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date: 21 February 2020

Albani, Mathias locked

  • Charles Beare
  • , revised by Patrizio Barbieri


(b St Nikolaus in Kaltern, March 28, 1621; d Bolzano [Bozen], Feb 7, 1712). Tyrolean violin maker, mainly active in Bolzano. In 1665–6 he worked in Rome for the luthiers Martin Artz (1665) and Andrea Portoghese (1666). Later he might have had his own workshop there, according to a violin labelled ‘Matthias Albano fece in Roma 1668’. In 1697 two Albani violins were inventoried among the four left by the Roman Carlo Mannelli (known as ‘del violino’); in the same year, again in Rome, the violinist and composer John Ravenscroft left five violins, all by ‘Mattheo Albon’.

Many violins, mostly of ordinary 18th-century German manufacture, bear false Albani labels, and his name was for a long time misused by unscrupulous dealers. Albani did not marry until 1671, and since after his death his two sons, Michael and Joseph, made instruments, it is possible that they were partly or almost entirely responsible for much of the work supposed to be by their father. In any case, the Albani influence was strong among 18th-century Tyrolean makers, especially on the Jais family of Bolzano and on Mayr and his fellow members of the Salzburg school. Albani in Bolzano, Joannes Tononi in Bologna, and Kaiser and Goffriller in Venice all emerged in northeastern Italy in the later 17th century, but it is not known who taught whom....

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