Maggini Violin Copy, c.1900 1/2 size


Giovanni Paolo Maggini (b.1580, d.1630) was born in the town of Botticino near Brescia, Italy and began studying with famed master luthier Gasparo da Salò around 1586. Initially, Maggini’s violins imitated his teacher’s work, but he eventually began working independently in 1606 and developed his own signature style. He experimented with size and developed a violin that was significantly larger than standards of the time. Maggini eventually moved to Florence in 1620 where he established his own workshop. He was a victim of the Italian plague, and both because of his fame and undated labels, many copied works of his violins and violas were passed off as originals of the master. Based on the confirmed works that Maggini leaves to history he is regarded, with his teacher, as one of the best known makers of the Brescian school. Many believe that his work had a profound influence on Stradivari and the Cremonese school.

Over the course of his short career Maggini crafted violins, violas, violoncellos, viols, and a double bass, always experimenting with techniques to achieve the very best sound. It is thought that he cared more for ease of playing than aesthetics. This violin, although a copy, is finely executed and features characteristics found in Maggini’s work. It was born of aged, fine-grained spruce and narrow-curl maple that are highlighted by a rich, reddish-brown varnish. The instrument boasts a rich sound, deep, powerful tone, and is typical of Maggini’s high-arching style which allows for increased resonance and projection.

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