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Gasparo da Salo

Gasparo da Salo is the name used by Gasparo Bertolotti (1542-1609), who was born at Salo on Lake Garda, Brescia, Italy. A dedicated craftsman, he was formerly credited with having developed the violin in the shape we now know it. Although this claim is now disproved, his instruments are nevertheless admired and venerated. He is considered to be the founder of the Brescian school of violin makers.

His violas are considered finer than his violins and were probably more numerous. His viola da gambas were converted to violoncellos and are much esteemed; and some six-stringed bass viols have been remounted as three-and four-stringed double basses. About twenty noteworthy instruments are recorded.

The body length of his violins is about 13 7/8"; violas, 16 5/16". The varnish is toast- or golden-brown with reddish tint and is magnificently transparent and elastic.

Typical labels: GASPARO DA SALO



Other violin makers and violin making families: Amati, Bergonzi, Duiffopruggar, Gagliano, Glass, Guarneri, Hopf, Klotz, Maggini, Ruggieri, Stainer, Stradivarius, Vuillaume

Authentication and Appraisal of Violins

Prepared by the Division of Music, Sports and Entertainment
in cooperation with Public Inquiry Services, Smithsonian Institution

PIMS/Mus22/rev 9-97


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