A Violin After Bergonzi Attributed To Dario D’Attili, 1961
This violin after Bergonzi was made in the Wurlitzer shop in 1961, a personal commission by the late Johnny Violin, a collector and fiddler of some renown, and arrived with photocopies of its original purchase order from the shop which also includes the purchase of and repair estimate for a Geissenhof violin. Johnny Violin was also a regular visitor to Severin Shurger and Duffy’s, who serviced and maintained the fiddler’s collection in Florida until 2011.
There is a personal inscription attributing the violin to the famed Dario D’Attili on the underside of the top in the upper treble bout. Having said that, aside from the pattern, which seems to be built using one of Sacconi’s forms, the antiquing is highly unusual and virtually unrepresented in the output of D’Attili. As such, it seems that the violin was made custom for our fiddler, but casts a shadow of uncertainty to those who know D’Attili’s work well. It is a fine violin with a striking appearance and a back length of 352mm, making it ideal for a violinist with smaller hands seeking an extra edge in facilitation, and boasts a clear, powerful sound with a complex color palette. Currently equipped with a freshly carved bridge from our personal stock, an ornate tailpiece, with a titanium tailgut and matching tuner, and Evah Pirazzi strings.
Dario D’Attili (1922-2004) was born in Rome and emigrated to New York with his family in 1935. At the bequest of Sacconi, D’Attili began an apprenticeship with Venetian-American, Jago Paternella after joining the Emil Hermann workshop at the age of 15. He was proportedly unpaid for his work that year and then began working more closely with and under the tutorage of Sacconi, a collaboration that continued into the auspices of Rembert Wurlitzer when the Hermann shop closed in 1951. After Rembert’s sudden death in 1963, D’Attili became the general manager of the shop, with Hans Nebel assuming the role of foreman in 1968. The artisans and experts of Wurlitzer dispersed when its doors closed for the last time in 1974. D’Attili moved to Florida and then formally retired in 1997, where he lived until his death in 2004. He was a founding member of both the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers and the Violin Society of America and is still regarded fondly as one of the preeminent experts of the 20th century.