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Giofreffo Cappa

Until recently, Gioffredo Cappa was generally believed to have been a pupil of Enrico Catenari, but current scholars consider this unlikely. What is clear from his work is that he was heavily influenced by the Amatis, the leading violin makers of his day. In the 19th century Cappa was thought to have been an Amati pupil, and this goes some way to explain the frequency of Amati labels in Cappa’s instruments.

In Cappa’s early work the ribs are often set into the back in the style of the Dutch and Flemish makers of the time. His later instruments, however, owe a distinct debt to Cremona, although they seldom match the refinement of Cremonese work.

The theory that he was assisted in his later years by two apprentices, Spirito Sorsana and Giovanni Francesco Celoniati, is contradicted by the work of those two makers, which bears little resemblance to Cappa’s style.

Giofreffo Cappa

(b Saluzzo, 1644; d 1717)

Until recently, Gioffredo Cappa was generally believed to have been a pupil of Enrico Catenari, but current scholars consider this unlikely. What is clear from his work is that he was heavily influenced by the Amatis, the leading violin makers of his day. In the 19th century Cappa was thought to have been an Amati pupil, and this goes some way to explain the frequency of Amati labels in Cappa’s instruments.

In Cappa’s early work the ribs are often set into the back in the style of the Dutch and Flemish makers of the time. His later instruments, however,... Read more

Instruments for sale in our Private Sales

A violin by Gioffredo Cappa

Saluzzo, circa 1715

The great collector and connoisseur Count Cozio di Salabue was a great admirer of Gioffredo Cappa of Saluzzo, a fellow Piedmontese. Cozio had encountered Cappa's work early in his career,... read more

A violin by Gioffredo Cappa

Saluzzo, circa 1715

The great collector and connoisseur Count Cozio di Salabue was a great admirer of Gioffredo Cappa of Saluzzo, a fellow Piedmontese. Cozio had encountered Cappa's work early in his career, and it had made a strong impression. He described him as one of the main disciples of the Amatis and their best imitator; he went so far as to include Cappa in his list of Cremonese makers in his History of Violin Making. This example of Cappa’s work is certainly of very high quality, and fully evokes the Amati style. The sound is crystal clear, focused and powerful whilst providing the player with a wide range of colours.

Instruments we have sold by this maker

Articles

A violin by Gioffredo Cappa

26 February 2019 - Dilworth, John

  The great collector and connoisseur Count Cozio di Salabue was a great admirer of Gioffredo Cappa of Saluzzo, a fellow Piedmontese, whose work he had encountered early in his career, and made a strong impression. He described him as... Read more

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