Violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, Piacenza, 1746
This violin has now sold.
About Giovanni Battista GuadagniniGiovanni Battista Guadagnini is widely considered to be one of the best violin makers ever to have lived, outshone only by Stradivari and Guarneri `del Gesù´. He was constantly moving around to further his career, working in 5 cities over his lifetime. The convention at the time was to reference your violin-maker father on your labels in order to emphasise your excellent lineage: in an interesting display of marketing nous, Guadagnini frequently credits his father Lorenzo, despite him having been an innkeeper! Recent research has proven that it is likely Lorenzo never made a violin in his life. Another example of Guadagnini´s willingness to stretch the truth in order to present his work is his frequent labelling of himself as `alumnus Stradivari´: by the time that Guadagnini arrived in Cremona, the great master had been dead 21 years.
Guadagnini´s work is divided into four main periods, corresponding to the cities in which he worked: Piacenza, Milan, Parma, and finally Turin. He was also briefly involved in some way with the city of Cremona: we know that around 12 violins bear labels which state that they were made in that city in 1758. The final 15 years of his life were spent in Turin, mainly under the patronage of the renowned collector Count Cozio di Salabue. The acquisition of items from the Stradivari workshop by the count allowed Guadagnini to gain a close understanding of how the great master worked.
About the violinThis violin was made in Piacenza towards the start of Guadagnini´s career and is an excellent example of the bold and original style which marks his instruments as some of the best in the world. Its tone and power are entirely typical of Guadagnini´s best instruments.