Antiques and modern genoese instruments
T he origins of violin making in Genoa are rooted in the first half of the seventeenth century when the Guild of Instrument Makers was constituted; the members were mostly from the German area and they were actually luthe and guitar makers. Among them we can mention, Sebastian Angerer, Martin Heel, Hans Purkolzer, Andreas Statler.
The Eighteenth century represents the golden era for violin making in Genoa: around 1750 we count a good number of very active workshops that demonstrates an increasing demand of new instruments. Violin was getting very popular, and a sparkling musical activity was brewing over the city: that was the environment in which Niccolò Paganini grew up. The most important authors are Bernardo Calcagno, Davide Pizzorno, Jacopo Cordano, Giuseppe Cavaleri and Paolo Castello.
The turn of the century represented a very difficoult period for Genova and generally for northern Italy, as a result of the invasion acted by Napoleon.
The demand of new instruments fell down due also to the increasing exportation of cheaper items from France and Germany; the number of workshop was dramatically reduced and violinmakers mostly dedicated their activity to repair and restoration. The first makers in the Nineteenth century who contributed to mantain the tradition of violin making were Lodovico Rastelli and Antonio Gibertini; then we mention Nicolò Bianchi who may be considered as the father of modern genoese luthery. We reports the most important modern genoese authors: many of them are now highly considered in the violin trade for their creativity, for their unmistakable style, for their fine tonal features.