This illustration of a violin by Antonio Gragnani was published in The Strad, January 1938. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
It is true that the majority if Antonio Gragnani’s instruments are more notable for their tonal qualities than for workmanship or choice of fine materials, but now and again he did produce examples of good form and finish, and covered with brilliant varnish of a quality above the average.
This is so in the case of the specimen illustrated which is an exceptionally fine and handsome instrument in a well preserved state. Exception may be taken by some to the rather quaint model of the scroll. Antonio did not excel as a scroll cutter and his efforts are often poor in design and execution. In this instance the scroll is quite in keeping with the violin as a whole.
The general model and outline is good and the soundholes excellently cut. The varnish, too, is of his best and is golden brown in colour,
Antonio Gragnani appears to have had a long working life. According to some authorities he made from 1740 to 1800. It is thought Antonio was the son and pupil of Gennaro Gragnani who lived and worked at Livorno during the first half of the eighteenth century. Antonio had a son, Onarato, who worked in the same town.