Jump to content
  • A Fine Oddone Violin in the March London Auction

    By Guest |

    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 Anglo–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 Anglo–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 –

    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 – 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.




    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

  • Create New...