Guadagnini family

Lived about 1690 to 1760

Italian violin-makers of the Cremona school, who worked for several generations in Italy. The oldest two of this family, probably brothers, were Lorenzo and John Baptist, or Giovanni. They seem to have been pupils of the renowned Stradivarius, and the violins made by Giovanni are said to resemble the genuine Stradivarius violins, both in form and cellence of tone, and to be distinguished from the works of the other members of the family by the rich dark red varnish of the case. Lorenzo's violins were shaped quite differently from those of his brother, being heavier and less graceful, with a duller varnish, but equally valuable and musical in tone. Their instruments within the last few years were said to sell for from two hundred to five hundred dollars. Another John Baptist seems to have been a son of Lorenzo. His violins are shaped after the Stradivarius, of good material, and varnished with a bright scarlet. They are commonly used by orchestra players, but less valuable than the preceding. Joseph, probably his brother, made a heavy violin with brownish yellow varnish. Although succeeding members of the family continued to make violins, it became a trade with them rather than an art, and though they turned out fairly good instruments, the standard of their forefathers was not maintained.