It is known that John D’Angelico, the most revered maker of carved-top guitars ever to have lived, started out by learning to make mandolins from his uncle, Raphael Ciani, here in the Little Italy neighborhood of New York City, sometime in the early 1920s. D’Angelico of course went on to world-wide acclaim for the magnificent guitars and occasional carved-top mandolins he made on his own, starting in the early 1930s, but an early violin made by him has never appeared before this one. It was brought into my shop, for sale, about thirty years ago and has been in my possession ever since. It has a paper label inside marked "John D'Angelico Fecit anno Domini 1927 Op. 2”, and on the underside of the top is his signature reading "John D'Angelico New York 1927 Op. 2”, hand written in ink. JOHN D’ANGELICO is also stamped in tiny letters into both sides of the bridge, an unusual and very nice additional touch.
I knew John D’Angelico, spent time in his workshop in the early-mid 1960s, where I got to know him, was befriended by him, was given certain guitar-making related items by him, and was taught a few things by him as someone he perceived as being a young up and coming craftsman in this field, and as far as I know am one of only two people in our part of the music business alive today who did spend personal time with him, the other being the great guitar maker John Monteleone. Decades after D'Angelico died I had the opportunity to acquire much of the contents of his workshop; peghead and pickguard patterns, drawings, letters and other papers, mother-of-pearl “D’Angelico New York” logo peghead inlays and much more. In 2011, the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York put on an exhibit called “GUITAR HEROES - Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York”, consisting of the work of the three great Italian-American guitar makers of this city: D’Angelico, James D’Aquisto, and John Monteleone, and the Museum asked me to loan them this D’Angelico violin for the exhibit as the only known example to exist, along with displaying my collection of his patterns, etc.
This important and unique instrument is being offered, along with a bow and its original case. $75,000 w/ohsc
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