This illustration of a violin by Alexander Despine was published in The Strad, July, 1970. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
Several writers mention that Despine was a pupil of Pressenda, but this is most unlikely, as they were approximately the same age. It seems more probable that he was already an experienced maker when he entered Pressenda's employment in Turin. It is believed he worked in Turin either on his own or with Pressenda from about 1823 to 1842 and produced a considerable number of violins, some attractive violincellos, and a few violas.
There is no doubt that Despine's accurately built and highly finished violins resemble, at first sight, those produced by a number of the best French makers during the early years of the last century, but a closer study reveals a certain freedom of treatment which is one of the major attractions of an Italian violin.
Illustrated here is a strikingly handsome violin by Despine. It is in virtually mint condition, and is generously covered with a lustrous red-brown varnish.