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A violin by Ansaldo Poggi, Bologna 1931

Price range: £50,000+

Ansaldo Poggi was born 9 June 1893 in Villafontana di Medicina (Bologna) and, with encouragement from his father (who was a musician and amateur violin maker), began to develop his talent for making string instruments at an early age. After World War I, he graduated from the Philharmonic Academy of Bologna and around 1920, he moved to Zurich to train with  Giuseppe Fiorini, who was a friend of his father’s. 

Fiorini’s style was highly influential on Poggi’s approach to instrument making in the early years, utilizing a more classical style versus that of Bolognese school founder Raffaele Fiorini. In the 1930s, Poggi’s style grew increasingly independent of Fiorini’s, and his mature instruments are highly regarded for their extremely fine workmanship, excellent tonewoods and beautiful varnish.

Poggi earned several awards for his instruments, starting in 1923 with a silver medal for his viola at the National Competition in Rome and followed by gold medals in 1925, 1927 and 1929. He eventually achieved tremendous success both nationally and internationally. Poggi is reported to have made 322 violins during his career, including instruments for distinguished musicians such as Mistislav Rostropovich, David Oistrakh, Nathan Milstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Aaron Rosand and Uto Ughi, just to name just a few.

He died in 1984

“Poggi is considered the finest maker of the 20th Century and in recent years his prices have gone stratospheric! Will it stop? probably not as violin making excellence is easy to judge….great workmanship, beautiful to look at ….and for the musician…great to play! Poggi does all these. This violin was made in his best period, 1930’s. Sounds fantastic and a certificate from Charles Beare during his time at J&A Beare. A violin like this should be £250 000+. However…this violin has extensive repairs to the top, beautifully done so as not to diminish the beauty of this violin. But price is cheaper…now £200 000GBP.” Sean Bishop


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