- Jaak Liivoja-Lorius
- , revised by Philip J. Kass
Italian family of violin makers. Its most important member was Eugenio Degani (b Montagnana, Italy, 4 April 1842; d Venice, Italy, 22 May 1901), who studied with his father, Domenico Degani (1820–87) and perhaps also with Gaetano Chiocchi in Padua; he worked in Montagnana from 1867 and moved to Venice in 1888. He won awards at numerous expositions between 1872 and 1894. In 1898 his son and pupil Giulio Ettore Degani (b Montagnana, Italy, 15 Sept 1875; d Dillonvale, OH, 21 May 1959) joined the business, which then became known as Degani e Figlio. A third maker, Eugenio’s nephew and pupil Giovanni Schwarz (b Padua, Italy, 18 June 1865; d Venice, Italy, 20 Nov 1953), was also closely involved in the Venice workshop.
Eugenio Degani is considered the founder of the modern Venetian school of violin making. His instruments are very well made, showing scrupulous craftsmanship. Whether based on his personal model or free interpretations of the great 18th-century models, his instruments possess a strong degree of individuality. The edges of his outlines, f-holes and scrolls are often flared, forming a distinctive ridge. Most of his violins are as long as 36 cm, and sometimes slightly longer. On many instruments, he inlaid a five-ply purfling adopted from Chiocchi. The varnish ranges from yellow-brown to orange- or red-brown. Tonally his instruments are clear and strong....