Gagliano Violin

Description (Brief)
This violin was made by Nicolo Gagliano, in Naples, Italy in 1750. Nicolo Gagliano worked in the period around 1740-1780(?) and was the eldest son of Alessandro (ca. 1640-1730), founder of the Gagliano family of violin makers in Naples. Nicolo usually worked quite neatly on a model based on that of Stradivari. This instrument bears unusually high archings, but is characteristically finely finished with delicate attention to the clean lines of the f-holes and purfling. Typical for instruments of the Gagliano family, this violin by Nicolo has poplar purfling in the center strip, with outer adjacent strips of black paper (instead of wood) to complete the traditional purfling three piece composite. The violin also bears a delicately chamfered scroll with fine detail and ears of extended length. This violin is made of a table of spruce in two pieces of dissimilar wood of fine to medium broad grain with mild figure, back of maple in one piece cut on the quarter with even medium figure ascending to the left, ribs of similar maple cut on 45o, grafted maple neck terminating in an original maple pegbox and scroll with medium fine figure, and a semi-transparent yellow-brown varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Gagliano, Nicolo
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
overall: 23 1/2 in x 8 7/16 in x 3 7/8 in; 59.69 cm x 21.43125 cm x 9.8425 cm
Place Made
Italia: Campania, Naples
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
George Frideric Handel. Seven Concerti Grossi, Op. 3
Additional Media

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