Violin by Giovanni Francesco Pressenda, Turin, 1843

Violin by Giovanni Francesco Pressenda, Turin, 1843

About Giovanni Francesco Pressenda

Giovanni Francesco Pressenda is thought of as the father of the modern Turin school, as well as one of the finest violin makers of the 19th century. Once believed to be a pupil of Lorenzo Storioni, it is more likely that Pressenda received his training in the French workshops of Turin from about 1815. This French influence can be seen in Pressenda´s early work, particularly in his preference for Stradivari models as these were fashionable in France at the time.

Having opened his own workshop in around 1821, Pressenda began to grow more confident in the search for his own, more personal aesthetic towards the end of this decade. Some of the characteristics of this personal style became features of the Turin school more generally, for example the prominent line down the centre of the scroll, the elongated f-holes and the beautifully rich red varnish. Pressenda´s workshop became an important centre of violin making, employing François Calot, Pierre Pacharel and Pressenda´s most famous pupil, Guiseppe Rocca.

About the violin

This violin was made in 1843, by which time Pressenda´s inimitable personal style was well and truly established. It has all the hallmarks of the later Pressenda instruments, most strikingly his unique combination of both Stradivari and del Gesù influences.

The violin has a one piece back of strong, narrow flame which runs horizontally. The two piece front is of narrow-grained spruce which widens towards the flanks. The varnish is a rich, plum red colour laid over a golden ground. The violin has a length of back of 354 mm.

How does it sound?

Tonally, the violin is big without ever risking the sophistication of tone. There is an operatic quality to this violin: it projects sound incredibly well without any suggestion of force. This violin sounds like it looks: striking and with the beauty that can be found in precision.


The violin is in extremely good condition with very well-executed minor repairs. It is original in all its parts. The violin comes with a full condition report.


The violin comes with the certificates of Andreas Woywood and Ben Schroeder.

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