Bernardo Calcagni (1680-1756) is considered the leading maker of the 18th century Genoese school, active in Genoa in the first half of the 18th century. He was greatly inspired by the Cremonese craftsmanship, following basic principles of design of Stradivari, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù and Guadagnini. The majority of his backs are in one piece. The sound holes were carefully cut into elegant shapes, with strong attention paid to their symmetry. The varnish is mostly red-orange or reddish-brown in colour. Calcagni was the finest Genoese maker of the 18th century and his instruments were widely appreciated. Some of his violin labels were replaced by the dealers with the Guadagnini ones for a potentially higher selling price.
The violin made by Bernardo Calcagni aournd 1750-60 is a representative piece of the maker. It demonstrates Guadagnini’s style of the Parma period. The craftsmanship is meticulous, and the materials are well-chosen. The varnish is in a warm brown colour. Its sound is robust and penetrating but without losing all its nuances. The violin is a beloved piece of soloists.