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Umberto Ceccherini

Umberto Ceccherini, was a luthier in Naples, active from around 1880 to 1915, his instruments imported into Britain first by Alban Voigt, and later by Beare & Sons.

 There are variations in scratchplate design and other ornamentation between instruments, and some have double tables. Some Ceccherinis have distinctly Art Nouveau flowing designs, which contrast quite strongly with the more numerous and rather more structured designs. The Art Nouveau ones are probably the later ones, and likely to date from around 1905. The older ones are often plainer and smaller-bowled than the later. The 1881 award listed on all Ceccherini labels, but has nothing to do with the age of the mandolin. 

All Ceccherinis I have ever seen were distributed exclusively by the firm of Alban Voigt in London, (a prolifiic importer of several manufacturers), suggesting that he simply boxed up his entire output and shipped them from Naples to London. The great concert soloist Leopoldo Francia of Milan, played exclusively Ceccherini mandolins. Francia became prominent in Italy by winning the Genoa concourse in 1892 and then toured worldwide, eventually settling in London in 1895. He was a great sensation, and taught extensively (mainly to lady students in high society). The inference seems pretty straightforward that the Alban Voigt/Ceccherini link-up could only have occurred after 1895, and that the reason most of his instruments were shipped to the UK, was the demand created by Francia's personal endorsement.

Many thanks to Martin Jonas for most of this information.

Ceccherini double table

Ceccherini label

Ceccherini top detail

Ceccherini tensioners