Why Banners are Important: Hang ‘em High How to leave a banner impression ...
One of the star lots in our March 2011 London auction is a Turin violin
by Carlo Giuseppe Oddone. Tarisio asked violin expert and author Dmitry
Gindin to write about this particularly well preserved example.
See the complete article and additional photographs here:
Carlo Giuseppe Oddone (1866 - 1935) began learning his trade at a very
young age in the workshop of Benedetto Gioffredo 'Rinaldi', working
there from about 1880 until Rinaldi's death in 1888. In 1889 he moved to
work for Frederick William Chanot in London. Working at a
well-established Angloâ€“French workshop gave the young man a clear
advantage over many of his countrymen, most of whom lacked the
opportunity to examine fine violins: restoring and setting up old
Italian instruments gave him first-hand knowledge of their models and
styles; and interaction with Chanot and other French makers surely
prompted the perfectionism that later would become evident in his own
Oddone returned to Turin in 1892 and began making instruments
substantially influenced by the Angloâ€“French style then so prevalent in
England. European taste at that time was partial to the work of
Vuillaume, Gand, Georges Chanot and Bernardel, and Oddone used his taste
and talent to fuse these influences into a convincing Piedmontese model.
During these experimental final years of the 19th century he
collaborated with the well-established Rinaldi and Guadagnini workshops,
while producing some of his most inspired personal work in the very last
years of the century for his own account. By the turn of the 20th
century his experiments had yielded a superb and innovative model to
which he more or less adhered throughout his career.
This fine 1905 example comes from the middle of Oddone's 'golden
period', which lasted from approximately 1898 to 1915. This meticulously
made violin boasts all the characteristics associated with Oddone's
mature work. It is made on his own model, which is a successful fusion
of influences of the earlier Italian makers that Oddone idolized â€“
Stradivari for the overall impact and soundhole model, and Guadagnini
and Rocca for the broad and flat arching that promises a powerful and
even tone. The purfling, very carefully inlaid with its two
characteristically narrow strips, is set rather close to the edge and
ends abruptly at the somewhat elongated, squarish corners.
The head is especially characteristic: the stout pegbox is outlined by a
black chamfer; the strong, round volute is built without hesitation and
contributes to the overall feeling of power to the instrument; it is
moderately deeply carved and has a pronounced centre 'eye'. Particular
attention is paid to the edges, the workmanship of which is reminiscent
of English and French work of the period â€“ quite square and perfectly
The symmetrically constructed button adds a touch of elegance to the
otherwise austere outline. Oddone chose a stunningly flamed maple for
the back, sides and scroll and an even-grained spruce for the top, and
the varnish is a transparent, lustrous orange, generously applied.