Omobono Stradivari was one of six children borne by Antonio Stradivari’s first wife, Francesca Feraboschi, and was the younger brother of Francesco. While Francesco was active in his father’s workshop from the late 1690s, Omobono spent much of his time away from Cremona, particularly in Naples. His business there seems to have been largely unrelated to violin making, but he did make instruments occasionally from about 1700 onwards.
Like his brother, Omobono is not considered the equal of Antonio in either craftsmanship or inspiration, but his work is nevertheless highly regarded. The 1732 violin featured here owes much to his father, of course, and makes an interesting comparison with the ‘Red Diamond’ of the same year on. The treble f-hole is set a little higher than the bass, a trait that is common in Antonio’s instruments from the 1730s, but the lesser quality of the materials and the lack of perfection in the finish of the scroll and f-holes betray Omobono’s hand.
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