A wonderfully beautiful 18th century Milanese violin labelled Joseph Antoni Finolli 1755.
Short violins like this are much sort after not only because they are well suited to people with small hands but also because a well made one can perform so well…and this one most certainly does.
This violin is individual and unique in every respect. The single piece back is absolutely stunning (no photograph can anywhere near do it justice), you will not find one more beautiful than this. I believe that the wood used for the back is beech wood, a quite commonly used alternative to maple by 18th century master makers.
It has that beautiful old type of sound and sonority that is characteristic of 18th century Italian violins. It has a nice mellowness without losing out on power and projection. The sound quality is wonderfully cohesive and outward flowing. It is a masterful piece of violinmaking.
Importantly it is in wonderful condition for its age with no cracks apparent. It has had a neck graft to put it into the modern configuration (which it should for its age). If this violin has one weakness, and it is purely a cosmetic one, it is that when it had the neck graft done the original scroll was not returned to the violin and the craftsmanship of the replacement does not match the beauty and elegance of the rest of the violin.
(It was common practice when early violins were having neck grafts for luthiers to chop of the scrolls of violins and just throw them into a pile. When the new neck was completed they would just pick up the first scroll to hand out of the pile and attach that. As a consequence you can find plenty of violins of this age with mismatching scrolls)
It is fitted with Piastro Obligato strings. Most commonly I use Evah Pirazzi but I always match strings on an individual basis with each violin and in this case the best results were achieved in my opinion with Obligato.