Dmitry Gindin: Expert and consultant in fine stringed instruments

 

The Carletti family

Carlo Carletti was born in 1873 in Pieve di Cento, a small, charming Emilian town in the province of Bologna. He was the founder of the Carletti family of makers, which included his sons, Natale, Orfeo and Nullo, his nephew, Genuzio, and finally his grandson, Gabriele.

Initially a carpenter, furniture restorer and, it seems, antiques dealer, Carlo Carletti gradually became involved in violin making during the late-19th century, but also continued his earlier activity. Pieve di Cento, located some 30 km north of Bologna, placed the young Carlo within half a day's journey of the famous Raffaele Fiorini workshop, where he may well have learned the fundamentals of the craft during the mid-1890s; his early work is certainly similar in style to that of Fiorini and is sometimes wrongly attributed to the elusive work of that maker.

Though instruments from this early period are very rare, by the late 1890s he had become a fully fledged violin maker. Carlo, a few years senior to Augusto Pollastri and Ettore Soffritti, who both had an influence on his work, belonged to the generation of Italian violin makers that was responsible for the true renaissance of the craft before the First World War.

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