Ref :   0725

A fine Italian violin by
Lapo Casini di Serafino
(1863 - ca 1950)
Florence, 1925

Lapo Casini di Serafino was the oldest of this family of violin makers. He was born in 1863 and studied with Del Perugia from 1885 to 1900. Initially he was a guitar and mandolin maker, but after establishing himself in Florence in 1907 he concentrated on making violins. His first success was being awareded a Gold Medal at the annual Violin Exhibition in Milan, which established his name as a craftsman of high order. He lived and worked in Florence until 1940, aged 77, when he retired to Via Cernaia and left the running of the workshop to his son, Lapo Casini (b. 1896).

The French authority, René Vannes, describes Casini's work as 'finely crafted, with individualistic modelling, and with soft yellow-brown oil-based varnish of good resin.' Inasmuch as that is true of the majority of his instruments, he also deviated from that description to the extent that William Henley is less flattering about his work, but concedes that tonally Casini is always excellent. Casini's work varies from good, to very good, to excellent, to superb - never bad or mediocre. At times, it is true, he allowed some roughness to detract from his impeccable workmanship, but this is mostly the consequence of haste rather than lack of skill - a phenomenon that many important violinmakers were guilty of, right from Del Gesu through to Scarampella. Over the past two decades Casini's work has gained greatly in appreciation and value and has today achieved a respected standing in the landscape of Italian violin makers.

This violin - labeled, dated and signed by Casini - was made in 1925, with serial number 62. In it he deviates from his characteristic yellow-brown varnish in favor of a rich reddish colour - still oil-based and of excellent quality with high transparency, allowing the clear observation of the wood. The one-piece back, ribs, neck and scroll are of maple with a medium curl and mild flame. The top is of medium-grained tone-spruce of good quality. Arching is very flat, and corners are bold and strong. Its measurements fall within accepted norms.

This violin is in excellent condition, original in all its parts. The only discernable repair is to a crack in the top, running from the lower edge along the side of the tailpiece, but which stops far short of the bridge. The repair was professionally done and is stable.

This violin has been in the same family for many years and was only recently discovered to be an important instrument. It is well-toned.


Dimensions :
  Back length: 35.7 cm; Upper bout: 16.4 cm; Middle-bout: 11.0 cm; Lower bout: 20.3 cm

Condition :
  Very good condition. The only discernable repair is to a crack in the top running from lower edge along the tail piece, repaired professionally and cleated internally. No cracks around bridge or soundpost area. Structurally secure.

Provenance :

Price : P.O.A.


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