Stefano Scarampella, Mantua 1919

Scarampella, Stefano Mantua Label reads: Stefano Scarampella de Brescia Premiato con medaglie D’Argento Fratello D Alievo del Guiseppe Fece in __ineligible_ anno 1919

This violin possesses a brilliant, focused, powerful sound with refinement, suitable for the most demanding soloist or orchestral player. Because the instrument is in near mint condition and has had little playing, the tone is available for full development in the hands of the next owner.



The overall condition is superb. The wood of the top is of medium to fine grained spruce, in two matched pieces joined at center. The back and ribs are of narrow, lively flamed maple which provides a sense of depth as it moves under the eye. The two lower-bout rib sections are joined, in the center, at the button, by a vertical section of purfling material. The back is two-piece, joined so that the flames are very slightly inclined downward, away from the button. There is a visible glue line in the middle of the joint, which is sound, with no sign of weakness or slipping. The one-piece neck and scroll are made of softly flamed maple. The carving emphasizes the curves of the compact volute, flowing from its upright slight oval shape into the cheeks of the pegbox without interruption. The line of the rear of the scroll is a direct continuation in one stroke from the top of the volute to the broad heel, edged in a firm chamfer throughout. The full coat of lustrous, transparent varnish is nearly untouched, giving evidence of the hand that laid it on. The color is amber/orange, shading to ruby, particularly in the deeper areas of the scroll and in the overhanging edges of the top and back. The purfling is of a broader light strip of plain wood between two narrower dyed black pieces. The miters in the corners are direct, going to the center of the uncomplicated corners. When examined with a magnifying lens, one can see miniscule spots of dark filler in a few places, signs of the maker’s advancing age.. The placement of the F-holes align harmoniously with the outline of the body. The feeling is of upward motion rather than gravitas. The nicks are centered on the normal 195mm mensure. The arching of the top is a smooth, well conceived curve that continues from the center of the instrument to the outer edge of the purfling with little to no recurve, merging into the plain of the edge with a minimal lip. The arching of the back is carried out in a similar manner except for the slight fullness in the button which provides an impression of added strength. This is a remarkably well preserved example of a master’s work.

 

Includes a certificate by Dimitry Gindin, 2 February 2018.

Inventory #: 141/82

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