This is a lovely violin by 20th century Milanese maker Abele Naldi. It’s unmistakably Italian in conception, just on the artistic side of brash, very individual in model and execution. The spruce used for the front is exceptional – very regular closely spaced grain, probably the same wood that Naldi used for guitars – and the back and ribs are made from wood with a spectacular quilted figure, possibly pearwood. The condition is pretty much mint, with no cracks, repairs or damages whatsoever.
You can download a powerpoint presentation about Abele Naldi here.
I have to say at this stage that there is no such thing as an “Italian sound” – every time I hear this description of a violin I am driven into a spluttering rage. The truth is that all Italian violins sound completely different from each other, there is no regional tonal signature, and it’s best to just judge a violin on its individual merits …
This particular instrument is very smooth, sweet and friendly with a clear singing tone and an easy response. Not really an instrument for sweating your way through the Bruch, it seems more suited in personality to the world of Mozart and Vivaldi, or to French late romanticism. It’s a superb instrument for someone with a delicate touch, and also a great violin for trad. It has an inherently playful or lyrical quality that should charm the hardest heart.
Length of Back 35.7cm, stop 131/196mm, total length 58.9cm
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