Violoncello piccolo by Giovanni Francesco Leonporri

Italy, ca. 1700

Catalog 60. Violoncello piccolo – by Giovanni Francesco Leonporri, 18th C.

Although this jolly item deftly defies classification, this remarkable creation of unleashed Italian fantasy has so much personallity, so much individuality, that it earned the unqualified approval and praises of Charles Beare. The back was made from the roots of the tree: the Italian makers made use of everything at their disposal! Four wings were added to the upper and lowerflanks. In addition, the veritable caricatures of the f-holes, the very broad and bold purfling put this maverick in its own class. In fact, the cello confronts us with the question: Why adhere to the rules when you can easily break them?

Because of its small size the cello one could not resist the temptation to fit it with five strings in the manner of the violoncello piccolo. The enchanting sound of this instrument makes it ideal for the performance of the 6th Suite by Johann Sebastian Bach and the many virtuoso Italian works for the violoncello piccolo.

Body length 689 mm
Upper width
324 mm
Middle width 220 mm
Lower width 429 mm
Rib height 114 mm
String length 677 mm