16 1/2" Pierre Gaggini viola, Nice 1957
French-Italian luthier Pierre Gaggini (1903-2006) apprenticed in Nice, France with his uncle, celebrated maker Alberto Louis Blanchi (1871-1941), who inherited the combined French and Cremonese methods from his father, Augustin Blanchi (1828-1899) of the mid 19th century Piedmontese school. After fulfilling his military service in Paris between 1924 and 1927, Gaggini returned to Nice to continue working with Blanchi, producing various models before establishing his own workshop in 1934. Acclaimed and prolific over his long career, Gaggini won numerous awards for his instruments entered into international competitions between 1937 and the late 1950s, including honors for a quartet at The Hague in 1949, and first place gold medals for tone and workmanship at the Liège competition of 1954. In 1957, he was awarded the coveted title "Un Des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France."