A Fine Franco-Italian Violin by: Pierre Gaggini, Nice 1934
Pierre Gaggini (b.July19, 1903, d. October 31, 2005) was the nephew of the famed Franco-Italian maker, Alberto Blanchi, for whom he apprenticed and worked until 1934 with exception to the three years he spent fulfilling his military service in Paris from 1924 to 1927. During this time, he also made violins for Louis Billotet. His models are typically in the style of Blanchi until the early 1940's when he developed a personal model which he largely devoted the remainder of his career to. His label bares the motto, "Nicæa civitas" a contraction of "Nicæa civitas fidelissima" or "Nice, the very loyal city" referring to Nice's loyalty to the House of Savoy after the city was ceded to France by Italy as compensation for France's assistance in Italy's Second War for Independence against Austria. This violin features a beautiful honey-colored varnish, exemplary craftsmanship throughout and a truly stunning one-of-kind one-piece back with some Birdseye figuration. Its tone is powerful, complex, rich, warm and broad. It is unique among Gaggini's work and a violin unlike any other.