Annibale Fagnola, Turin 1906

1866 – 1939

Annibale Fagnola possesses the rare quality of instilling his personality into his work. This violin is a copy of a Pressenda and within the confines of copy one can see Fagnola’s style. Individuality in violin making is abundant, personality is rare, and in Fagnola’s work both are evident.

This violin is an early example and shows his talent as a copyist but also an ability to get inside Pressenda’s mind and philosophy.

It has a lightly crackled varnish and is in excellent condition.

Back Length: 354mm
Upper Bout: 166mm
Middle Bout: 112mm
Lower Bout: 206mm
Mensure: 196mm

About the maker

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    Annibale Fagnola

    Annibale Fagnola was born on 28 December 1866 in Montiglio, Casale Monferrato. He appears to have been self-taught before moving to Turin in 1894 (not 1890, as some sources state). From this time, he describes himself as a maker of musical instruments; only in 1903 does he finally describe himself in more elevated language as a liutista.

    Later in life, Riccardo Genovese, his nephew Annibalotto Fagnola, and Stefano Fasciolo assisted him at various periods. It also seems, on occasions, he employed the services of Evasio Emilio Guerra, a pupil of Oddone’s.

    His work has become regarded as some of the most important in 20th-century Lutherie, loved by players and collectors for its distinctive, strong personality. His fame was such that he was copied even in his lifetime, and the situation continued after his death. In addition, lesser Turin school makers have been relabelled to elevate them to Fagnola status.

    He made copies and imitations of Rocca and Pressenda. He carefully distinguished between the two descriptions: copies were based on the maker’s model, while imitations attempted to duplicate details of the originals, down to their varnish, choice of materials and wear patterns.