Francesco Gobetti arrived in Venice in 1699. He began work as a shoemaker, the trade he had learned in Udine, and his continued activity in that sphere suggests that he learned to make violins at home. There is no evidence to suggest that he was employed in any of the major Venetian workshops, although the influence of Goffriller in his work is clear and not surprising, given Goffriller’s standing at the time. Gobetti’s instruments display a broad range of influences, the most common being Stainer and Stradivari. The Stainer-esque f-holes and high arch of the 1717 violin featured here are typical of his Stainer models.
Gobetti’s earliest instruments date from around 1705 and he probably worked until about 1720, but his activity was severely curtailed by bad health in 1717. It is probably no coincidence that this was the year of Carlo Tononi’s and Pietro Guarneri’s arrival in Venice to work for Matteo Sellas, and implies that Gobetti’s instruments may also have been sold by Sellas.
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