Valentino de Zorzi
De Zorzi was born in Vittorio Veneto (province of Treviso), where he passed his childhood and youth. A volunteer in the army of Giuseppe Garibaldi, he fought for Italian independence. He then worked in Bologna after 1861 as a carpenter for the army and in 1880 moved to Pistoia (a town about 40km west of Florence), where he began working as a blacksmith and cabinetmaker. At the same time, already in his 40s, he was making his first known and recognisable instruments, which reveal a developed knowledge, the source of which is as of yet unknown. Although some of his work shows an affinity to the work of Giuseppe Sgarbi (see p. 312), it is assumed that he had been a self-taught maker already in the 1870s, prior to his arrival in Pistoia, putting him in the ranks of the earliest and most interesting of the modern Italian makers.