1759 jeanne lamon santo serafin violin

ca. 1759 Jeanne Lamon Santo Serafin violin

This beautiful instrument was created by a great Italian violin maker, Sanctus Seraphin (a.k.a. Santo Serafin). Born in Udine, in 1699, Seraphin most likely apprenticed with Francesco Goffriller. His pattern and style of making were mostly inspired by the Amati model, which was created in Cremona more than century earlier. Seraphin was soon to be ranked as the most refined and delicate of makers in Venice and was quickly copied by makers of the day, as his shop was privileged to have patrons of wealth and influence. He died in Venice, in 1776.

Overall, the violin is in a very good state of preservation. It was converted from a modern setup back to the original Baroque-style* neck length, shape, and angle. It was fitted with a period-style fingerboard, bass bar, bridge, tailpiece and strings, thereby allowing the player and audience to hear and experience the true voice of the Baroque period. Its two-piece back has a strong, narrow figure ascending slightly from the centre joint. The ribs are of matching material. The scroll has a faint, medium-width figure. The two-piece top, of narrow grain, widens at the flanks and displays faint hazeling. The varnish is a light golden brown over amber.

The story of this violin is interwoven not only with that of its maker, but also with that of a great violin player. Jeanne Lamon (August 14, 1949 – June 20, 2021) was an American Canadian violinist and conductor who took on the restoration of the violin in 1993. In 1981, she was named music director for the Tafelmusik, which became “one of the world’s top Baroque orchestras” under three decades of her stewardship. Her outstanding leadership, impassioned dedication to training other artists and commitment to the values of collaboration, inclusion and artistic excellence have touched the lives of many. Lamon was recognized with the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

*Note: Recipients will be required to maintain the Baroque setup.

Donor: Christina Mahler
Acquired: 2023


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