(1863 – 1948)
Second only to his great-grandfather G.B. Guadagnini in productivity, Francesco Guadagnini inherited the family workshop in 1881 at the age of 18. He ran the business successfully, with some help from his brother Giuseppe II, and although he continued ...Read More the trade relationship with Mirecourt established by his grandfather Gaetano II, he soon became interested in violin making. The presence of workshop assistant Enrico Marchetti during his father's tenure probably had a formative influence on Francesco's work.
His best instruments, which date from the first decade of the 20th century, feature a hard yellow-orange layer of varnish with a reddish-pink on top and are on a contemporary version of a Guadagnini model. In Francesco's time the shop employed several young and talented makers, including Carlo Oddone, Annibale Fagnola, and Evasio Emilio Guerra, who probably inspired his best work. After 1912 his model remains much the same until about 1920, when it becomes more exaggerated and the varnish becomes hard and dark red in color. Though the peak of his output in quality is around 1900-1910, these lesser later instruments are much more common. Francesco's son Paolo followed in his footsteps, the last violin maker of the great Guadagnini dynasty.
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