Our museum is temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Gagliano Violin

Gagliano Violin

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This violin was made by Ferdinand Gagliano in Naples, Italy around 1780. The violin retains its original, but reset neck. It bears a facsimile Gagliano label inserted by violin maker and restorer, Simone Saconi, in 1961. Ferdinand Gagliano built this instrument in a diminutive “7/8” size, probably like many other small instruments of the 18th century. The violin has an unusually large sound and in the 1950s it was frequently loaned by Rembert Wurlitzer (the New York authority and dealer) for important solo performances by young artists in New York City. Many students of Ivan Galamian played this violin in concert during their youth. The violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce, back of maple in one piece with faint horizontal figure prominent on the right side, ribs of similar maple, an original plain maple neck, pegbox and scroll, and golden orange varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Gagliano, Ferdinand
Place Made
Italy: Campania, Naples
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
overall: 23 in x 7 7/8 in x 3 7/8 in; 58.42 cm x 20.0025 cm x 9.8425 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object