Violin by Carlo Antonio Testore, Milan, 1741

Object type
Stringed instrument: Violin by Carlo Antonio Testore, Milan, 1741

This petite and handsome example is in remarkably fresh condition, and has an unbroken covering of thin golden-yellow varnish laid on a smoothly finished surface. The model is loosely based on the Stainer pattern while the edgework is typically early Milanese in that there is less hollowing around the edge following the purfling than on other classical instruments. Nevertheless, the arching is deeply scooped, rising steeply some distance in from the edge of the plates. The purflings consist of a wide beech central strip between extremely thin blacks which seem to be made from stained paper. The carving of the head is shallow and less than round: from the side the spiral is far from concentric, and the whole volute has an oval or slightly triangular form, characteristic of Testore work. The short, closely-spaced and upright soundholes are of a wide cut, and the points of the short wings are slightly rounded - highly characteristic details seen on other works by this maker. The two-piece back and ribs are of lightly figured maple, and the head is plain. The table is of broad-grain pine, narrowing in the flanks.

Left to RAM by Mrs C M M Tweedie
Date made
maple, spruce, ebony
Object type
Type Length Width Height Diameter Unit (length)
Stop 191 mm
Neck 131 mm
Back 350 mm
Upper Bout 164.5 mm
Middle Bout 109 mm
Lower Bout 203.5 mm
Back (with caliper) mm
Upper Bout (with caliper) mm
Middle Bout (with caliper) mm
Lower Bout (with caliper) mm
Total string length mm
Accession No


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