Giuseppe Tarasconi is one of our favourite makers, a musician turned violin-maker who produced first-class instruments whilst retaining an immediately recognizeable style. This violin is a great example – in excellent condition and with a beautiful sound.

Giuseppe Tarasconi seems to have been largely self-taught, though came to Milan in the late 1880s, studied with Gaetano Rossi, and became a fulltime professional maker. Although he became a central figure in the Milan violin-making scene, his violins remained individualistic and very identifiable. This example is Tarasconi’s most personal model, slightly elongated, very flat, with his typically huge central scroll eye and a lustrous golden-brown varnish.

The violin is in very good condition. At some stage the neck has been reset to increase the overstand, there’s a wing crack to the right f-hole, and the lower right table corner has been re-glued. Otherwise there are no cracks or damages, and the original varnish is beautifully preserved.

This violin is a bit of a knockout. The sound is golden and honeyed, very even across the register, super-smooth, and yet still muscular and defined. This is a quality we’ve noticed before in better Tarasconi instruments, although he was by no means a consistent maker!

The most noticeable quality about this violin is that it makes a great sound quite effortlessly, and even in the lowest dynamics it’s still full and warm.

This would make a great second violin in a leading quartet, and any orchestral section player would surely feel lucky to have it – it’s incapable of making a bad sound yet it’s also characterful and opulent. It projects very well but also sounds great in small spaces, and it would be hard to find a better sounding Italian violin at the price.

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