Notable Sale: A Violin by Giovanni Marchi

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Giovanni Marchi was an Italian violinmaker who made violins in the 1760s and 1770s. One of his violins is highlighted on our 2022 Notable Sales by Amorim Fine Violins. Keep scrolling to see all details.

A Violin by Giovanni Marchi, Bologna, 1770

Made in the mid 1770s, this violin was made on a model by Jacob Stainer. Marchi admired the work of the great German maker and used this model for new violins. It shows Marchi’s personality and can be considered a perfect example of an instrument of the Bolognese school.

Marchi was skeptical about any “magic” feature of the varnish. He seemed to prefer alcohol-based varnish because of its acoustic properties as well as its ease of application. The ground is brilliant and reflective and shows slight oxidation of the grain; the varnish itself is quite thin and hard but pleasantly worked by wear and still a delicate, glowing orange color.

The Strad Magazine has a complete article written by Alberto Giordano on this specific violin. You can read all of its details in here.

“When looking for a new instrument, one of the key elements for me was a rich, full and warm low register. When I first took this violin into my hands, my mind was blown away by the power, depth and richness of its sound! At the same time, the upper register of this violin has a very sweet and bright timbre. The combination of powerful and rich, yet sweet and singing made this violin my “perfect match”.”

Justina Auškelytė Rossi

Giovanni Marchi (1727-1807) – Bologna, Italy

Giovanni Antonio Marchi was born in 1727, in a small village outside Bologna. His father died when Giovanni was eight years old, and he was raised by his uncle Natale. In around 1745 he moved with his family to the city itself. Marchi started working as a violin maker around 1755 or 1756, when he was about 28 years old. This information comes directly from his own words, taken from the preface of the book on violin making that he wrote in 1786 but which was never published during his lifetime.

Marchi’s apprenticeship is not well documented, but it seems likely that he trained with Giovanni Fiorino Guidante, a Bolognese violin maker active in the early eighteenth century. By the time Marchi started working on his book, he had gained a reputation as an accomplished restorer and his fame reached Count Cozio di Salabue who, in the early nineteenth century, contacted him in order to purchase instruments (he was searching for violins by Dom Nicolaus Amati in particular). The count admired Marchi’s work and tried to convince him to work for him in Milan as conservator and restorer of his collection; however, owing to his advanced age, Marchi turned down this position and died shortly afterwards on December 20th 1807.

“I have found so many beliefs [about violin making] that if people believed as much in the supernatural, they would surely accumulate capital for the afterlife. People believe the good quality of instruments is only to be attributed to the varnish because the oil keeps the wood softer and gives the tone a human, rich character. Practice teaches us the reverse about this varnish: it is well known that the drier the oily parts of the wood [are], the better the sound.”

Giovanni Marchi

source: The Strad Magazine

It’s worth having a good quality instrument if you can afford it.

Marchi violins are known worldwide, and many of them are being purchased by performers who prefer their sound to that of other Italian instruments. A fine example is the violin by Giovanni Marchi, which our firm sold recently. We are very pleased to have it come into our hands and are delighted with the sale result.

Related: Rent to own Violin

“Had a truly wonderful experience. Amorim Fine Violins is a great place to visit if you need to find a new instrument, to fix your own, or to get any advice regarding string instruments. The people working there are super kind, welcoming, and professional. Highly recommended!”

Justina A. Rossi

If you are in search of a fine instrument, let us provide it to you so you can uniquely express yourself in your entirety. Check out our current options of fine violins, violas, and cellos available for sale.