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Fine English violin, school of Vincenzo Panormo, circa 1800
Fine English violin, school of Vincenzo Panormo, circa 1800
Provenance: London
Maker: Vincenzo Panormo school
Length of back: 35.5 cm
Year: approx. 1800
Tone: warm, large, rounded
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Fine English violin, school of Vincenzo Panormo, circa 1800

This fine English violin is an arrestingly beautiful instrument which can easily hold its own against the finest Italian pieces of the late 18th century. In the course of its history, it has also been sold as an Italian violin on more than one occasion: an inventory number on the fingerboard confirms that it hails from the highly-esteemed London workshop W. E. Hill & Sons in whose their books it is listed as an Italian violin by Neapolitan master Lorenzo Ventapane. This attribution has a certain element of veracity to it; in our opinion, the instrument is of the Panormo school, an Italian family of violin makers in London. The most prominent family member, Vincenzo Panormo, helped elevate English violin making to the heights achieved in Paris around the turn of the 19th century. He completed his training in Naples, probably under Nicola Gagliano, which places him in the same circles where the young Ventapane is thought to have travelled. The delicate elegance of this slender model with low ribs and a flat table has a spectacularly lovely character, not only because of the gentle flames of the two-piece maple back with its extremely rare irregularity. The interplay of light and colour on this tone wood has developed its stupendous and distinctive aesthetic under the milky coat of highly-transparent and luminous golden varnish. The acoustic qualities of this exceptional violin were not in any way affected by the few minor repairs that were made to the body, scroll and peg box. It was set up at our workshop and made ready to play, and this highly interesting violin is worthy of our special recommendation. Its sound is compelling with its warm, large sound.

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