Antonio Gragnani, fl c. 1765-1795

Antonio Gragnani (1741-1800) lived in a city near the ocean called Livorno. Gragnani was an outstanding luthier who continued the majestic-looking violins of Nicolo Amati. He is also the first Italian known to have used whole bone black purfling. The arches of the plates are not very prominent. The scrolls are exquisitely carved, and the purfling is made with the utmost accuracy. Gragnani’s f-holes, however, are longer than Amati’s, and his varnishes are golden yellow or yellowish red, the latter of which is of the best quality. The timbre of his instruments is very full and wet, and the sound is transmitted very well. Unfortunately, he was inconsistent in his selection of wood.