This is a very attractive and excellent-sounding violin from the Venetian maker Eugenio Degani. It has some restoration, the scroll is later, and it’s priced accordingly.
This is the second Eugenio Degani we have at present, and the two violins share many points of style. Always very distinctive and consistent in the details, Degani nonetheless experimented extensively with models, sizes, archings etc. This example is what I think of as his most characteristic model – reasonably narrow in the middle bouts, high-arched, and very lightly built.
The varnish is unusually attractive, golden and lustrous; the back is probably the nicest Degani back we have seen.
Condition is generally good – there are a couple of well restored cracks to the table above and below the bass f-hole, and there’s a very neat wing crack to the treble f-hole. The head is a later replacement.
The violin has a new nut and fingerboard, but the original Degani nut and fingerboard with the tell-tale sightline through the underside are included.
We’ve had a few Deganis over the years, and while all have their unique personalities they always sound great. This one has the quintessential Degani sound, rich, sugary and hyper-responsive.
It’s a very expressive instrument, crisp and articulate but with an attractive halo to the sound – depth of character might be the best way to describe it. We hear the same harmonic complexity throughout the register – in fact the violin is unusually even, and there are no dead spots in the response. The G string is full and dark, the inner strings are refreshingly articulate, and the E string retains its sweetness right into the dusty reaches of the fingerboard.
This would be a great violin for chamber music – it has a refined sound that’s distinctive and individual without being overbearing or shouty.