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Paulo Antonio Testore violins


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#1 pipper

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 06:16 PM

Hello all. Could anyone offer information in regards to the violins of Paulo Antonio Testore? Was he for instance a prolific maker? I understand his violins were somewhat rough in craftmanship. Are they considered good instruments tonaly? Were many copies of his violins made and if so by whom and where?

#2 MANFIO

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 07:56 PM

Testore belongs to the Milanese school, which produced instruments that were less expensive than those produced in Cremona. Yes, they can be rough in craftmanship, they were made quickly. They can sound quite good. There are many many copies of them. Instruments must be evaluated individually because the model, wood, state of conservation, provenance etc. will have a huge influence in the price. If you are buying, ask for a good certificate.

#3 Ken Pollard

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 03:55 PM

While checking the Ventapane, noted by Violinfan in another thread, at the Skinner auction, I happened upon this one --

P.A. Testore

Even showing the flat-backed pegbox. Respectable estimate, too.

#4 pipper

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:18 PM

I have what is apparently a Paulo Antonio Testore violin very similar to that illustrated on the Skinners auctions site. Is there any way of verifying authenticity or is a professional appraisal always necessary? Were his violins consistant in quality (or lack thereof) as mine appears considerably "rougher" than that shown. Also the wood seems to be of inferior quality and the f -holes have very large bottom holes and are somewhat asymetrical. The back of the scroll is uncarved and there is a v-shaped indentation or stamp on the upper back. Just curious.

#5 fiddlecollector

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 04:43 AM

The quality of Testore violins in general are all over the place ,the better ones often have purfling which is real but many have scribed ink purfling on the back at least.The one on skinners site looks like a better quality Paulo Testore compared to some ive seen.

#6 ~ Ben Conover

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 12:47 PM

Players like Yuri Bashmet consider a viola that sounds good to be a good viola, so he plays a short but wide Testore.
These days a modern Testore would not win medals for his neatness, but a player is not concerned with that generally. As a maker he didn't bother to flute the back of his scrolls, his purfling is often very rough, and his f holes quite rough. To copy his work ? Don't know, but Testore violins are LOUD.
I'd be interested to know the general thicknesses of his violin plates.

Carlo is better known :
http://www.google.ie...nVn-tJQ&cad=rja

Bashmet and his Paulo Antonio Testore :


#7 skiingfiddler

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 01:41 PM

Is there any way of verifying authenticity or is a professional appraisal always necessary?


As the price on the Skinner Testore illustrates, the certifiable maker of an instrument is an important component of price. The fact that the maker is a known maker from mid 18th century Italy may be at the very top of the list of qualities which determine price, and the actual quality of the instrument, in some objective sense, while not completely irrelevant, may be secondary to the maker's name a recognized and highly regarded expert can place on the fiddle.

So, the short answer to your question is: If you want to sell your instrument as a genuine Testore and if you are expecting to get the price that a genuine Testore might fetch, then you will need an appraisal by a recognized, well regarded, professional appraiser, whose reputation is at least national if not international. Whatever the unknown, neighborhood violin tech may tell you -- be it ever so accurate and, in fact, true -- is pretty much irrelevant.

So, if someone, here, on Maestronet could given you a list of genuine Testore features by which you could unmistakably identify a Testore, then you would become the expert, and you'll have to decide how much weight your opinion carries, nationally or internationally.

By the way, any half way decent copyist/forger would have that same list of genuine Testore features and would put them into any instrument he were trying to pass off as a "genuine" Testore.

After seeing Testores in the hands of college students back in the 1960s, I am not yet used to the idea of treating Testores as prized, rare instruments. But it looks like that's where we are now.
Caveat lector!

#8 Craig Tucker

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 01:53 PM

After seeing Testores in the hands of college students back in the 1960s, I am not yet used to the idea of treating Testores as prized, rare instruments. But it looks like that's where we are now.



If it is nothing else, it is an *interesting* game, isn't it?

 ... Another pleasant valley Sunday,

Here in status symbol land.


#9 ~ Ben Conover

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 02:45 PM

''After seeing Testores in the hands of college students back in the 1960s, I am not yet used to the idea of treating Testores as prized, rare instruments. But it looks like that's where we are now. ''

They used to be affordable to students, now they are not generally.
Even 20 years ago a student with a Testore would have been the exception.
It raises the interesting question of what IS 'affordable' / desirable to a gifted student.

#10 baroquecello

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 04:24 PM

Roger Hargrave made a beautiful Testore copy. My girlfriend played on both the original and the copy (both owned by the same violinist) and sais both are fantastic violins. In fact, she is constantly complaining that she doesn't have the money to buy the copy (doesn't wanna think about the original). Here is the Hargrave copy: http://www.roger-har...ore/Testore.htm

#11 violinfan

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:58 AM

A couple of recent sales of P.A. Testore violins at Sotheby's:

http://www.sothebys....live_lot_id=127

http://www.sothebys....live_lot_id=174




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