By the time he died in 1991, Giuseppe Lucci had earned world-wide respect and admiration as violin maker of a very high order. However, in the few years that followed his death, and more particularly in recent times, his true importance has come to the fore to the extent that he is today regarded as one of the most important Italian violin makers of the 20th century. The demand for his instruments have reached a point where it has become increasingly difficult to obtain a Lucci. Those who have them won't sell them, and those who sell them have a long line of buyers ready to buy at high prices. And so, as with most top-end makers, their instruments very seldom enter the open sales arena.
Giuseppe Lucci (1910-1991) was born in Bagnacavallo. He studied under Pietro Borghi at Modena. From 1940 onwards he worked in his native town, but he later on moved to Rome. In 1949 he won all the highest diplomas for a violin, a viola and a cello at the International Violin Making Competition in Cremona. Henley describes his workmanship as "superfine".
Other than bearing signed labels, his instruments are almost always branded above the tailpin and in the centre of the back, inside.
This violin, made in Rome in 1963, is in an extraordinarily good state of preservation and is a superb example of Lucci's mastery. The violin is virtually unused with absolutely no repairs or cracks in it. The only distracter in an otherwise flawless instrument is some minor scratches on the back along the edge, caused by a bad shoulder rest - this could be easily restored by a good craftsman.
The instrument was bought directly from Lucci by the previous owner, who soon afterwards began a career as viola player, setting this violin aside, almost never to be used - hence the really excellent state of preservation.
The top is of excellent tone spruce with a straight even medium grain and slight "bear's claw" flame - excellent material. The beautiful one-piece back, ribs, neck and scroll appear to be made from the same mildly flamed medium curled maple. Purfling is impeccable, the scroll nicely balanced and elegant, the f-holes are crisp and refined. What strikes one most about this violin is the unusually transparent varnish - of a beautiful reddish golden color - which allows one not only to see the wood clearly, but lets one see right into the wood - a rare quality in varnish and again showing the mastery of this maker.
As with all Lucci's instruments, this violin is very well-toned.
The current setup is recent, but the violin is sold with the original bridge and endpin by Lucci