An Italian-American Violin by Giovanni Longiaru, 1912.
Giovanni Longiaru (1886-1970) was born in Pozzale, Italy, and first learned professional woodcraft in Venice before venturing into lutherie and violin making. His preliminary studies are ascribed to the mentorship of a man named Gottardo, but he also became an accomplished violinist, a graduate of the Venice Conservatory. From there, his ambitions took him to Cremona, where he learned violin craft from G.V. Pezzoni. Longiaru emigrated to the United States and established his shop in New York City in 1904.
Andrew Dipper credits him with producing at least 270 instruments by 1948, but Wenberg cites an output of fine craftsmanship numbering 210. He was awarded a gold medal for a violin at the Exposition Internationale in Liege, Belgium in 1926. Longiaru’s violins are a welcomed sight at auction houses and usually boast a retail price of $8,000-$10,000 in good, original condition.
With the exception of a repaired half inch fracture descending from the treble shoulder, there are otherwise no cracks or damages. The violin bears an interior label in the belly, dated 1912 and is Longiaru’s 110th violin. Having said that, this instrument was recovered from a shipwreck off the coast of Greece in the summer of 1958 and was subsequently restored and revarnished before arriving at Cohen Violins, where it was set up and optimally adjusted for tone and response.