Fiddles in Focus:
I have curated a small group of fine instruments for sale in cooperation with Brobst Violin Shop. They were chosen for great sound projection, ease of playing, and cool factor! In the shop now for a limited time. Priced $15,000-$25,000.
And the peonies are in bloom. Come see!
Stefano Conia, Cremona, 1981
Contemporary maker Stefano Conia had his roots in studying violin making with his father in Hungary, Istvan Konya. He then attended the Cremona School, studying with Sgarabatto, Morassi, and Bissolotti. He became a teacher there himself, instructing students for over 20 years in varnish, restoration, and construction. The sound of this violin has a great combination of edgy and dark qualities.
Dante Guastalla, Reggio Emiliano, 1931
Guastalla was a student of Scarampella in Mantua. The rich, red varnish over the golden ground is beautiful. It has a sweet, carrying tone but with plenty of power and color to the sound too. I believe that the quality of playability is often more elusive than sound quality. This fiddle is so easy to get around on. I think you will like it!
George Craske, Manchester, c.1850
A prolific maker and talented copyist of the 19th century, George Craske, began studying violin making with the preeminent English maker William Forster. His instruments were carried by the top London shops of the time. Fun fact: when Paganini toured England, Craske was retained to perform restorations to his Guarneri del Gesu "Cannone" violin, Paganini's prized possession. This instrument has a BIG SOUND.
Rafaelle Calace, Naples, 1919
Calace was highly decorated with awards and medals in violin making, working around the turn of the 20th century. Fun facts: In 1927, he made a violin for Mussolini - but not this one! Yikes. He and his family were noted mandolin players and makers. Rafaelle's father Antonio is credited with the invention of the modern mandolin with steel strings and geared tuning pegs.