This illustration of a Raffaele Trapani violin was published in The Strad, February 1961. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
Raffaele Trapani worked in Naples during the first quarter of the last century and is reputed to have made a considerable number of violins and a few cellos, but today, at least in this country, his instruments are seldom seen.
His violins were constructed on his own pattern which was based on the Brescian model. They are large, flat in the archings with prominent beaded edges and wide gauge purfling. The sound-holes are of an individual and uncommon design.
The violin illustrated was made in 1815 and is in almost new condition. There are no cracks and the beautiful light-brown varnish is virtually without blemish. It is probably the finest example of Trapani’s work to reach the country.
Many Neapolitan instruments were originally made to sell at a low price and consequently the material and finish were not of a high standard. Trapani’s instruments are carefully finished and he used good wood. In the violin illustrated the two-piece back is of maple marked by a handsome very small curl, that of the sides and head being similar. The table is of pine of even fine grain.
The principal measurements are: Length of body, 14 3/16th inches; Upper bouts, 6 ¾ inches; Middle bouts, 4 ¾ inches; Lower bouts, 8 ¼ inches; Ribs, 1 1/8 inches (full) to 1 3/16 inches (full).
In the opinion of several experienced, professional violinists who have tried this instrument the tone is of remarkable quality and of Gagliano character.