Born in Porporeo, Parma, in 1835, Melegari was introduced to violin making by Enrico Rocca, who he met as a dockyard worker in Genoa. From around 1873 he worked briefly with his elder brother Pietro (chiefly a maker of guitars), as ‘Fratelli Melegari’ in Turin, and the name continued to be used on the labels after Pietro’s death in 1874. Initially located at 20 via Belfiore, the shop moved to 4 via Po, where they were neighbours of Antonio Guadagnini. A prolific maker, Melegari’s work is quite uneven, and loosely based on Cremonese models, with both red and yellow-brown varnishes. Some examples are branded on the lower rib, Melegari.
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