Previous Instrument Highlights
The following collection of instruments are not currently available at our shop. These are instruments which we had offered for sale or had serviced in previous years. Many of these instruments are fine and rare antiques of historical significance. Some of these instruments we considered especially fine, interesting, charming and sometimes even mysterious examples of their maker's work. All of these instruments we consider of great artistic, technical and tonal merit.
Note: Many of the following photographs often are not professional but are taken with an inclination toward interesting aspects of each instrument.
A Fine Italian Violin by: Leandro Bisiach I, Milan 1904
Leandro Bisiach I (b.1864, d.1946) was one of the finest violinmakers around the turn of the last century and is largely responsible for revitalizing the art of traditional violinmaking in Italy. Today he is regarded in a somewhat analogous fashion to J.B. Vuillaume in so much as he employed many of the most talented makers of their time and founded one of the most important violin businesses in Europe. Although Bisiach was an exceptionally fine violin maker in his own right, he was also able to get the best work out of the makers he employed. Bisiach studied violin making with Riccardo Antoniazzi who, along with Riccardo’s father and brother (Gaetano and Romeo), he went on to employ. Through the Antoniazzis, Bisiach is connected to the old Cremonese tradition. Among the makers he employed were the Garimbertis, Giuseppe Ornati, Rocchi Sesto and Igino Sderci (to name a few). Notably, Gaetano Sgarabotto worked for Bisiach at this time this instrument was made. This particular example is a rare copy of a 1696 Stradivari with a rich, dark red varnish and striking one-piece back. It has an exceptionally pure and sweet upper register. Although the sound is very subtle under the ear, it carries extraordinarily well in the concert hall and boasts what so many violinists refer to as the classic “Italian sound”. The legendary violin virtuoso, Nathan Milstein, is known to have owned at least one Bisiach. Bisiach himself was a professional violinist who maintained a full concert schedule with the finest quartets and orchestras in Italy and counted Sarasate, Joachim, Piatti, Puccini and others among his friends.
For more information on this maker, please visit our featured article, "Leandro Bisiach - His Life & Art"