Report To Ocarinaclub:
What is it, and why is it so important? Guiseppe Donati, the developer of the 'classic' ten-hole Ocarina, and the fellow that named them Ocarinas, had some apprentices and, after some degree of success, built a concert hall in Budrio and established the Budrio Ocarina Ensemble. Three of the apprentices who were also members of the Ensemble, left Budrio at some point in the late 1800's and hit Paris and London, creating a sensation at the Crystal Palace with their Ocs and their playing. The maker is Ercole Mezzetti, one of the wayward apprentices. Notice the chipped end, boo-hoo. If you look real close at the middle image, you can see the Maker's mark, emezzetti...
The MEZZETTI finally arrived. As it turns out the images at http://www.clayz.com/mezzetti.html are fairly accurate. The tip is broken only a bit, the chamber isn't open but a pin hole (now plugged with beeswax). It looks as though it lived in someone's pocket for fifty years, then spent fifty years more in the other pocket. These ocarinas were lacquerd rather thickly, now the paint is completely worn off and the clay is Shiny from more wear. Besides the tip and finish it is in Great Shape, plays wonderfully in "c". The toughest note to get right on these is the top, octave and one-half. I have a hard time getting the ninth to do what I want. The top note in the Mezzetti is crystal clear.
"A report in the London Daily News of an ocarina concert at the Crystal Palace in 1874 enthuses that the ocarinaists 'played a selection of operatic morceaux with a perfect skill and execution'. This group were known as the 'Mountaineers of the Apennines' and performed in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Lisbon and Rome. The group included Cesare Vicinelli, one of Budrio's finest ocarina makers and the enterprising brothers Ercole and Alberto Mezzetti. Ercole settled in Paris to make ocarinas and Alberto stayed in England to patent and sell his brother's ocarinas, to write tutors and to develop ocarina playing in Britain." -attributed to David Liggins