Violin by Giovanni Battista Ceruti, Cremona, c.1800
This fine violin is a great example of Ceruti’s late work, presenting the remarkable craftsmanship achieved by the maker through his career. A milestone of the end of the classical period on Cremonese violin making. This instrument translates the context in which it was crafted. The back of the violin presents several restorations, that are all, however, original.
In that period, with the high cost of the material, it was common that makers would buy large quantities of wood to get it at a lower price. These wood stocks were then often unproperly seasoned, left with their cork, attracting termites. Considering the difficult access and high costs of the material, it was out of question to not use it anyway. The maker repaired the wood during the crafting process. This violin stands out for its elegance, notable on its refined purfling and light edges, the clear beautiful golden varnish, and the precise cut of the f-holes.
Giovanni Battista Ceruti (1756 – 1817) – Cremona, Italy
Originally from the town of Sesto, Ceruti moved to Cremona in 1786 and only started violin making 10 years later. It is believed that he had been a student of Storioni and when his master left the city, he may have taken over his workshop. Ceruti’s work is precise and elegant, surpassing Storioni’s work in terms of refinement, despite the ordinary materials. Ceruti had a productive career, highly demanded due to the absence of other great makers in Cremona at that period. His instruments can be recognized by their refined carving and quality varnish, and for their deep powerful sound. The maker died in 1817 and his son and grandson were responsible for continuing the family legacy towards the establishment of a modern school of violin making.