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Vinaccia   Vincenzo Vinaccia, Gennaro Vinaccia, Giuseppe Vinaccia

   The first evidence of modern steel-strung mandolins is from literature regarding popular Italian players who traveled through Europe teaching and giving concerts. Notable were Signor Leone and G. B. Gervasio who traveled widely between 1750 and 1810. This, with information gleaned from the Vinaccia family in Naples, lead some musicologists to believe that the modern steel-strung mandolin was developed in Naples by the Vinaccia family. 

   Gennaro Vinaccia was active between about 1710 and 1788, and Antonio Vinaccia was from about 1734 to 1796. An early extant example of a mandolin is one built by Antonio Vinaccia in 1772 which is kept at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Another is by Giuseppe Vinaccia built in 1763, can be found at the Kenneth G. Fiske Museum of Musical Instruments in Claremont, California. The earliest extant mandolin was built in 1744 by Gaetano Vinaccia, and is housed in the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Brussels, Belgium.

   The Neapolitans, led by the Vinaccia family, whose instruments ushered in the modern bowlback, are the more commonly seen. Many makers of this style of instrument produced only tourist material, but there are still a large number of worthy mandolins around.

Sadly there is no website that I know of devoted to the Vinaccia family or their mandolins.

Gennaro & Achille Vinaccia Vinaccia 1881 Fratelli Vinaccia Giuseppe Vinaccia
Vinaccia 1933 Vinaccia Type F