Marvelous Mozzani!
The Incredible Harp Guitars of Luigi Mozzani
by Gregg Miner

Chapter 2: The Workshop-Schools

 

The specifics of the various incarnations of Mozzani's laboratorio / scuola di liuteria - a combination of workshop and lutherie school - are a weak point in my study. Better translation of Itelisano's book or help from others will hopefully clarify this area. The political workings of the Italian government's involvement in the various Mozzani ventures also eludes me. A basic timeline of the locations of the workshop/school is, I believe, as follows:
  • 1908-1915: via Gennaria, Cento (Gennaria "street," in the town of Cento)
  • 1915-1924: via Marcello Provenzali, Cento
  • 1927: The Centese School of Lutherie, Cento
  • 1929-1934: Bologna School of Lutherie: via Castiglione, Bologna. Violinmaker Claudio Gamberini in charge of plucked instruments (school granted "official status," then closed for "political reasons")
  • 1934-1935: via Barberia, Bologna (private venture in collaboration with Gamberini and Rino Federici)
  • 1942-1947: School of Communal Lutherie, Rovereto (under Federiciís direction after Mozzani's death in 1943,  until 1947)

These first three images above show Mozzani and his workers busy in the first workshop on Gennaria St. in Cento circa 1908-1909.

Provencali workshop (1915-1924) via Castiglione, Bologna (c.1930)
Completed instruments in the spectacular warehouse-showroom of the Bologna School on via Castiglione. One can plainly see that each of the single and dual arm harp guitars are different in size and shape. Rovereto School (1942) From left to right: Single-arm, dual-arm, and theorboed wappen-shape harp guitars; two mandolones (bass mandolins), a 6-string and harp guitar version of the mezza colonna model, with a mandoloncello in between.
These are not all the available images of the Mozzani workshops, but one can already get a sense that the multitude of harp guitars were just a tiny portion of the overall output. Violins and the rest of the bowed instruments, mandolins in all shapes and sizes and various 6-string "classical" guitars were produced in large numbers over nearly forty years of Mozzani-directed production. 

Some sources claim that Mozzani never actually built an instrument himself. This may or may not be true. Certainly, the concepts were his, along with hands-on leadership as pictured above.


Credits/Sources: See Table of Contents
All images on this page copyright Arts & Crafts Press and Giovanni Intelisano, from the book Mozzani: Un liutaio e la sua arte.

 

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