This illustration of a cello by Gennaro Gagliano was published in The Strad, March 1938. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:The Gaglianos were the most numerous of all the old Italian families who followed violin making as a hereditary calling. The outstanding makers of the family were Alessandro, the founder and a pupil of Stradivarius, and his two sons, Nicolo and Gennaro.
This particularly handsome cello by Gennaro Gagliano is probably one of the finest Gagliano cellos in existence. The quality of the material, especially in the back, can be seen from the plate, which unfortunately is unable to reproduce the splendour of the wonderful light orange-brown varnish, very transparent and typical of the Neopolitan School at its best.
The presence of the original label in so fine an example of Gagliano’s work is unusual. Such instruments are usually found to contain tickets of more valued makers, for instance Ruggeri or one of the Guarneri.
The principal measurements are: Length of Back 30 3/16 inches; Upper Bouts 13 5/8 inches; Lower Bouts 17 19/32 inches. The ribs are nearly uniform in depth throughout, being 4 11/16 inches at the top increasing to 4 11/16 (full) at the bottom bouts. The stop is 27 ½ inches.
There is only one point where this fine instrument falls short of perfection. The scroll – a typical example of a Gagliano headpiece – is not such a refined piece of carving as would be found on a Cremonese production of otherwise parallel quality. It was in this department that even the most talented of the Gaglianos were noticeably weak.