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The early Turin makers pt.1 - Fabrizio Senta
On November 23, 2019
by Raphael Hurwitz
Fabrizio Senta
1629-1681 View this Item
Fabrizio Senta (1629-1681) was a native of the Piedmont region of northern-Italy, bordering with France. One of the earliest Turin makers, his work is often mistaken for Celoniatus and Catenari, but retains a certain individuality and rarity that sets his work apart.
According to Philip J. Kass, it was during the 30 Years War (1618–48) that the first musical instrument makers arrived in this region, settling in Turin and predominantly manufacturing lutes and guitars - hence their title of Chittarieri. Not much is written about Senta's life, some books going as far as to only point out that he isn't somebody of a similar name. However, about his work, we know a few things:

Senta was one of the first Chittarieri to begin making violins, and whilst broadly copying the Amati model, he and the others in the region employed a lot of the techniques from guitar-making. These include setting the ribs into channels in the back of the instrument and constructing the neck and top-block out of a single piece.

Amatisé work. Slightly occluded golden-brown varnish of very fine quality. - John Dilworth

At some point in its life, the ribs and scroll were changed, a rather unusual happening which we do not understand! The work of whichever maker made the ribs and scroll is beautiful and highly characteristic of good Parisian work. Some have guessed that it could have been through the Vuillaume workshop, and that the table and back were perhaps something that Vuillaume bought from someone in a job lot. We’ll never know!