Sold with a photocopy of the certificate of Hamma & Co., Stuttgart, dated 17th January 1977.
His work is characterised by fastidious craftsmanship, a trait not so common amongst Venetian makers, and a well-regulated model following Amati patterns. He seems to have enjoyed extending the more decorative elements of the scroll and purfling into discreet displays of skill and markers of his own personal hand, with elements of technique that are not found in other makers’ work. Almost invariably, his instruments are clothed in beautifully applied rich red varnish that is a shared feature of most Venetian makers.
This cello of circa 1741 from the Rostropovich collection is a very rare gem. The makers in Venice, a well-supplied centre of eighteenth century trade, do seem to have had an enviable choice of materials, and the wood and varnish are quite breathtaking in quality. What is striking about the form is how much it resembles a scaled-up violin rather than a cello, with long and very elegant corners that almost seem a little out of proportion. The soundholes are distinctively slender, with relatively small finial circles, and it is in the scroll that Serafin’s clearest signature can be discerned, in the tightly controlled spiral extending slightly further behind the eye than is common. From the distinctively ornate printed label to the vibrantly coloured varnish, this cello is a singular piece of superb and flamboyant craftsmanship.
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