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Carlo Giuseppe Testore

(b c1665; d Milan, 1716)

Carlo Giuseppe Testore was a pupil of Giovanni Grancino and is considered the best maker of the Testore family. His instruments show strong similarities to those of his teacher. The back of the circa 1710 violin is reminiscent of the circa 1695 Grancino, but the fronts show Testore’s slightly less elegant f-holes, which are quite distinctive and

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Carlo Giuseppe Testore

Carlo Giuseppe Testore was a pupil of Giovanni Grancino and is considered the best maker of the Testore family. His instruments show strong similarities to those of his teacher. The back of the circa 1710 violin is reminiscent of the circa 1695 Grancino, but the fronts show Testore’s slightly less elegant f-holes, which are quite distinctive and seem to foreshadow Guarneri del Gesù.

Testore’s scrolls are also instantly recognizable. Their diagonal bulge is a distinctive characteristic of the work of all the members of the Testore family and is in stark contrast to the perfect symmetry of Grancino’s scrolls (compare the C.A. Testore violin scroll of circa 1755 with the Grancino violin scroll of circa 1700 and cello scroll of 1701.

As is the case with Grancino, Carlo Giuseppe Testore’s cellos are very highly prized, and the cello from 1690 is a particularly fine example. Here the wood of both front and back, the rich brown varnish, and the cut of the f-holes are much more akin to the work of his teacher, and this instrument makes a fascinating comparison with the 1693 Grancino cello featured in this archive.

Instruments by Carlo Giuseppe Testore