Giovan Paolo Maggini Violin, Germany circa 1920-1930


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Copy of
Giovan Paolo Maggini
Made in Germany

Many of the good trade Maggini violin copies emerged in Germany during the 1920’s and 1930’s. During this time period German commercial violinmaking workshops copied Maggini instruments by the many of thousands. These copies were in general well-made and sounded very good. Other fine Maggini copies were made in France by N.F. Vuillaume and fewer still from Czechoslovakia. Giovanni Paolo Maggini (1580- 1630) was a fine Italian maker who was studied and emulated by many outstanding makers, including Stradivarius. Maggini copies are popular with American fiddlers, especially fiddlers into bluegrass and old-time music because the instruments look cool, tend to have a darker tone, and produce a lot of volume.

Our violin follows the traditional Maggini pattern of double inlaid purfling on the top and back, vertical straight grain spruce, highly flamed maple on the back plate and ribs, the extra turn in the scroll, and a varnish which is a deep reddish brown over a yellow golden ground. The varnish shows much simulated wear. The length of the violin is not as long as many Maggini copies, making this violin more desirable for the player. The workmanship is at a high level, notably in the scroll, purfling, and in all the corner work. We have gone over the violin carving a new set of pegs, bridge, and post, as well as cambering the board and adding a new chin and tailpiece. The violin is in very good condition and has no issues.

• Corpus 357.0 mm.
• Major Width 204.0
• Minor Width 169.0 mm
• Rib Height 31.0 mm

The instrument has a good response and leans to the darker side tonally. The bottom G and D strings have plenty of power while retaining maturity and sustain. The E and A strings are brilliant and put out plenty of power. The treble side has good clarity and lays with ease of play because of the standard string length. Yes, the E string is bright but oh so sweet a sound. The entire sound is better than nice and will be very pleasing to many players. This instrument checks off many boxes: a classic look in a gorgeous deep reddish-brown varnish, European instrument, age, and powerful sound.