Andrea Postacchini - Luthier

PARTICULARITY: “the Angel of Violin” - “the Marche’s Stradivarius”

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May 1997

Brief notes on life and work of Andrea Postacchini by Claudio Giovalé with the participation of the Cassa di Risparmio di Fermo Foundation

Download the PDF file of the publication

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Sheet of the portrait of Andrea Postacchini from the catalogue of the Municipal Art Gallery of Fermo

Of humble origins, Andrea son of Amico Postacchini was born in 1786. Before embarking on a career as a lute-maker he wore clerical habits, which he left at 28 years of age when he decided to start a family. After a mediocre beginning, he improved his technique referring to models from Cremona and becoming soon one of the greatest masters of Italian lutherie of the nineteenth century. His production is characterized by a certain stylistic versatility, due to different times and clients, mainly distributed in Senigallia and in the Fermo area. In 1869 the jury of the Agricultural and industrial Exhibition of Fermo rewarded the work of the lute-maker approaching his violins to those of Antonio Stradivari, which explains the reason that he was awarded with the honorary title of "Stradivari of the Marches”. He fabricated the whole series of the string quartet (violin, viola, cello and double bass) and according to the memoirs of the period he was excellent also in the creation of guitars and mandolins, and in the manufacture of bows (Giovalè 1997). The municipality of Fermo has named after the lute-maker a street in the St. Katherine district and the house where he lived and worked wears this sign: "In this house lived the lute-maker of national renown Andrea Postacchini - MDCCCLXXXVIII-MDCCCLII " (even if the date of birth is wrong because it is 1781 and not 1788).

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September 1869

Diploma and…

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…Bronze Medal

Property of the Antiqua Marca Firmana Cultural Centre

Assigned to "Andrea Postacchini and Sons" by the Competence Commission, appointed by the Sorter Commission, of the Agricultural Industrial and Artistic Provincial Exhibition held in Fermo in September 1869 with 486 exhibitors.

The sons of Andrea Postacchini participated in the Class VIII. Industry and Special Manufactures, Art. III. (precision works, watches, geometric tools and of the metric system, musical instruments) with two violins of the lute-maker died in 1862, "worked in imitation of those of Antonius Stradiverius", as mentioned in the catalogue of the Exhibition, still preserved in the Civic Library "Romolo Spezioli" of Fermo.

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Precious objects

from left to right

Purse embroidered by one of the sisters of the luthier Andrea Postacchini and miniature instruments (guitar and mandolin attributable to the artistic creativity of the luthier from Fermo) in ivory, mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell

(Donation from private collection to Fermo Civic Library, which we would like to thank for allowing to publish the image)

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Mr. Fabio Chiari luthier
via Cafiero n. 20
50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI)

30th May 2016

Dear ANTIQUA MARCA FIRMANA Cultural Centre
Regarding the recipe of “Postacchini” paint that I had the pleasure of donating to your Cultural Center during the 23rd edition of the Postacchini Prize, I would like to add other details regarding its discovery. The sheet in question was tied with a metal clip to a letter in headed paper "Giacomo and Leandro Bisiach luthiers Milan" found in 1998 among the materials belonged to the great Tuscan luthier Igino Sderci and of which we came into possession with the acquisition of the whole laboratory of the luthier Mino da Fiesole last pupil of Igino Sderci. The letter, dated January 2, 1936 - XIV, begins like this: Dear Igino, as we promised you in our postcard I am sending you some notes that we adopt for the painting of the instruments...
The original letter includes two 22x28 sheets and is written entirely by hand, the handwriting is the same as that of the page with the formula now in your possession. Unfortunately I can not let you have the complete correspondence since it also contains other information that can not be made public; hoping that you will appreciate what I have done and renewing my willingness to collaborate with you at every level for the enhancement and relaunch of lutherie in central Italy, best regards,
Fabio Chiari

Note from the Cultural Center: despite the present impossibility of verify the reliability of the document exposed here (Recipe Postacchini Paint), we are pleased to propose it to stimulate further information that may confirm or not what was given us as a gift by Master luthier Fabio Chiari.