Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi violin, Milan, c. 1760

Pragmatic but talented, Landolfi produced some excellent instruments from fine materials, as this c. 1760 violin shows

Like many of the Milanese school luthiers, Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi (1710–c. 1784) was a pragmatic maker whose output ranges widely in quality. At his best he made excellent instruments with fine materials and careful workmanship, but he was equally capable of producing plainer instruments with painted purfling from inferior wood.

This fine Landolfi violin dating from c. 1760 is one of his finer examples. The varnish is of a particularly good quality and it features attractively flamed maple on the back and ribs. Made on a typically petite model, it has a back length of 35 cm.

Violin by Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, Milan, c. 1760. Photos: Tarisio

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Although Landolfi was a contemporary of Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, who moved to Milan in 1749, his work draws mainly on that of his predecessors, Giovanni Grancino and Carlo Giuseppe Testore. In turn he taught and influenced his son, Paolo Antonio Landolfi, and Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza. His best violins, generally made after 1750, are notable for their excellent tone quality.

Tarisio sold this fine Landolfi violin in 2009. View more instruments by Landolfi.

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