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Nemessányi, Samuel locked

  • Jaak Liivoja-Lorius
  •  and Philip J. Kass


(b Liptószentmiklós, Slovakia, Dec 1, 1837; d Budapest, Hungary, March 5, 1881). Hungarian violin maker. He received his training from Johann Baptist Schweitzer and Thomas Zach in Pest and Anton Sitt in Prague. He established himself in Pest in 1863 and can be regarded as the best Hungarian maker of his time. His preference was the Guameri ‘del Gesù’ model, less often that of Stradivari, and he is reputed to have made a copy after Maggini. He imitated age in his copies, most of which probably bore his original labels; passing years have imparted a genuine look of age, and the practice of changing labels has caused many of his copies to remain in circulation as ‘old Italians.’ He occasionally used the brand ‘N S’, but this has also been imitated. Nemessányi often used one-piece tables and worked out a comparatively successful system of varnishing; although alcohol-based, the varnish possesses a softness which quite belies this. Nemessányi’s rather dissolute life brought him to an untimely death. He is believed to have made only about 60 violins, four violas, and seven cellos....

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