From the Archive: a violin by P.G. Mantegazza, Milan, 1760

November 30, 2015

A violin by P.G. Mantegazza, Milan, 1760

This illustration of a violin by P.G. Mantegazza was published in The Strad, October 1969. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:

This month’s illustration is of a bold and handsome violin by Mantegazza. The form of all members of this family is generally that of the large model of Nicolo Amati, but they were evidently influenced by Landolfi whose work a number of their instruments closely resemble.

The two piece back is of handsome wood marked by a curl of medium width slanting upwards from the joint, that of the sides is similar, the head being marked by a faint curl. The table is of pine of even grain, and the varnish of an orange-brown colour. The principal measurements are as follows: Length of Body, 14 1/8 inches; Upper Bouts, 6 9/16 inches; Middle Bouts, 4 3/8 inches; Lower Bouts, 8 1/8 inches. There is a printed label in a decorative border, the wording as follows:

Petrus Jo. Fratresq
Mantegatia Mediolani
in Via S. Margarite anno
1760

Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza (or in the Latin form of his name as found on his labels: Petrus Joannes Mantegatia) is the best known of a prominent group of makers, dealers and restorers who worked in Milan during the 18th century and the early years of the 19th. Pietro, who is considered the best workman of the family, shared, in the early years of his career, a workshop with his brothers Carlo and Francesco, but later worked on his own. These two brothers were those indicated by the words ‘Fratelli Mantegazza’ which appears on the labels of many instruments coupled with that of Petrus Joannes.

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