many a Minuet 
were begun, but none completed ; this was wonderful, as it 
was Abel's own instrument, and, therefore, ought to have 
produced Abel's own music ! 

" Fortunately my friend's passion had now a fresh object 
— Fischer's Hautboy' — but I do not recollect that he 
deprived Fischer of his instrument; and though he pro- 
cured a Hautboy, I never heard him make the least attempt 
on it. The next time I saw Gainsborough it was in the 
character of King David. He had heard a Harper at Bath 
— the performer was soon Harpless — and now Fischer, 
Abel, and Giardini were all forgotten — there was nothing 
like chords and arpeggios ! He really stuck to the Harp 
long enough to play several airs with variations, and would 
nearly have exhausted all the pieces usually performed on 
an instrument incapable of modulation (this was not a 
pedal Harp), when another visit from Abel brought him 
back to the Viol da Gamba. He now saw the imperfection 

• ' Fischer was a celebrated Oboe-player. He made his first appear- 
ance in London in 1768. Gainsborough painted two portraits of him, 
one of which is at Hampton Court. 


of sudden sounds that instantly die away — if you wanted 
staccato, it was to be had by a proper management of the 
bow, and you might also have notes as long as you please. 
The Viol da Gamba is the only instrument, and Abel the 
prince of musicians ! This, and occasionally a little flirta- 
tion with the Fiddle, continued some years; when, as 
ill-luck would have it, he heard Crosdill, but by some 
irregularity of conduct he neither took up nor bought the 
Violoncello. All his passion for the Bass was vented in 
descriptions of Crosdill's tone and bowing." 

Gainsborough's fondness for fresh instruments is alluded 
to by Philip Thicknesse, who says that during his residence 
at Bath, Gainsborough offered him one hundred guineas for 
a Viol da Gamba, dated 1612. His offer was declined, but 
it was ultimately agreed that he should paint a full length 
portrait of Mr. Thicknesse for the Viol da Gamba. Gains- 
borough was delighted with the arrangement; and said 
" Keep me hungry ; keep me hungry ! and do not send the 
instrument until I have finished the picture." The Viol da 
Gamba was, however, sent the next morning, and the same 
day the artist stretched a canvas. He received a sitting, 
finished the head, rubbed in the dead colouring, etc., and 
then it was laid aside — no more was said of it or done to it, 
and he eventually returned the Viol da Gamba. 

Jackson tells us that Gainsborough "disliked sitting, 
.particularly in parts. He detested reading; but was so like 
Sterne in his letters, that, if it were not for an originality 
that could be copied from no one, it might be supposed 
that he had formed his style upon a close imitation of that 
author. He had as much pleasure in looking at a Violin 
as in hearing it. I have seen him for many minutes survey- 
ing, in silence, the perfections of an instrument, from the 

39^ • THE VIOLIN. 

just proportion of the model and beauty of workmanship. 
His conversation was sprightly; his favourite subjects were 
music and painting, which he treated in a manner peculiarly 
his own. He died with this expression — ' We are all going 
to heaven, and Vandyke is of the party.' " 


Cervetto, the famous Violoncello-player, occupied the 
post of principal Violoncello at Drury Lane for many years. 
His fame as a performer was almost matched by the 
celebrity of his nasal organ, the tuberosity of which often 
caused the audience in the gallery to exclaim, " Play up, 
Nosey!" In Dibdin's "Musical Tour," 1788, we are told 
that "When Garrick returned from Italy, he prepared an 
address to the audience, which he delivered previous to the 
play he first appeared in. When he came upon the stage 
he was welcomed with three loud plaudits, each finishing- 
with a huzza. As soon as this unprecedented applause iiad 
subsided, he used every art, of which he was so completely 
master, to lull the tumult into a profound silence ; and just 
as all was hushed as death, and anxious expectation sat en 
every face, old Cervetto, who was better known by the 
name of 'Nosey,' anticipated the very first line of the 

address by — aw a tremendous yawn. A convulsion of 

laughter ensued, and it was some minutes before the wished- 
for silence could be again restored. That, however, ob- 
tained, Garrick delivered his address in that happy, irresis- 
tible manner in which he was always sure to captivate Kis 
audience ; and he retired with applause, such as was never 
better given, nor ever more deserved. But the matter did 
not rest here ; the moment he came off the stage, he flew 


like lightning to the music-room, where he encountered 
Cervetto, and began to abuse him vociferously. 'Wha — 

why— you old scoundrel. You must be the most .' At 

length poor Cervetto said, • ' Oh, Mr. Garrick ! vat is the 
matter— vat I haf do?. Oh! vat' 'The matter! 
Why you senseless idiot— with no more brains -than your 
Bass-Viol— just at the — a— very moment I had played with 
the audience — tickled them like a trout, and brought them 
to the most accommodating silence — so pat to my purpose 
— so perfect — that it was, as one may say, a companion for 
Milton's visible darkness.' 'Indeed, Mr. Garrick, it vas 
no darkness.' Darkness! stupid fool— but how should 
a man of my reading make himself understood by — 

a . Answer me — was not the house very still?" 

.'Yes, sir, indeed— still as a mouse.' 'Well, then, just at 
that very moment did you not, with your jaws extended 
wide enough to swallow a sixpenny loaf^yawn?' 'Sare, 
Mr. Garrick — only if you please hear me von vord. It is 
aiv.^y the vay — it is, indeed, Mr. Garrick— alvay the vay 'I 
go \en I haf the greatest rapture, Mr. Garrick.' The httle 
great man's anger instantly cooled. The readiness of this 
Italian flattery operated exactly contrary to the last line of 
an epigram — the honey was tasted, and the sting forgot." 


George the Third was frequently at Weymouth, and often 
strolled about the town unattended. On the morning of 
EUiston's benefit (at which His Majesty- had expressed his 
intention of being present) he had been enjoying one of his 
afternoon wanderings, when a shower of rain came on. 
Happening to be passing the theatre door, in he went. 
Finding no one about he entered the Royal box, and seated 


himself in his chair. The dim dayhght of the theatre and 
slight fatigue occasioned by his walk, induced drowsiness ; 
His Majesty, in fact, fell into a doze, which ultimately 
resolved itself into a sound sleep. In the meantime Lord 
Townsend met EUiston, of whom he inquired if he had 
seen -the King, as His Majesty had not been at the palace 
since his three o'clock dinner, it being then nearly five. 
Elliston, being unable to give his lordship any information, 
Lord Townsend sought His Majesty in another direction, 
and the comedian made his way to the theatre, in order 
to superintend the necessary arrangements for the reception 
of his Royal patrons. Upon reaching the theatre, Elliston 
went at once to the King's box, and seeing a man fast 
asleep in His Majesty's chair, was about recalling, him to 
his senses somewhat roughly, when, happily, he discovered 
who it was that had so unexpectedly taken possession of 
the Royal chair. What was to be done ? Elliston could 
not presume to wake His Majesty — to approach him — 
speak- to him — ^^touch him — impossible ! and yet something 
was necessary to be done, as it was time to light the theatre, 
and, what was of still more importance, to relieve the 
anxiety of the Queen and family. Elliston hit on the fol- 
lowing expedient : Taking up a Violin from the orchestra 
he stepped into the pit, aud placing himself beneath his 
exalted guest, struck up dolcemente — 




God save our no - ble King ! Long live our gra-cious King I 

The expedient produced the desired effect. The sleeper 
was loosened from the spell which bound him. Awakened, 



His Majesty stared at the comedian full ih the face, ejacu- 
lated, "Hey, hey, hey! — what, what— oh, yes! I see — 
Elliston — ha, ha! Rain came on — took a seat — took a 
nap. What's o'clock?" "Nearly six, ypur Majesty." 
" Say I'm here. Stay, stay ! This wig won't do — eh, eh ! 
Don't keep the people waiting— light up; light up; let them 
in — ^fast asleep.- Play well to-night, Elliston." The theatre 
was illuminated ; ftiessengers were despatched to the Royal 
party, which, having arrived in due course, Elliston quitted 
the side of the affable Monarch, and prepared himself for 
his part in the performance. 


" I do not know and cannot utter," said Sir Walter, " a 
note of music ; and complicated harmony seems to me a 
babble of confused, though pleasing sounds; yet simple 
melodies, especially if connected with words and ideas, 
have as much effect- on me as on most people. I cannot 
bear a voice that has no more life in it than a pianoforte or 
bugle-horn. There is in almost all the fine arts a something 
of soul and spirit, which, like the vital principle in man, 
defies the research of the most critical anatomist. You 
feel where it is not, yet you cannot describe what it is you 
want." Sir Joshua, or some other great painter, was looking 
at a picture on which much pains had been bestowed. 
" Why — ^yes," he said, in a hesitating manner ; " it is very 
clever — very well done. Can't find fault, but it wants 
something— it wants — it wants — d — n me, it wants that," 
throwing his hand over his head, and snapping his fingers. 
In talking of his ignorance of music, Scott said he had 
once been employed in a case where a purchaser of a Fiddle 



had been imposed on as to its value. He found it necessary 
to prepare himself by reading all about Fiddles in the 
encyclopaedias, &c., and having got the names of Stradivari, 
Amati, &c., glibly on his tongue, got swimmingly through 
his case. Not long after this, dining at the Duke of 
Hamilton's, he found himself left alone after dinner with 
the Duke, who had but two subjects he could talk of — 
hunting and music. Having exhausted hunting, Scott 
thought he would bring forward his lately- acquired learning 
in Fiddles, upon which the Duke grew quite animated, and 
immediately whispered some orders to the butler, in conse-r 
quence of which there soon entered the room about half-a- 
dozen tall servants, all in red, each bearing a Fiddle case, 
and Scott found his knowledge brought to no less a test 
than that of telling by the tones of each Fiddle, as the 
Duke played it, by what artist it was made. " By guessing 
and management," said he, "I got on pretty well, till we 
were, to my great relief, summoned to coffee." » 

I have frequently heard of the Duke's passion for Violins, 
and also that he had a great number of them at Hamilton 
Palace, Among these instruments there appears to have 
been a singularly perfect Tenor by the Brothers Amati. 
Signer Piatti has often spoken to me of having seen this 
instrument several years since in the possession of the 
family. The Hamilton collection of Fiddles was doubtless 
dispersed long before the rare MSS., the Beckford Library, 
the inlaid cabinets, and other treasures which served to 
make Hamilton Palace renowned throughout the world of 
art and letters. 

Returning to the subject of Sir Walter Scott's references 
to music, it will be seen that his barristers possess among 
• Lockhart's " Life of Sir Walter Scott." 


their gentlemanly embellishments a knowledge of stringed 
instruments. Who can forget that the young Templar, 
Master LowestofTe ("Fortunes of Nigel," chap, xvi., 138) 
"performed sundry tunes on the Fiddle and French Horn" 
in Alsatia; and that Counsellor Pleydell, on the eventful 
night, in "Guy Mannering " (chap, xlix., 255), being a 
" member of the gentlemen's concert in Edinburgh," was 
performing some of Scarlatti's sonatas with great brilliancy, 
upon the Violoncello to Julia's accompaniment upon the 
harpsichord ? 

A cinderj;lla violoncello. 

A somewhat curious change in the ownership of a Violon- 
cello occurred many years since. My father (Mr; John 
Hart) was walking along Oxford Street, when he heard the 
sounds of a Violoncello, a Violin, and a Cornet, which were 
being played in a side street. His curiosity being excited, 
he became one of the group of listeners. The appearance 
of the Violoncello greatly pleased him ; it was covered with 
a thick coat of resin and dirt, but Its author was clearly 
defined nevertheless. When the players had concluded 
their performance, Mr. Hart asked the wandering Violon- 
cellist if he was disposed to sell his instrument. " I have 
no objection, if I can get enough to buy another and some- 
thing over," was the answer. The terms not being insur- 
mountable, a bargain was struck, and the dealer in Fiddles 
walked away, taking his newly-acquired purchase under his 
arm. The itinerant trio having become a duet, gave up 
work for that day. 

Reaching home with his charge, Mr. Hart was in the act 
of removing the accumulated dirt of many a hard day's 
work from the Violoncello,- when Robert Lindley entered, 


and asked what might be the parentage of the instrument 
about which so much pains were being taken. "AForster," 
was the reply ; and at the same time the circumstances of 
the purchase were related. Lindley was much amused, and 
expressed a wish to possess the rescued instrument, though 
it had been much injured. The price was agreed upon/ 
and. the Violoncello thus passed from the most humble to 
the most exalted player in one day. 


It has often been remarked that to steal a valuable Violin 
is as hazardous as to steal a child ; its identity is equally 
impregnable, in fact, cannot be disguised, save at the price 
of entire demolition. To use a paradox. Violins, like people, 
are all alike, yet none are alike. The indelible personality 
of the best Violins has been a powerful agent in the caruse 
of morality, and has deterred many from attempting to steal 
them. We have, however, instances of undiscovered rob- 
beries of valuable instruments, and notably that of the fine 
Stradivari which belonged to a well-known amateur, an 
attache at the British Embassy at SL Petersburg. The 
Violin in question was numbered with the Plowden collec- 
tion. I disposed of it to the amateur above mentioned in 
1868 ; it was a magnificent Violin, date 1709, in the -highest 
state of preservation. In the year 1869 the owner of it was 
appointed to the Embassy at St. Petersburg, and removed 
thither. He was a passionate lover of the Violin, and an 
excellent player. One evening he was playing at a musical 
party. After he had finished he placed his " Strad " in its 
case as usual, which he closed, without locking it. The 


next day he was amusing himself with a parrot, which bit 
him on the lip ; the wound appeared very unimportant, but 
exposure to the csold brought on malignant abscess, and he 
sank and died. In due course his representatives arrived 
in St. Petersburg, and took charge of his property, which 
was brought to England. Some twelve months afterwards 
a relative (Mr. Andrew Fountaine, of Narford), who took 
much interest in valuable Violins, was visiting the family of 
the deceased gentleman, and asked to be allowed to see the 
Stradivari, 1709. The- case wa§ sent for and duly opened. 
When the Violin was handed to the visitor he remarked 
there must be some mistake, and suggested that the wrong 
case had been brought, the instrument he held having no 
resemblance whatever to the Stradivari, and not being worth 
a sovereign. Inquiries were set on foot, and it was satis- 
factorily proved that the case had never been opened since 
it had been brought to England ; neither had it left the 
custody of the late_ owner's nearest relative, who had kept it 
secured in a chest. The next day after the occurrence of 
the event related above, I was communicated with, and 
asked if I could recognize the Stradivari in question. It is 
unnecessary to record my answer. I might, with an equiva- 
lent amount of reason, have been asked if I should know 
my own child. The double case was formally opened, and 
the Violin described above was taken oiit. " Is that the 
Stradivari ? " I scarcely knew for the moment whether my 
interrogator was in earnest, so ridiculous was the question. 
It remains only to be said that the Russian authorities were 
memoriahzed and furnished by me with a full description of 
the instrument; but to this moment its whereabouts has 
never been discovered. 

4o6 THE VIOLlU. 


It has often happened that portions of valuable instru- 
ments detached from the original whole have been once 
more recovered and reinstated in their proper place. The 
following is an amusing instance of this. 

A well-known amateur, belonging to the generation now 
fast passing away, was the fortunate possessor of a Stradivari 
Violin, which he had occasion to take to the Fiddle doctor 
for an operation quite unknown to the students of the Royal 
College of Surgeons, but well understood by the members 
of the fraternity to which I have the honour to belong, 
namely, decapitation. This, in the Fiddle language, means 
the removal of the old neck, and the splicing of a brand-new 
one in its place. It is an operation wholly unattended with 
the horrors of human surgery. Again and again a time was 
appointed for the completion of this delicate insertion, but 
in vain — it was a case of hope deferred. The owner of the 
Stradivari becoming wearied with this state of things, deter- 
mined to carry off his cherished instrument in its dismem- 
bered condition. Placing the several portions in paper, he 
left the Fiddle doctor's establishment, considerably annoyed 
and excited. ■ Upon reaching his home his recent ebullition 
of temper had entirely passed away, and he calmly set him- 
self to open the parcel containing his dissected " Strad," 
when, to his utter dismay, he failed to find its scroll. The 
anguish he suffered may be readily conceived by the lover 
of Fiddles. Away he started in search of his Fiddle's head, 
dead to all around him but the sense of his loss ; he demanded 
of every one he met whether they had by chance picked up 
the head of a Fiddle. The answers were all in the negative ;- 
and many were the looks of astonishment caused by the 


Strange nature of the question and the bewildered appear- 
ance of the questioner. At length he arrived at the house 
of the Fiddle doctor, whose want of punctuality had brought 
about the misfortune. Here was his forlorn hope!- He 
might possibly have forgotten to put the scroll into the par- 
cel. His- doubts were soon at rest; the scroll had been 
taken with the other parts of the instrument. Completely 
overcome with sorrow and vexation, he knew not how to 
endeavour to recover his loss. He ultimately decided to 
oifer a reward of five pounds, and to await the result as 
contentedly as he could. 

A few hours after the dejected owner of the Violin had 
left the shop of the Fiddle doctor, an old woman, the keeper 
of an apple-stall in the neighbourhood, entered and oifered 
for sale a Fiddle-head. The healer of Violins, taking it 
into his hands, was agreeably astonished to recognize in it 
the missing headpiece, and eagerly demanded of the seller 
whence she had obtained it, and what might be its price. 
"Picked it up in the gutter," she answered; and two shillings 
was the modest value she set upon her find. Without a 
moment's hesitation the money was handed to the vendor 
of Ribston pippins, and away she trudged in high glee at the 
result of her good luck. The Fiddle ^Esculapius, equally 
gleeful at the course of events, resolved to avail himself of 
the opportunity afforded him of gratifying a little harmless 
revenge upon the fidgety amateur's haste in removing the 
" Strad " before the alterations had been completed. He 
therefore determined to keep the fact of the discovery to 
himself for a short time. Advertisements inultiplied, and 
the reward rapidly rose to twenty guineas. Having satisfied 
his revengeful feelings, the repairer duly made known the 
discovery of the missing scroll, to the intense, gratification 


of its owner. Finally, the repairer refused to accept any 
portion of the reward upon one condition, viz., th^t he was 
allowed to complete his work — a condition readily con- 


Among the collection of valuable Viohns belonging to 
the late Mr. James Coding, was a Stradivari Violin, dated 
1 7 10, which had been deprived of its original scroll, and 
bore a suppositious figure-head by David Tecchler, owing 
to a piece of vandalism perpetrated by an eccentric amateur. 
The original scroll had found its way to an Italian Violin of 
some merit, the value of which was considerably enhanced 
'by the newly-acquired head-piece, which gave to the whole 
instrument an air of importance to which it could lay no 
claim till it carried on its shoulders a head belonging to the 
aristocracy of Fiddles. During a period of about twenty 
years this mongrel Fiddle becaflne the property of as many 
owners, and ultimately fell into my hands. Leaving this 
instrument we will follow the history of the Stradivari, date 
1 7 10. At the dispersion of Mr. Coding's collection by 
Messrs. Christie and Manson, in the year 1857, a well-known 
amateur purchased the Violin for the sum of seventy pounds, 
the loss of its scroll preventing the realization of a higher 
figure. Sixteen years after this event the purchaser applied 
to me for a Stradivari scroll, that he might make his in- 
strument complete. The mongrel Violin described above 
being in my possession, decapitation was duly performed,' 
and the Stradivari received its head again. Here was a for- 
tuitous course of circumstances ! This exchange of heads 
took place without my being at all aware that the " Strad " 
scroll had returned to its original body ; but on my men- 


tioning the circumstance to my father, he informed me, to 
my astonishment and delight, that if the head of the mon- 
grel Fiddle had been placed on the Stradivari, date 1710, 
from the Coding collection, it was now, as the effect of 
recent transmigration, on its own legitimate body ! 


An enthusiastic amateur was playing the Violin in a house 
in one of the leading thoroughfares in Paris at the outbreak 
of the Revolution in 1848. His ardour was so great that 
the cannonading failed to interrupt him in his pleasurable 
pursuit ; he fiddled on, regardless of all about him, as Nero 
is said to have done when his capital was in flames, and 
even left the window of his apartment open. Presently a 
whizzing noise, terminating in a thud above his head, arrested 
his attention. Upon his looking up he saw the mark of a 
bullet in the ceiling. Aroused to a sense of his danger, he 
closed the windows. Being about to put his Montagnana 
into its case, his astonishment may be imagined when he 
discovered a hole through the upper side, and a correspond- 
ing chink in the belly, both' as sharply cut as though a 
centre-bit had done the work. His Violin bore witness to 
his miraculous escape ; the bullet lodged in the ceiling had 
taken his Montagnana in its course. ' The instrument referred 
to in this anecdote has been in my possession more than 


It is said that a drowning roan will clutclj at a straw ; the 
truth of the remark applies to the half-informed in Fiddle 


connoisseurship. It is very amusing to note the pile of 
nothings that these persons heap up under the name of 
" guiding points " in relation to Fiddles. I will endeavour 
to call- to mind a few of these. I will begin with those little 
pegs seen on the backs of Violins near the button, and at 
the bottom ; the position of these airy nothings without 
habitation or name "is deemed indisputable evidence of 
certain makers' handicraft." One is supposed to have put 
his pegs to the right, another to the left; another used three, 
four, and so on. I have frequently heard this remark — 
" Oh, it cannot be a Stradivari, because the pegs are 
wrong ! " 

The purfling also forms an important item in the collec- 
tion of landmarks ; certain makers are supposed to have 
invariably used one kind of purfling, no variation being 
allowed for width or material adopted. Original instruments 
are pronounced spurious and spurious original by this test. 
All Fiddles purfled with whalebone are dubbed " Jacobs," 
and no other maker is credited with using such purfling. 

The back of a Violin is another very important item with 
these individuals. Particular makers are supposed to have 
only made whole backs, other double backs ; others again 
are thought to be known only by the markings of the wood. 
There is another crotchet to be mentioned : some will tell 
you they will inform you who made your Violin by taking' 
the belly off, and examining the shape of the blocks and 
linings. Rest assured if the maker cannot be seen outside, 
he will never reveal himself in the inner consciousness oi a 
Fiddle. Measurement is another certain guiding point with 
these dabblers; the measuring tape is produced, and the 
instrument condemned if it does not tally with their erro- 
neous theory. 

anecdotes; 411 

" guarneri " \k.t a discount. 

With what tenacity do persons often clirig to the fond 
belief that undoubted Raffaeles, Cinque Cento bronzes, 
dainty bits of Joshua Wedgewood's ware, and old Cremonas, 
are exposed for sale in the windows of dealers in unredeemed 
pledges, brokers' shops, and divers other emporiums ! It is 
the. firm conviction of these amiable persons that scores of 
gems unknown are awaiting in such cosy lurking-places the 
.recognition of the educated eye for their immediate deliver- 
ance to the light ofday. 

The quasi bric-a-brac portion of the general dealer's 
stock is dexterously arrayed in his window, and not allowed 
to take up a prominent position among the wares displayed. 
To expose treasures would be a glaring act of indiscretion, 
inasmuch as it would tend to the behef that the proprietor 
was peirfectly cognisant of the value of his goods, whereas 
he is imagined by the hypothesis to be profoundly ignorant 
on the subject. Pictures, bronzes, china, and Fiddles, 
with their extremely modest prices attached, lie half hidden 
behind a mountain of goods of a diametrically opposite 
nature. There they may rest for days, nay, weeks, before 
the individual with the educated eye, for the good of all 
men, detects them. Sooner or later, however, he inakes 
his appearance,- and peers into every nook of the window, 
shading his eyes with his hands. Something within arrests 
his attention ;. his nose gets flattened against the glass in 
his eagerness to get nearer the object. He enters the 
establishment, and asks to be allowed to look at an article 
quite different to the one he has been so intent upon ; his 
object being that the dealer may not awaken to a sense of 
the coveted article's value by a stranger seeming to be 


interested in it. After examining the decoy bird, he returns 
it, and carelessly asks to look at the article. Whatever the 
value set upon it may be, he tenders exactly the half, the 
matter being usually settled by what is technically known 
as " splitting the difference." Delighted with his purchase, 
he carries it home, and persuades his' friends he has got to 
the blind side of the dealer, and is in possession of the real 
thing for the iiftieth part of what others give' for it. He 
proceeds to enlighten his friends on the subject, telling them 
to follow his example, which they invariably do. 

Scarcely a day passes without my heating of a Cremona 
having been secured in the' manner I have attempted to 
describe. My experience, however, teaches me that the 
whole thing is a delusion, and that the thoroughbred 
Cremona does not fall away from the companionship of its 
equals, once in the space of a lifetime, and that when this 
does happen, the instrument rarely falls to the bargain- 

The following exceptional incident will, I hope, not be 
iteiund wanting in interest as bearing on this theme. A 
votary of the Violin purchased an old Fiddle for some two 
or three pounds, from a general dealer in musical instru- 
ments in his neighbourhood. He was well satisfied with 
his acquisition; and after subjecting it to a course of 
judicious regulation, so great were the improvements effected 
that the vendor regretted having sold it for such a trifling 
sum, and the more so when it was whispered about that 
the instrument was a veritable Amati — a report, by the way, 
far and wide of thfe mark, as it was simply an old Tyrolean 

Some little time after the occurrence related, the lover of 
"Violins heard that the same instrument-seller from whom 


he purchased the imagined Amati; had secured a job lot of 
some half-dozen old Fiddles, the remnant of an old London 
music-seller's stock j and that he was offering them for 
sale. Our hero decided to pay another visit, and judge of 
the merits of the new wares, with a view to a second invest- 
ment. Upon presenting himself to the local seller of 
Violins he was at once informed that if he selected any 
instrument from the lot, he must be prepared to pay j[,\o, 
the dealer having no intention of again committing his 
former error in selling a Cremona for some forty shillings. 
Upon this understanding the visitor proceeded to examine 
the little stock, which he found in a very disordered condi- 
tion — bridgeless, stringless, and dusty. Among the whole 
tribe, however, was a Violin which seemed to elbow its way 
to the front of the group, and clamour for the attention of 
which it appeared to deem itself worthy. Unable to resist 
its seeming appeal, the intending purchaser decided to 
remove it from the atmosphere of its companions, and 
begged that he might be permitted to take the importuning 
Fiddle and string it in order to test its qualities. His 
request being acceded to, he carried it away. Upon reach- 
ing home, he took it from its case, and gently removed the 
dust of years. The varnish appeared to him as something 
very different to any he had ever seen before on a Violin ; 
and being an artist by profession, (Qualities of colours were 
pretty well understood by him. With the Violin posed on 
his knee, somewhat after the manner seen in the well-known 
picture of Stradivari in his workshop, he thus communed 
with himself: "I have never' seen the much-spoken-of 
Cremonese varnish, but if this instrument has it not, its 
lustre must indeed be more wondrous than my imagination 
has painted." After again and again examining the Violin, 


he retired to rest, but not to sleep. The Fiddle persisted 
in dodging him whichever way he turned on his couch. At 
the dawn of day — five o'clock — he was up, with the Fiddle 
again on his knee, thinking he might have been labouring 
under some infatuation the night before, which the light of 
day might dispel, Convinced he was under no such 
delusion, he soon made for the music-seller's establishment, 
whom he delighted by paying the price demanded for the 
Violin. It was now time, he felt, to obtain professional 
advice on the matter ; in due course he paid me a visit 
Upon his opening the case I was unable to restrain my 
feelings of surprise, and demanded if he had any idea of 
the value of the Violin. " None whatever," he answered. 
Without troubling the reader further, I informed him that 
his Violin was an undoubted Giuseppe Guarneri, of con- 
siderable value. He then recounted the circumstances 
attending its purchase, with which the reader is familiar. 


Signer Dragonetti succeeded Berini as prima basso in the 
orchestra of the chapel belonging to the monastery of San 
Marco, Venice, in his eighteenth year. The procurators of 
the monastery, wishing to show their high appreciation of 
his. worth, presented the youthful player with a magnificent 
Contra-Bass, by Gasparo da Salb, which had been made 
expressly for the chapel orchestra of the convent of St. 
Peter, by the famous Brescian maker. 

Upon an eventful night, the inmates of the monastery 
retired to rest, when they were awakened by deep rumbling 
and surging sounds. Unable to find repose while these 


noises rent the air, they decided to visit the chapel ; and 
the nearer they got to it the louder the sounds became. 
Regarding each other with looks of mingled fear and 
curiosity, they reached the chapel, opened the door, and 
there stood the innocent cause of their fright, Domenico 
Dragonetti, immersed in the performance of some gigantic 
passage of a range extending from the nut to the bridge, on 
his newly-acquired Gasparo. The monks stood regarding 
the performer in amazement, possibly mistaking him for a 
second appearance of the original of Tartini's " Sonata del 
Diavolo," his Satanic Majesty having substituted the Contra- 
Basso for the Violin. Upon this instrument Dragonetti 
played at his chief concert engagements, and though fre- 
quently importuned to sell it by his numerous admirers) 
declined to do so ; in fact, though for the last few years of 
his life he gave up public performance, he resolutely 
refused most tempting offers for his treasure — ;^8oo, to use 
an auctioneer's phrase, "having been offered in two places,'' 
and respectfully declined. In his youthful days he decided 
that his cherished Gasparo should return to the place from 
T/hence.he obtained it, the Monastery of San Marco, and 
this wish was accordingly fulfilled by his executors in the 
year 1846. The occasion was one of much; it was 
felt by Dragonetti's friends and admirers that to consign the 
instrument upon whiqh he had so often astonished and 
delighted them with the magic tones he drew from it, to the 
care of those who possibly knew nothing of its merits, was 
matter for regret. 

Being desirous of furnishing the reader with all the 
information possible relative to Signer Dragonetti's instru- 
ment, I communicated with Mr. Samuel Appleby, who was 
his legal adviser, and probably better acquainted with him 


than any other person in this country. He very kindly 
sent me the following particulars, which are interesting : — 

" Brighton, 2nd July, 1875. 

" Mv DEAR Sir, 

" Your" letter of yesterday needs no apology, as it 
will afford me pleasure at any time to give you any informa- 
tion in my power respecting the late Signor Dragonetti 
having known him well from 1796 to his death. 

" His celebrated Gasparo da Salb instrument, or Contra- 
Easso, was left by his will to the Fabbricieri (or church- 
wardens) for the time being, of the Church of St. Mark's, at 
Venice, to be played upon only on festivals and grand 
occasions. ,1 was present on one of such festivals, which 
lasted three days, in July, 1852. I then saw the BassOj 
which was played on in Orchestra No. i, there having been 
two bands for which music had been composed expressly. 

" In April, 187.5, being again in Venice, I inquired from 
the Verger of St. Mark's if Dragonetti's Violone was in 
the church, and I could see it. The reply was in the 
affirmative, but as the Fabbricieri had the care of the 
instrument, imder lock and key, it would be necessary to 
see them and get their consent for its production. As this 
would cause me some little trouble, I left Venice without 
carrying out my intention. 

" Dragonetti by his will left me his Amati Double-Bass, 
which is now in this house, and I believe the only one of 
that make in England, and consequently highly prized by 

" Yours truly, 

" Samuel Appleby." 

" Mr. Hart." 



The Bibliophile tells us of Caxton, Aldine, and Basker- 
ville editions, having been exposed for sale by itinerant 
booksellers, men who in opening their umbrellas opened 
their shops. Collectors of pictures, china, and Fiddles, 
have each their wondrous tales to tell of Tsygone bargains, 
which are but the echoes of that of the Bibliophile. It is 
doubtful, however, were we to search throughout the curio- 
sities of art sales, whether we should discover such a 
bargain as Mr. Betts secured, when he purchased the 
magnificent Stradivari which bears his name, for twenty 
shillings. About half a century since, this instrument was 
taken to the shop of Messrs. Betts, the well-known English. 
Violin-makers in the old Royal Exchange, and disposed of 
for the trivial sum above-mentioned. Doubtless its owner 
believed he was selling a brand-new copy, instead of a 
" Stradivari " made in 1 704, in a state of perfection. Fre- 
quently importuned to sell the instrument, Mr. Betts per- 
sistently declined, though it is recorded in Sandys and 
Forster's work on the Violin, that five hundred guineas 
were tendered more than once, which in those days must 
have been a tempting oflfer indeed ! Under the will of 
Mr. Betts it passed to his family, who for years retained 
possession of it. 

About the year 1858 it became the property of M. 
Vuillaume, of Paris, from whom it was purchased by M. 
Wilmotfe,of Antwerp. Several years later it passed to Mr. 
C. G. Meier, who had waited patiently for years to become 
its owner. The loving care which this admirer of Cre- 
monese Violins bestowed upon it was such, that he would 
scarcely permit any person to handle it. From Mr. Meier 



it passed into my possession in the year 1878, which change 
of ownership brought forth the following interesting particu- 
lars from the pen of the late Charles Reade, the novelist 
and lover of Fiddles : — 


" To the Editor of the Globe. 

:. '.'Sir,— As you have devoted a paragraph to this Violin, 
which it well deserves, permit me to add a fact which may 
be interesting to amateurs, and to Mr. George Hart, the late 
purchaser. M. Vuillaume, who could not speak English, 
was always assisted in his London purchases by the late John 
Lott, an excellent workman, and a good judge of old Violins.' 
The day after this particular purchase, Lott came to 
Vuillaiime, by. order, to open the Violin. He did so in the 
sitting-room whilst Vuillaume was dressing. Lott's first 
words were, ' Why, it has never been opened ! ' His next, 
' Here's the original bass-bar.' Thereupon out went M, 
Vuillaume, half dressed, and the pair gloated over a rare 
sight, a Stradivari Violin, the interior of which was intact 
from the maker's hands, Mr. Lott described the bass-bar 
to me. It was very low and very short, and quite unequal 
to support the tension of the strings at our concert pitch, so 
that the true tone of this Violin can never have been heard 
in England before it fell into Vuillaume's hands. I have 
known this Violin forty years. It is wonderfully preserved. 
There is no wear on the belly except the chin-mark ; in the 
•centre of the back a very little, just enough to give light and 

^ The hero of Mr. Reade's "Jack of All Trades, a matter-of-fact 


shade. The corners appear long for the epoch, but only 
because they have not been worn down, As far as the work 
goes, you may know from this instrument how a brand-new 
Stradivari Violin looked. Eight hundred guineas seems a 
long price for a dealer to give ; but after all here is a Viohn, 
a picture;, and a miracle all in one ; and big diamonds in- 
crease in number ; but these spoils of time are limited for 
ever now, and, indeed, can only decrease by shipwreck, 
accident, and the tooth of time. — I am, your obedient ser- 
vant, " Charles Reade." 
" 19, Albert Gate, May g, 1878." 



' I projected,' says Leigh Hunt, ' a poem to be called 
"A day with the Reader." I proposed to invite the reader 
to breakfast, dine and sup with me, partly at home, and 
partly at a country inn, to vary the circumstances. It was 
to be written both gravely and gaily ; in an exalted, or in a 
a lowly strain, according to the topics of which it treated. 
The fragment on Paganini was a part of the exordium : 

" So played of late to every passing thought. 
With finest change (might I but half as well 
So write !) the pale magician of the boW," etc. 

I wished to write in the same manner, because Paganini 
with his Violin could move both the tears and the laughter 
of his audience, and (as I have described him doing in the 
verses) would now give you the notes of birds in trees, and 
even heiis feeding in a farm-yard (which was a corner into 
which I meant to take my companion), and now melt you 
into grief and pity, or mystify you with witchcraft, or put you 


into a state of lofty triumph like a conqueror. The phrase 
of smiting the cord^' 

" He smote ; and clinging to the serious chords 
With godlike ravishihent," etc. 

was no classical commonplace; nor, in respect to impression 
on the inind, was it exaggeration to say, that from A single 
chord he would fetch out — 

" The voice of quires, and weight 
Ofthe built organ." 

Paganini, the first time I saw and heard him, and the first 
time he struck a note,, seemed literally to strike it^ — to give 
it a blow. The house was so crammed, that being among 
the squeezers in the standing-room at the side of the pit, I 
happened to catch the first glance of his face through the 
arm a-kimbo of a man who was perched up before me, which 
made a kind of frame for it ; and there on the stage, in that 
frame, as through a perspective glass, were the face, bust, 
and the raised hand of the wonderful musician, with the 
instrument at his chin, just going to commence, and looking 
exactly as I have described him. 

" His hand 
Loading the air with dumb expectancy 
Suspended, ere it fell, a nation's breath. 

He smote ; and clingingf to the serious chords 
With godlike ravishment, drew forth a breath 
So deep, so strong, so fervid, thick with love — 
Blissful, yet laden as with twenty prayers. 
That Juno yearned with no diviner soul. 
To the first burthen of the lips of Jove. 


Th' exceeding mystery of the loveliness 
Sadden'd delight ; and with his mournful look 
Dreary and gaunt, hanging his pallid face 
'Twixt his dark flowing locks, he almost seemed 
Too feeble, or, to melancholy eyes, 
One that has parted with his soul for pride, 
Ahd in the sable secret lived forlorn." 

" ' To show the depth and identicalness of the impression 
which he made upon everybody, foreign or native, an Italian 
who stood near me said to himself, after a gigh, " O Dio ! " 
and this had not been said long when another person, in the 
same manner, uttered " O Christ ! " Musicians pressed for- 
ward from behind the scenes to get as close to him as 
possible ; and they could not sleep at night for thinking of 
him.' " — Tim^s's Anecdote Biography, 


" I wish I were a poet ; you should have a description of 
all this in verse, and welcome. But if I were a musician ! 
Let us see what we should do as musicians. First, you 
should hear the distant sound of a bugle, which sound 
should float away ; that is one of the heralds of the morning, 
flying southward. Then another should issue from the 
eastern gates ; and now the grand reveilU should grow, sweep 
past your ears (like the wind aforesaid) go on, dying as it 
goes. When, as it dies, my stringed instruments come in. 
These to the left of the orchestra break into a soft slow 
movement, the music swaying drowsily from side to side, as 
it were, with a noise like'the rustling of boughs. It must 
not be much of a noise, however, for my stringed instru- 


ments to the.right have begun the veiy song of the morning. 
The bows tremble upon the strings, like the limbs of a 
dancer, who, a-tiptoe, prepares to bound into her ecstacy of 
motion. Away'! The song soars into the air as if it had 
the wings of a kite. Here swooping, there swooping, 
wheeling upward, falling suddenly, checked, poised for a 
moment on quivering wings, and again away. It is waltz- 
time, and you hear the Hours dancing to it. Then the 
horns. Their melody overflows into the air richly, like 
honey of Hybla ; it wafts down in lazy gusts, like the scent 
of the thyme from that hill. So my stringed instruments to 
the left cease rustling ; listen a httle while ; catch the music 
Of those others, and follow it! Now for the rising of the 
lairk ! Henceforward it is a chorus, and he is the leadei* 
thereof. Heaven and earth agree to follow him. I have a 
part for the brooks — their notes drop, drop, drop, like his r 
for the woods — they sob like him. At length, nothing 
remains but to blow the Hautboys ; and just as the chorus 
arrives at its fulness, they come maundering in. They have 
a sweet old blundering ' cow song ' to themselves — a silly 
thing, made of the echoes of all pastoral sounds. There's a 
warbling waggoner in it, and his team jingling their bellSi 
There's a shepherd driving his flock from the fold, bleating; 
and the lowing of cattle. Down falls the lark like a stone J 
it is time he looked for grubs. Then the Hautboys go' out, 
gradually ; for the waggoner is far on his road to market ; 
sheep cease to bleat and cattle to low, one by one ; they are 
on their grazing ground, and the business of the day is 
begun. Last of all, the heavenly music sweeps away to 
waken more westering lands, over the Atlantic and its 
whitening sails." — "An Essay without End." 

, ANECDOTES; i^2^ 


In the pages of - the ■ 7bj?/«;- (April, 1710), Addison with 
much ingenuity and humour personifies certain musical 
instruments. He says : " I have often imagined to myself 
that different talents in discourse might be shadowed out 
after the same manner by different kinds of music ; and that 
the several conversable parts of mankind- in this great city 
might be cast into proper characters and divisions, as they 
resemble several instruments that are in use among the 
masters of harmony. Of these, therefore, in their order ; 
and first of the Drum. 

" Your Drums are the blusterers in conversation, that with 
a loud laugh, unnatural mirth, and a torrent of noise, 
domineer in public assemblies ; overbear men of sense ; stun 
their companions 5 and fill the place they are in with a 
rattling -sound, that hath seldom any wit, humour, or good 
breeding in it. I need not observe that the emptiness of 
the Driim very much contributes to its noise. 

" The Lute is a character directly opposite to the DrUm, 
that sounds very finely by itself A Lute is seldom heard 
in a company of more than five, whereas a Drunj will show 
itself to advantage in an assembly of five hundred. The 
Lutenists, therefore, are men of a fine genius, uncommon 
reflection, great affability, and esteemed chiefly by persons 
of a good taste, who are the only proper judges of so 
delightful and soft a melody. 

"Violins are the lively, forward, importunate wits, that 
distinguish themselves, by the flourishes of imagination, 
sharpness of repartee, glances of satire, and bear away the 
upper part in every consort. I cannot but observe, that 


when a man is not disposed to hear music, there 15 not a 
more disagreeable sound in harmony than that of a Violin. 

"There is another musical instrument, which is more 
frequent in this nation than any other ; I mean your Bass- 
Viol, which grumbles in the bottom of the consort, and with 
a surly masculine sound strengthens the harmony and tem- 
pers the sweetness of the several instruments that play alotig 
with it. The Bass-Viol is an instrument of a quite different 
nature to the Trumpet, and may signify men of rough sense 
and unpolished parts, who do not love to hear themselves 
talk, but sometimes break out with an agreeable bluntness, 
unexpected wit, and surly pleasantries, to the ho small 
diversion of their friends and companions. . la short, I look 
upon every sensible, true-born Briton to be naturally a Bass- 


" Demi-Semiquaver to Launcelot Langstaff, Esq. 

" Sir, — I felt myself hurt and offended by Mr. Evergreen's 
terrible philippic against modern music in No. 1 1 of your 
work, and was under serious apprehension that his strictures 
might. bring the art, which I have the honour to profess, 
into contempt. So far, sir, from agreeing with Mr. Ever- 
green in thinking that all modern music is but the mere 
dregs and drainings of the ancient, I trust before this letter 
is concluded I shall convince you and him that some of the 
late professors of this enchanting art have completely dis- 
tanced the paltry efforts of the ancients ; and that I, in 
particular, have at length brought it almost to absolute 


*' The Greeks, simple souls, were astonished at the powers 
of Orpheus, who made the woods and rocks dance to his 
lyi;e — of Amphion, who converted crotchets into bricks, and 
quavers into mortar — and of Arion, who won upon the 
compassion of the fishes. In the fervency of admiration, 
their poets fabled that Apollo had lent them his lyr^, and 
inspired them with his own spirit of harmony. What then 
would they have said had they witnessed the wonderful 
effects of my skill ? Had they heard me, in the compass of 
a single piece, describe in glowing notes one of the most 
sublime operations of nature, and not only make inanimate 
objects dance, but even speak ; and not only speak, but 
speak in strains of exquisite harmony ? 

" I think, sir, I may venture to say there is not a sound in 
the whole compass of nature which I cannot imitate, and 
even improve upon j — nay, what I consider the perfection of 
my art, I have discovered a method of expressing, in the 
most striking manner, that indefinable, indescribable silence 
which accompanies the falling of snow." 

[Our author describes in detail the different movements of 
a grand piece, which he names the " Breaking up of the ice 
in the North River," and tells us that the " ice running 
against Polopay's Island with a terrible crash," is represented 
by a fierce fellow travelling with his fiddle-stick over a huge 
Bass-Viorat the I'ate of 150 bars a minute, and tearing the 
music to rags — this being what is called execution.] 

" Thus, sir, you perceive what wonderful powers of ex- 
pression have hitherto been locked up in this enchanting 
art. A whole history is here told without the aid of speech 
or writing; and provided the hearer is in the least acquainted 
with music, he cannot mistake a single note. As to the 
blowing up of the powder-bank, I look upon it a.chefd'ouvre 

426- THE VIOLiWi 

which I am confident will delight all modern amateurs, who 
very properly estimate music in proportion to the noise it 
makes, and delight in thundering cannon and earthquakes'. 

" In my warm anticipations of future improvement, I have 
sometimes almost convinced myself that music will in time 
be brought to such a -climax of perfection as to supersede 
the necessity of speech and writing, and every kind of social 
intercourse be conducted by the Flute and Fiddle. The 
immense benefits that will result from this improvement, 
must be plain to every man of the least consideration. In 
the present unhappy situation of mortals a man has but one 
way of making himself understood : if he loses his speech he 
must inevitably be dumb all the rest of his life ; but having 
once learned this new musical language, the loss of speech 
will be a mere trifle, not worth a moment's uneasiness; 
This manner of discussing may also, I think, be introduced 
with great effect into our National Assemblies, where every 
man, instead of wagging his tongue, should be obliged to 
flourish a Fiddle-stick ', by which means, if he said nothing to 
the purpose, he would at all events ' discourse most eloquent 
music,' which is more than can be said of them at present. 

" But the most important result of this discovery is, that 
it may be applied to the establishment of that great deside-' 
ratum in the learned world — a universal language. Where-" 
ever this science of music is cultivated, nothing more will be 
necessary than a knowledge of its alphabet, which, being 
almost the same everywhere, will amount to a universal 
medium of communication. A man may thus — with his 
Violin under his arm, a piece of resin, and a few bundles of 
catgut — fiddle his way through the world, and never be at a 
loss to make himself understood. — I am, &c., 

" Demi-Semiquaver." 



" Shortly before my leaving Brunswick I had a case made 
worthy of the splendid Violin I had brought from Russia, 
viz., a very elegant one J and in order to protect this from 
injury, I had packed it up in my trunk, between my linen 
and clothes. I therefore took care that this, which contained 
my whole estate, should be carefully fastened behind the 
carriage with cords. But, notwithstanding, I thought it 
necessary to look out frequently, particularly as the driver 
told me several trunks had been cut down from behind 
carriages. As the carriage had no window at the back, this 
continual looking- out was a very troublesome business, and 
I was therefore very glad when, towards evening, we arrived 
between the gardens of Gottingen, and I had convinced 
myself for the last time that the trunk was still in its place. 
Delighted that I had brought it so far in safety, I remarked 
to my fellow-traveller : ' My first care shall now be to pro' 
cure a good strong chain and padlock, for the better security 
of the trunk.' 

" In this manner we arrived at ihe town gate, just as they 
were lighting the lamps. The carriage drew up before the 
guard-house. While Beneke gave our names to the 
sergeant, I anxiously asked one of the soldiers who stood 
round the carriage, ' Is the trunk still secured ? ' ' There is 
no trunk there,' was the reply. With one bound I was out 
of the carriage, and rushed out through the gate with a 
drawn hunting-knife. Had I with more reflection listened 
awhile, I might perhaps, have been fortunate enough to hear 
and overtake the thieves running off by some side-pathi 
But in my blind rage Lhad far overshot the place where I 
had last seen the trunk, and only discovered my over-haste 


when I found myself in the open field. Inconsolable for 
my loss, I turned back. While my fellow-traveller looked 
for the inn, I hastened to the police-office and requested that 
an immediate search might be made in the garden houses 
outside the gate. To my astonishment and vexation I was 
informed that the jurisdiction outside the gate belonged to 
Weende, and that I must address my request there. As 
Weende was half-a-league from Gottingen, I was compelled 
to abandon for that evening all further steps for the recovery 
of my Guarneri. I passed a sleepless night, in a state of 
mind such as, in my hitherto fortunate career, had been 
wholly unknown to me. Had I not lost my splendid 
Guarneri, the exponent of all the artistic excellence I had 
till then attained, I could have lightly borne the loss of the 
rest. On the following morning the police sent to inform 
me that an empty trunk and a Violin-case had been found 
in the fields behind the gardens. Full of joy I hastened 
thither, in the hope that the thieves might have left the 
Violin in the case, as an object of no value to them ; but, 
unfortunately, it did not prove so. The bow of the Violin, 
a genuine Tourte, secured in the lid of the case, had re- 
mained undiscovered." — Spohr's Autobiography. 


When Louis Spohr was in London in 1820, he tells us, in 
his Autobiography, he received a letter couched in the 
following terms: "Mr. Spohr is. requested to call upon Dr. 

to-day at four o'clock." " As I did not know the 

name of the writer," he proceeds to relate, " nor could as- 
certain from the servant the purpose for whicb my attendance 
was requested, I replied, in the same laconic tone, ' At the 


hour named I am engj^ed, and cannot come.' The next 
morning the servant reappeared, bearing a second and more 

polite note : ' Mr. Spohr is requested to favour Dr. ■ 

with a visit, and to appoint the hour when it will be con- 
venient for him to call.' The servant had been instructed to 
offer me the use of his master's carriage, and having in the 
meantime discovered that the gentleman was a celebrated 
physician, a patron of music, and lover of Violins, I drove 
to his house. A courteous old gentleman with grey hair 
met me on the stairs. Unfortunately he neither understood 
French nor German, consequently we were unable to con- 
verse together. We stood for a moment somewhat em- 
barrassed, when he took my arm and led me into a large 
toom, on the walls of which hung a great number of Violins. 
Other Violins had been removed from their cases and placed 
on the tables. The Doctor gave me a Violin-bow, and 
pointed to the instruments. I now perceived that he was 
desirous of having ray opinion of the instruments. I, there- 
fore, played upon them, and placed them in order, according 
to my 'idea of their merit. When I had selected the six 
most valuable ones, I played upon them alternately in order 
to discover the best of the half-dozen. Perceiving that the 
doctor cast upon one instrument glances especially tender 
whenever I played upon it, I gladly afforded the good old 
man pleasure by declaring it to be the best Violin. When 
I took my hat to leave, the old gentleman, with a kind smile, 
slipped a five-pound note into my hand. Astonished, I 
looked at it, and also at the Doctor, not knowing at first 
what he meant ; but suddenly it occurred to me that it was 
intended as a fee for having examined his Violins. I 
smilingly shook my head, laid the note on the table, pressed 
the Doctor's hand, and descended the stairs. Some months 


later, upon the occasion of my benefit concert, the Doctor 
procured a ticket, for which he sent a ten-pound note." 


" But the pleasantest part of our fellowship is yet to der 
scribe. At a certain period of the night, our entertainer (the 
renowned Timothy Tickler) knew by the longing looks which 
J cast to a beloved corner of the dining-room what was 
wanting. Then with, ' Oh, I beg your pardon, Hogg, I was 
forgetting,' he would take out a small gold key that hung by 
a chain of the same precious metal to a particular button- 
hole, and stalk away as tall as the life, open two splendid 
Fiddle-cases, and produce their contents, first the one, and 
then the other; but always keeping the best to himself; I'll 
never forget with what elated dignity^ There was a twist of 
the lip, and an upward beam of the eye, that were truly 
sublime. Then down we sat, side by side, and began — at 
first gently, and with easy motion, like skilful grooms, keep- 
ing ourselves up for the ,final heat, which was slowly but 
surely approaching. At the end of every tune we took a 
glass, and still our enthusiastic admiration of the Scottish 
tunes increased — our energies of execution redoubled, till 
ultimately it became not only a complete and well-contested 
race, but a trial of strength, to determine which should, 
drown the other. The only feeling short of ecstacy that 
came across us in these enraptured moments were caused by 
hearing the laugh and joke going on with our friends, as if 
no such thriUing strains had been flowing, But if Tina's ey^ 
phanced to fall on them, it instantly retreated upwards again 
in mild indignation. To his honour be it mentioned, he 
has left me a legacy of that inestimable Violin, provided 


that I outlive him,' But not for a thousand such would I 
part with my old Mend."— JUrme Tales.— Bbg-g'f RemU 
niscences of former Days, 


"There is, for instance, Old Borax, whom those who 
want to know whereabouts to look for — ^within the shadow 
of St. Martin's Church. 

" Borax makes but little demonstration of his wealth in 
the dingy hole that serves him for a shop, where a Double- 
BasS) a couple of Violoncellos, a Tenor or two hanging on 
the walls, and half-a-dozen Fiddles lying among a random 
collection of bows, bridges, coils of catgut, packets of puri-. 
fied resin, and tangled horsehair in skeins, serve for the ' in-- 
signia of his profession. But Borax never does business in 
his shop, which is a dusty desert from one week's end to 
another. His warehouse is a private sanctum on the first 
floor, where you will find him in his easy chair reading the 
morning paper, if he does not happen to be engaged with a 
client. Go to him for a Fiddle, or carry him a Fiddle for 
his opinion, and you will hardly fail to acknowledge that 
you stand in the presence of a first-rate judge. The truth 
is, that Fiddles of all nations, disguised and sophisticated as 
they may be to deceive common observers, are naked and 
self-confessed in his hands, Dust, dirt, varnish, and bees'- 
wax are thrown away upon him ; he knows the work of 
every man, of note or of no note, whether English, French, 
Dutch, German, Spaniard, or Italian, who ever sent a Fiddle 
into the market, for the last 200 years j and he will tell yoi; 
who is the fabricator of your treasure, and the rank he holds 
in the Fiddle-making world, with the utmost readiness and 
urbanity — on payment of his fee of one guinea, 


"Borax is the pink of politeness, though a bit of a 
martinet after an ancient and punctilious model. If you 
go to select a Fiddle from his stock, you may escape a 
lecture of a quarter of an hour by calling it a Fiddle, and 
not a Violin, which is a word he detests, and is apt to excite 
his wrath. He is never in a hurry tp sell, and will by no 
means allow you to conclude a bargain until he has put yoU 
in complete possession of the virtues, and failings, if it have 
any, of the instrument for which you are to pay a round sum. 
As his Fiddles lie packed in sarcophagi, like mummies in 
an Egyptian catacomb, your- choice is not perplexed by any 
embarras de richesses; you see but one masterpiece at a 
time, and Borax will take care that you do see that, and 
know all about it, before he shows you another. First un* 
locking the case, he draws the instrument tenderly from its 
bed, grasps it in the true critical style with the fingers and 
thumbs of both hands a little above the bridge, turning the 
scroll towards you. Now and then he twangs, with the 
thumb of his left hand, the third or fourth string, by way of 
emphasis to the observations which he feels bound to make 
• — instinctively avoiding, however, that part of the strings 
subject to the action of the bow. Giving you the name of 
the maker, he proceeds to enlighten you on the peculiar 
characteristics of his work ; then he will dilate upon the 
remarkable features of the specimen he holds in his hand — 
its build, its model, the closeness and regularity of the grain 
of the wood of which the belly was fashioned; the neatness, 
or, wanting that, the original style of the purfling— the ex- 
quisite mottling of the back, which is wrought, he tells you, 
' by the cunning hand of nature in the primal growth of the 
tree ' — twang. Then he will break out in placid exclamations 
of delight upon the gracefulness of the swell — twang-^^vA 


the noble rise in the centre — twang — and make you pass 
your hand over it to convince yourself; after which, he care- 
fully wipes it down with a silk handkerchief. This process 
superinduces another favourite theme of eulogium — namely, 
the unparalleled hue and tone (of colour) imparted by the 
old Italian varnish — a hue, he is sure to inform you, which 
it is impossible to imitate by any modern nostrums — twang. 
Then he reverts to the subject of a Fiddle's indispensables 
and fittings ; discourses learnedly on the carving of scrolls, 
and the absurd substitution, by some of the German makers, 
of lions' heads in lieu of them; hinting, by the way, that 
said makers- are asses, and that their instruments bray 
when they should speak^-/ze/a«^. Then touching briefly on 
the pegs, which he prefers unornamented, he will hang 
lingeringly upon the neck, pronounce authoritatively upon the 
right degree of elevation of the ^nger-board, and the effects 
of its due adjustment upon the vibration of the whole body- 
harmonic, and, consequently, upon the tone. Then, jump- 
ing over the bridge, he will animadvert on the tail-piece<; 
after which, entering at the ^^holes — not without a fervent 
encomium upon their graceful drawing and neatness of cut — 
twang — he will introduce you to the arcanum mysterii, the 
interior of the marvellous fabric — point out to you, as plainly 
as though you were gifted with clairvoyance, the position 
and .adaptation of the various linings, the bearings of the 
bass-bar, that essential adjunct to quality of tone — twang — 
and the proper position of the sound-post. Lastly, he will 
show you, by means of a small hand-mirror throwing a gleam 
of light into its entrails, the identical autograph of the 
immortal maker — Albani, Guarneri, or Amati, as the case 
may happen — with the date printed in the lean old type 
and now scarcely visible through the dust of a couple of 



centuries, 'Amati Cremonse fecit 1645,' followed by a 
manuscript signature in faded ink, which you must takejor 

" Borax has but one price ; and if you do not choose to 
pay it, you must do without the article. The old fellow is a 
true believer, and is accounted the first judge in Europe ; 
Fiddles travel to him from all parts of the continent for his. 
opinion, bringing their fees with them ; and for every instru- 
ment he sells, it is likely he pronounces judgment upon a 
hundred. It is rumoured that the greatest masterpieces in 
being are in his possession. 

" A dealer of a different stamp is Michael Schnapps, well 
known in the trade, and the profession too, as a ravenous 
Fiddle-ogre, who buys and sells everything that bears the 
Fiddle shape, from a Double-Bass to a dancing-master's 
pocketable Kit. His house is one vast warehouse, with 
Fiddles on the walls. Fiddles on the staircases, and Fiddles 
hanging like stalactites from the ceilings. To him the tyros 
resort when they first begin to scrape ; he will set them up 
for ten shillings, and swop them up afterwards, st«p by step, 
to ten or twenty guineas, and to ten times that amount if 
they are rich enough and green enough to continue the ex- 
periment. Schnapps imports Fiddles in the rough, under 
the designation of toys, most of which are the production of 
his peasant-countrymen bordering on the Black Forest ; and 
with these he supplies the English provinces and the London 
toy and stationers' shops. He is, further, a master of the 
Fiddle-making craft himself, and so consummate an adept 
in repairing that nothing short of consuming fire can defeat 
his art. When Pinker, of Norwich, had his Cremona 
smashed all to atoms in a railway collision, Schnapp rushed 
down to the scene of the accident, bought the lot of 



splintered fragments for a couple of pounds, and in a 
fortnight had restored the magnificient Stradivari to 
its original integrity, and cleared 150 guineas by its sale. 
But Schnapps is a humbug at bottom — an everlasting 
copyist and manufacturer of dead masters, Italian, German, 
and English. He has sold more Amatis in his time than 
Amati himself ever made. He knows the secret of the old 
varnish; he has hidden stores of old wood — planks of 
cherry-tree and mountain-ash centuries old, and worm-eaten 
sounding-boards of defunct Harpsichords, and reserves of 
the close-grained pine hoarded for ages. He has a miniatute 
printing press, and a fount of the lean-faced, long-forgotten 
type, and a stock of the old ribbed paper torn from the fly- 
leaves of antique folios ; and, of course, he has always on 
hand a collection of the most wonderful instruments at the 
most wonderful prices, for the professional man or the con- 

" ' You vant to py a Pfeedel,' says Schnapps. ' I sail 
sell you de pest — dat ish, de pest for the mowny. Vat you 
sail gif for him ? ' 

" ' Well, I can go as far as ten guineas,' says the cus- 

" ' Ten kinnis is good for von goot Pfeedel ; bote besser is 
tventy, tirty, feefty kinnis, or von hunder, look you j bote 
ten kinnis is goot — you sail see.' 

" Schnapps is all simplicity and candour in his dealings. 
The probability is, however, that his ten-guinea Fiddle would 
be fairly purchased at five, and that you might have been 
treated to the same article had you named thirty or forty 
guineas instead of ten. 

" I once asked Schnapps if he knew wherein lay the ex- 
cellence of the old Italian instruments. 


" ' Mein Gott !— if I don't, who de teifil does ? ' 
"Then he went on to inform me that it did not lie in any 
peculiarity in the model, though there was something in 
that ; nor in the wood of the back, though there was some- 
thing in that ; nor in the fine and regular grain of the pine 
which formed the belly, though there was something in that ; 
nor in the position of the grain running precisely parallel 
with the strings, though there was something in that ; nor 
in the sides, nor in the finger-board, nor in the linings, nor 
in the bridge, nor in the strings, nor in the waist, though 
there was something in all of them ; nor yet in the putting 
together, though there was much in that. 
" ' Where does it lie, therf, Mr. Schnapps ? ' 
" ' Ah, der henker ! hang if I know.' 
" ' Has age much to do with it, think you ? " 
" ' Not mosche. Dere is pad Pfeedels two hunder years 
ole as veil as goot vons ; and dere is goot Pfeedels of pad 
models, vitch is made fery pad, and pad Pfeedels of de fery 
pest models, and peautiful made as you sail vish to see.' 

" This is the sum total of the information to be got out of 
Schnapps on that mysterious subject. On other matters he 
can pronounce with greater exactness. He knows every 
Cremona in private or professional hands in the whole king- 
dom ; and where the owner bought it, if he did buy it ; and 
what he gave for it, or from whom he inherited it, if it came 
to him as heir-loom. Of those of them which have passed 
through his hands, he has got fac-similes taken in plaster, 
which serve as exemplars for his own manufactures. Upon 
the death of the owner of one of these rarities. Schnapps 
takes care to learn particulars; and if the effects of the 
deceased come under the hammer, he starts off to the sale, 
however distant, where, unless some of his metropolitan 


rivals in trade have likewise caught the scent, he has the 
bidding all his own way, and carries off the prize. 

"The inundation of German Fiddles, which may be 
bought new for a few shillings, has sv^amped English makers 
of cheap instruments, of which there are by this time five 
times as many in the market as there is any occasion for. 
Hence it is that Fiddles meet us everywhere ; they cumber 
the toy-shop ; they house with the furniture dealer ; they 
swarm by thousands in the pawnbrokers' stores, and block 
out the light from his windows ; they hang on the tobacco- 
nists' walls; they are raffled at piiblic-houses ; and they 
form an item in every auctioneer's catalogue. 

" Meanwhile the multiplication of rubbish only enhances 
the value of gold ; and a Fiddle worthy of an applauding 
verdict from old Borax is more difficult of acquisition than 
ever. So I shall keep my Cremona." 


A Royal amateur and British Admiral, a lover of the 
Violin and patron of music, happened whilst at Malta to be 
leading Mozart's charming Quartet in G major— 

Allegrff Vivace Assai, 

yrJir^rlf l r* ^ " 

The opening movement, together with the Minuet, Trio, 
and Andante having been rendered with pleasure and- 
satisfaction, the Finale was entered upon with due deter- 




Its fugal subject — 

MoUo Allegro. 






was well under way, and speedily in full sail. Ere long an 
evident indecision of purpose manifested itself, the motive 
or subject failing to elicit other than dubious answers to its 
calls ; it was emphasized with loudness, not without signs of 
impatience, but to no purpose; all became hopelessly in- 
volved and incoherent, until at length, like the ice described 
by the " Ancient Mariner " — 

" The fugue was here, ^e fugue was there, 
The^^« was all around ; 
It cracked and growled and roared and howled 
Like noises in a swound. " 

The second Violin, overcome by the surging counterpoint, 
ceased playing, and with the adroitness of a Raleigh turned 
to the Prince and said, " Pardon me, your Royal Highness, 
I fear we have been carried away by the vortex of the 
melody." The execution of chamber compositions belong- 
ing to the higher walks of counterpoint is frequently disap- 
pointing,- but seldom or never is the failure so gracefully and 
agreeably accounted for. 


• (Extracted from the " Gazetta di Firenze," 1790.) 

The following instruments were offered for sale at Milan, 
by Signor Francesco Albinoni, in March, 1790 : — 



1. Violin by Antonio and Girolamo Amati, Cremona 

2. ,, „ Niccolo Amati 

3- >. » ditto 

4- >) I) Andrea Guarneri 

5- >) )> Giuseppe Guarneri, figlio ... 

6. „ ,, Antonio Stradivari 

7- » » ditto 

8. „ „ Giovanni Ruggeri 

9. ,1 Francesco Ruggeri 

10. Tenor by Antonio and Girolamo Amati 

11. ,, ,, ditto ditto 

12. „ ,, Francesco Ruggeri 

13. Violoncello by Amati, Cremona 

14. ,, „ Andrea Guarneri 


1 70s 


The above announcement cannot fail to make one reflect 
on the different degree of interest excited by a sale ef Cre- 
monas a century ago and one at the present time. The sale 
conducted by Signor Albinoni, in 1790, at Milan, doubtless 
passed with but little, if any, display of enthusiasm, and 
were it now possible to learn the prices reahzed, they would 
certainly give occasion for surprise when compared with 
those now obtained. As regards the increased interest taken 
in rare Violins, the sale of the Gillott collection, in 1872, 
furnishes an instance of comparatively recent date. The 
announcement of Messrs. Christie and Manson served to 
bring together in King Street, St. James's, a legion of Violin 
votaries. So unusual was the excitement that The Graphii 
had one of its pages occupied by an excellent representation 
of "Viewing the Violins." In Paris, in the year 1878, the 
sale of a Stradivari Violin, at the Hotel Drouot, gave rise to 
an unusujl display of interest. The first bid was for ten 
thousand francs, and the Stradivari, dated 1709, was knocked 
down for the large sum of twenty-two thousand one hun- 
dred francs. When the biddings at the Hotel des Ventes 


had reached eighteen thousand francs, a casualty, which 
might have led to unpleasant results, lent additional zest to the 
proceedings. There was a great pressure among the crowd 
to obtain a sight of the Stradivari. Two or three of the 
more adventurous spirits clambered on to a table to gain 
a clear prospect of the precious Fiddle, causing the legs of 
the table to give way and the enthusiasts to be precipitated 
to the ground. A cry of terror — less for the fallen than for 
the Fiddle — arose from the throng; but soon the voice of 
the auctioneer was heard proclaiming, in reassuring accents; 
" Do not be alarmed, gentlemen ; the Stradivari is safe ! " 


"Puppo, the Violinist, being in Paris in 1793, was sum- 
moned before the Committee of Public Safety on suspicion, 
when the following interrogatories were put to him : ' Your 
name ? ' ' Puppo.' ' What were you doing during the time 
of the tyrant?' 'I played the Violin.' 'What do you do 
now ? ' 'I play the Violin.' ' And what will you do for the 
nation ? ' 'I will play the Violin.' " 


' ' Busts, cameos, gems — such things as these 
Which others often show for pride, 
I value for their power to please 

And selfish churls deride ; 
One Stradivari, I confess, 
Two meerschaums, I would fain possess." 
—Extract from Oliver Wendell Holmes' Lines on Contentment. 


A passionate lover of Fiddles, being in Milan, made the 
acquaintance of an Italian who, like himself, was a lover of 


the bow. They had not long met before the theme of their 
mutual delight was broached ; the beautiful features in the 
works of the great masters were dwelt upon, their respective 
points of genius discriminated, until the freemasonry, of 
Fiddle-connoisseurship was exhausted. Inquiries were ex- 
changed as to the whereabouts of remarkable specimens, 
when suddenly the Italian's face brightened, and gave in- 
dication that a happy thought had crossed his mind. " By 
the way, I can introduce- you to a friend who has m his 
possesssion some choice Stradivaris, of various dates, and 
having heads of a very marked character." His companion 
was on his feet before he finished speaking, eagerly demand- 
ing where these choice "Strads" were to be seen. The 
distance being but a few streets off, it was agreed that they 
should start at once. On arriving at a house in tbe Via 
Meravigli, the Italian inquired of the servant if his master 
was at home. Being assured of this, the Fiddle-connois- 
seurs were shown into an apartment, where they anxiously 
awaited the host. Presently he entered, and the usual ex- 
change of courtesies having been gone through, the Italian, 
with the utmost gravity, inquired after the Stradivaris, and 
received answer that they never were better ; his companion, 
who was burning to feast his eyes on them, begged that he 
might have the pleasure of seeing them. The host, 
flattered by the interest taken in his "Strads" by his 
visitor, acquiesced, left the room, and brought in his collec- 
tion, which, if not unique, was in every way original. It 
consisted of five Stradivaris — three boys and two girls. 
Unable longer to restrain his laughter, the Italian broke 
forth into one of those hearty peals which terminate only 
when the risible faculties are completely exhausted. Signor 
Stradivari, the happy parent of the collection just ushered 


into the room, regarded his visitor with astonishment, in 
which he was joined by the specimens of various dates. 
Ultimately the countenance of Signer Stradivari began to 
assume anything but a pleasing appearance, as he had failed 
to comprehend what there was about his cherished ones to 
excite such ungovernable mirth. When the joke was ex- 
plained, it is needless to say that the wit's friend, the con- 
noisseur, suffered some disappointment,- but soon heartily 
joined in the laugh raised at his expense. Signor Stradivari 
and his family were not long kept behind the curtain, and 
soon added their laugh to that of the rest of the company. 


A lady belonging to Covent Garden Theatre, who had 
never heard Paganini, requested leave to be present at one 
of the rehearsals of his concerts. It happened that Paganini 
did not bring his Violin with him, but borrowed one from a 
member of the orchestra, and, instead of playing, made a 
kind oi pizzicato obbligato. After the rehearsal was finished, 
the lady addressed Mr. Cooke : " Oh, dear, Mr. Cooke, what 
a wonderful man he is ! I declare, I may say, that till this 
morning I never knew what music was capable of." Cooke 
replied, " Indeed; madam, he is truly wonderful ; but allow 
me to observe that on this occasion you are indebted rather 
to your imagination than your ears for the delight you have 
experienced." " How, Mr. Cooke ? " " Why, madam, this 
morning Paganini has not played at all — he has not even 
touched a bow." " Extraordinary 1 " exclaimed the lady ; 
" I am more than ever confirmed in my opinion of him ; 
for if without playing he can effect in such a manner, how 


much more wonderful are the sensations he must produce 
when he does play ! " 


" Francis the First, Emperor of Austria, was a passionate 
lover of music, and played admirably on the flute. His 
greatest pleasure was to perform the Trios and Quartetts of 
the old masters. One of the household physicians of the 
court excelled on the Tenor. As imperial etiquette did not 
permit a simple physician to accompany the Emperor in his 
pieces unless he had the entrk at court, Francis first created 
his doctor a baron and then a privy councillor, thus giving 
him his fetites and grandes entreh. By the help of his 
Tenor-playing our medical musician insinuated himself so 
successfully into the good graces of the Emperor, that he 
became almost the rival of Metternich, and all the other 
ministers -courted his friendship. Such was the rise of the 
celebrated Baron Still. But for his Tenor, this all-powerful 
favourite of Francis the First would have lived and died an 
obscure physician." — Critique Musicale. 


"An Italian composer, named Peregrini, was a fellow- 
student of Mastai Ferretti, now the occupant of the Papal 
chair. Since their quitting college. Fortune abandoned the 
maestro, whilst she smiled upon the priest. One day Pius 
IX. received the following letter : — ' Most Holy Father, — I 
know not if you recollect that I had the honour of being 
your feSow-student at College, and that your Holiness has 
done me the honour of playing duos with me on the Violin ; 


and that the execution of them was not always irreproachable, 
at least on my part, which so displeased your Holiness at 
the time that you deigned to apply certain corrections to my 
fingers. I have taken the liberty of revealing myself to your 
recollection, and to pray you to take under your protection 
one who can never cease to remember the happy moments 
he has passed with him whose apostolic virtues have raised 
him to the throne of St. Peter.' The Pope replied, ' I have 
never forgotten your name, my son ; come to me at Rome, 
and we will again play duets together, and if you have not 
progressed in- your studies, I shall know how again to correct 
you.' " — HogartKs Musical Herald. 


" A man who had a patent varnish for Violins, brought 
his invention to Ole Bull, and begged him to try it. He 
said that it gave ordinary instruments the sweet quality of a 
Cremona Fiddle. Ole Bull tried it, and found that it im- 
proved the tone, and promised to use a Violin prepared with 
•it at a concert he had to give at the house of the Duke of 
Riario. There was a great deal of fashionable company at 
this concert, and the heat of the room melted this famous 
varnish, which was really a preparation of assafoetida. The 
smell which it exuded was so maddening that an ordinary 
man would have stopped and excused himself ; but Ole -Bull 
merely closed his eyes, turned his face away, and played 
with an energy which' became more frenzied the more in- 
tolerable the stink became. He enjoyed an overwhelming 
success, and the Duke rushed forward to seize his iiand in 
congratulation. The appalling odour of assafoetida struck 


him in the face, and Ole Bull had to explain in what agony 
he had been performing." — Oh Bull's "Breve i Uddrag" by 
yonas Lie, Copenhagen, 1881. 


In a Letter from the celebrated Tartini. 

The letter here presented to my readers was translated and 
published by Dr. Burney.^in 1779, under the following title : 
" A Letter from the late Signor Tartini to Signora Maddalena 
Lombardini (afterwards Signora Sirmen). Published as an 
important lesson to performers on the Violin. 

"'Padua, March 5, 1760. 

" ' My very much esteemed Signora Maddalena, 

" 'Finding myself at length disengaged from the weighty 
business which has so long prevented me from performing 
my pifomise to you, a promise which was made with too 
much sincerity for my want of punctuality not to afflict me, 
I shall begin the infractions you wish from me by letter ; 
and if I should not explain myself with sufficient clearness, 
I entreat you to tell me your doubts and difficulties, in 
writing, which I shall not fail to remove in a future letter. 

" ' Your principal practice and study should, at present, be 
confined to the use and power of the bow, in order to make 
yourself entirely mistress in the execution and expression of 
whatever can be played or sung, within the compass and 
abiUty of your instrument. Your first study, therefore, 
should be the true manner of holding, balancing, and press- 
ing thfe*bow lightly but steadily upon the strings; in such a 
manner as it shall seem to breathe the first tone it gives, 


which must proceed from the friction of the string, and not 
from percussion, as by a blow given with a hammer upon it. 
This depends on laying the bow lightly upon the strings at 
the first contact, and on gently pressing it afterwards, which, 
if done gradually, can scarcely have too much force given to 
it, because,vif the tone is begun with delicacy, there is little 
danger of rendering it afterwards either coarse or harsh. 

" ' Of this first contact and delicate manner of beginning 
a tone you should make yourself a perfect mistress in every 
situation and part of the bow, as well in the middle as at the 
extremities ; and in moving it up as well as in drawing it 
down. To unite all these laborious particulars into one 
lesson, my advice is, that you first exercise yourself in a swell 
tipon an open string — for example, upon the second string ; 
that you begin pianissimo, and increase the tone by slow ; 
degrees to its fortissimo ; and this study should be equally 
made with the motion of the bow up and down, in which 
exercise you should spend at least an hour every day, though 
at different times, a little in the morning and a little in the 
evening J having constantly in mind, that this is, of all others, 
the most difficult and the most essential to playing on the 
Violin. When you are a perfect mistress of this part of a 
good performer, a swell will be very easy to you ; beginning 
with the most minute softness, increasing the tone to its 
loudest degree, and diminishing it to the same point of 
softness with which you began, and all this in the same 
stroke of the bow. Every degree of pressure upon the string 
which the expression of a note or passage shall require will 
by this means be easy and certain; and you will be able to 
execute with your bow whatever you please. After this, jn 
order to acquire that light pulsation and play of trie wrist, 
from whence velocity in bowing arises, it will be best for 



you to practise every day one of the Allegros, of which there 
are three in CoreUi's Solos, which entirely move in semi- 
quavers. The first is in D, in playing which you should 
accelerate the motion a little each time, till you arrive at the 
.quickest degree of swiftness possible ; but two precautions 
are necessary in this exercise — the first is, that you play the 
notes staccato, that is, separate and detached, with a little 
space between every two, for though they are written 
thus — ■ 

they should be played as if there was a rest after every note, 
in this manner — 



The second precaution is, that you first play with the point 
of the bow ; and when that becomes easy to you, that you 
use that part of it which is between that part and the middle; 
and when you are likewise mistress of this part of the bow, 
that you practise in the same manner with the middle of 
the bow; and, above all, you must remember in these 
studies to begin the Allegros or flights sometimes with an 
up-bow, and sometimes with a down-bow, carefully avoiding 
the habiv of constantly practising one way. In order to 
acquire a greater faciUty of executing swift passages in a light 



and neat manner, it will be of great use to you if you accus- 
tom yourself to skip over a string between two quick notes 
in divisions, like these — 

Of such divisions you may play extempore as many as pos- 
sible, and in every key, which will be both useful and 

"'With regard to the finger-board, or carriage of the 
left hand, I have one thing strongly to recommend to you, 
which will suffice for all ; and that is, the taking a Violin 
part, either the first or second of a concerto, sonata, or 
song — anything will serve the purpose — and playing it 
upon the half-shift, that is, with the first finger upon 
G on the first string, and constantly keeping upon this 
shift, playing the whole piece without moving the hand from 
this situation, unless A on the fourth string be wanted, or D 
upon the first ; but in that case, you should afterwards return 
again to the half-shift, without ever moving the hand down 
to the natural position. This practice should be continued 
till you can execute with facility upon the half-shift any 
Violin part not intended as a solo, at sight. After this, 
advance the hand on the finger-board to the wllole-shift, 
with the first finger upon A on the first string, and accustom 



yourself to. this position till you can execute everything upon 
the whole-shift with as much ease as when the hand is in its 
natural situation ; and when certain of this, advance to the 
double-shift, with the first finger upon B, on the first string; 
and when sure of that likewise, pass to the fourth position 
of the hand, making C with the first finger upon the first 
string; and indeed this iS a scale in which, when you are 
firm, you may be said to be mistress of the finger-board. 
This study is so necessary, that I most earnestly recommend 
it to your attention. 

" ' I now pass to the third essential part of a good per- 
former on the Violin, which is the making of a good shake, 
and I would have you practise it slow, moderately fast, and 
quick ; that is, with the two notes succeeding each other in 
these three degrees of adagio, andante, and presto ; and in 
practice you have great occasion for these different kinds of 
shakes; for the sariie shake- will not serve with equal pro- 
priety for a slow movement as for a quick one ; but to 
acquire both at once with the same trouble, begin with an 
open "string, either the first or second, it will be equally 
useful ; sustain the note in a swell, and begin the shake very 
slow, increasing in quickness, by insensible degrees, till it 
becomes rapid, in the manner following : — 






45° ■ THE VIOLIN. 

But you must not vigorously move immediately from semi- 
quavers to demisemiquavers, as in this example, or from 
these to the next in degree — that would be doubling the 
velocity of the shake all at once, which would be a skip, not 
a graduation ; but you can imagine between a semiquaver 
and a demisemiquaver intermediate degrees of rapidity, 
quicker than the one, and slower than the other of these 
characters; you are therefore to increase in velocity by -the 
same degrees in practising the shake, as in loudness when 
you make a swell. You must attentively and assiduously 
persevere in the practice of this embellishment, and begin at 
first with an open string, upon which if you are once able to 
make a good shake with the first finger, you will with the 
greater facility acquire one with the second, the third, and 
the fourth, or little finger, with which you must practise in 
a particular manner, as more feeble than the rest of its 
brethren. I shall, at present, propose no other studies to 
your application : what I have already said is more than 
sufficient, if your zeal is equal to my wishes for your im- 
provement. I hope you will sincerely inform me whether 
I have explained myself clearly thus far ; that you will accept 
of my respects, which I likewise beg of you to present to 
the Prioress, to Signora Teresa, and to Signora Chiara, for 
all whom I have a sincere regard j and believe me to be, 
with great affection, 

" ' Your obedient and most humble servant, 

" ' Giuseppe Tartini.' "