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date: 25 August 2019

Balestrieri, Thomaslocked

  • Charles Beare

Extract

(fl Mantua, c1750–80). Italian violin maker. On his labels he called himself a Cremonese, but the surviving instruments were made in Mantua. The pattern and style of the best of his work draws much more from Cremona than from Mantua, and he may well have been trained in the first city before setting up on his own in the second. Some of his instruments show the influence of Camillus Camilli, his contemporary in Mantua. His best violins are of a flat Stradivarian model, giving a powerful sound that makes them sought after as solo instruments. He made a large number of violins and an occasional cello, but few, if any, violas. His varnish was often a dull red-brown colour and wore off easily, though sometimes he used an orange varnish of fine quality. (...

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