This violin mute was made by an unknown maker, undetermined provenance and date. It is a slip-on style mute, made of brass with 3 prongs.
This item was sold by Albert Moglie (b. December 16, 1890, Rome; d. June 9, 1988, Washington DC), instrument maker and restorer, and proprietor of a violin shop in Washington DC for 65 years from 1922 until 1987. At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to Antonio Sgarbi and subsequently worked under Luigi Enbergher, Giuseppe Rossi, and Rodolfo Fredi, all of Rome. Following these apprenticeships, Moglie was a student of Hippolyte Sylvestre in Paris and Leandro Bisiach in Milan.
Albert Moglie came to America at the age of 24 to work for the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company, first in Cincinnati and then New York City in 1916. By 1917 he had established his own shop in New York at 1431 Broadway. He moved to Washington DC in 1922.
Moglie enjoyed a fine reputation in Washington as a violin restorer and is especially remembered as the caretaker of the Gertrude Clark Whittall Stradivari quartet of instruments at the Library of Congress, an association that began in the 1930s and lasted more than 50 years.
The Smithsonian, National Museum of American History, Archives Center houses additional information on the life and career of Albert F. Moglie:
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