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From the archive: a violin by Domenicus Montagnana, Venice, c1700

Monday, 24 February 2014

This illustration of a c1700 Domenicus Montagnana violin was published in The Strad, June 1956. The following text is extracted from an article accompanying the photographs:

There is possibly not another Italian violin maker of importance about which so little is known as Domenicus Montagnana. His genuine violins are by no means plentiful and very few bear the original label.

Many writers, including so great an authority as the late George Hart, have definitely stated that Montagnana was a pupil of Antonio Stradivari. But this claim is not considered seriously today. Indeed his early violins, like so many of the old Venetians, show traces of the influence of Stainer and there is more than a suspicion of a leaning towards the German form of outline and model, with the purfling set near the edges.

Montagnana’s working life seems to have covered the period from around 1700 to about 1745. A small size violin made by him, according to its authentic label, in 1715, was illustrated in this journal in June 1912, and this is one of the earliest examples of his.

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