Paolo Grancino

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By George Hart

Pupil of Niccolo Amati. The Grancino family, as makers of Violins, commence with this maker, and occupy a similar position, as followers of the Amati pattern, to that of the Gagliani as imitators of Stradivari. Paolo Grancino was pupil of Niccolo Amati. There is noticeable in his instruments that gradual development of ideas which is always associated with the true artist. His early works bear the stamp of the mere copyist; later on the borrowed plumes are less apparent, the dictates of his own fancy are discoverable, but never to such an extent as to permit him to be classed with Stradivari, Bergonzi, and Guarneri, as striking out into entirely untrodden paths. His Violoncellos are particularly fine instruments; his Violas also are worthy of notice. The wood he used was varied, but is, for the most part, plain. It is curious to observe how various centres of Violinmaking ran upon different qualities of wood. In Venice the handsomest wood was used, in Milan and Naples the plainest. The commercial importance of Venice would, of course, draw to it the largest selection of wood, and thus permit the second and third-rate makers to use it, and at the same rate, probably, that a less handsome material would cost the makers of cities further off. The scroll of Paolo Grancino has a very decisive character; it is quite distinct from that of the Amatis. From the ear of the scroll the turn is rapidly made, and has an elongated appearance. His best Violoncellos surpass those of Amati in volume of tone, and the quality is often very rich.

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