Vincenzo II Postiglione
The early career of Vincenzo Postiglione (1835–1916) as a violin maker took place during the final and most eventful 15 years of the Risorgimento (the unification of Italy) – a complex, turbulent and often bloody process, with an aftermath that devastated the once-opulent city of Naples. When Naples joined the new Italian kingdom in 1861, a huge sum was extracted from the banks of the previous state, known as the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, as a contribution to the new Italian treasury, causing a collapse in the region's economy. The first decade of the newly unified kingdom saw savage civil wars in Sicily and the Naples region. Between 1834 and 1884 Naples endured no fewer than 12 epidemics of cholera and typhoid fever, causing the death of some 48,000 people. All this led to an unprecedented wave of migration, with an estimated four million people leaving the area between 1876 and 1913.
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