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About the maker

Raffaele, like his father Pietro Paolo Desideri, was originally from Ripatransone, a small town not far from Ascoli Piceno in the Marche region. He produced mainly stringed instruments and guitars, but also did restoration work.

The history

Raffaele was born in Ripatransone in 1797 and was the son of the luthier Pietro Paolo Desideri. Like his father, he was mainly a cabinetmaker, but he approached violin making through his father’s training. In the late 1830s, Raffaele moved to the city of Ascoli Piceno, where he continued his main activity alongside the production of instruments until his death in 1871 in Ascoli Piceno. More information on this maker can be found in our volume Makers of Central Italy.


Leonhard Florian, The Makers of Central Italy. Cremona: Edizioni Novecento, 2011.

Consistent quirks

The violin made by Raffaele Desideri in 1852 is an excellent example of his production, where several fundamental differences and similarities can be traced to his father’s instruments. Among the differences, we can see in this example that the head is not turned in as far as in his father’s instruments, and the back of the scroll’s volute is flatter. In addition, while this violin’s more S-like soundholes are narrower in overall span, Pietro Paolo’s are more narrowly cut, straighter, and stiffer in appearance.
Among the similarities, we see the outline and the construction of the corners, as well as the purfling mitres pointing to the centre of the corner, which indicates quite clearly that this instrument and those made by Raffaele’s father come from much the same stables.

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