John Dilworth writes:
The arrestingly beautiful back of this violin is made from maple that occurs more than once in the work of Francesco Rugeri. The particularly deep and almost effervescent figure in this slab cut wood is striking and recognisable particularly in later works. The hand of Francesco’s youngest son Vincenzo is detectable in the cut of the scroll particularly, making it consistent with a date towards the end of Francesco’s career, which ended with his death in 1698. It is also clothed a gorgeous deep wine-red varnish, which again came into use only in Francesco’s later years. The Rugeri family is known best as makers of Amati copies, flourishing almost contemporaneously with Nicolo Amati, but through many years achieved a narrow but distinctive range of very identifiable styles of their own. Their influence on both Stradivari and Bergonzi has been underestimated, and represent a very important element in the Cremonese tradition. This delicately proportioned violin has a full, strong arch and is a very fine and distinctive instrument.
The Ex Light
A Very Fine Italian Violin by Francesco and Vincenzo Rugeri Cremona circa 1700