Violin and quartet
1684 Stradivari in the Following of Amati
2017 SOLD for £ 1.92M including premium
Formal business relations between the two workshops are not known but a 1666 label suggests that Stradivari began his career as an apprentice ('alumnus') to Amati.
Amati had been a great innovator and experimenter, identifying how a tiny variation in the shape or size of a violin generates considerable differences in the sound. He had also tried to develop an optimized varnish. Stradivari analyzes the solutions found by the old master. He will be considered from 1690 as the most important designer and manufacturer of violins of all time.
On March 28 in London, Ingles and Hayday sells a stradivarius violin, lot 28 estimated over £ 1,3M. The instrument bears an original label inscribed 'Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1684' and presents all the characteristics of this very important period which launched the career of the master then 40 years old.
This violin had surfaced in the mid-1880s in the very active musical circles in Edinburgh and is now identified as the Ex Croall McEwen specimen. Used regularly in concert in the last thirty years, it offers important references in discography from 1985 to 1990 with the young soloist Frank Peter Zimmermann.
Please watch the video shared by the auction house:
1696 The Maturity of Stradivarius
2013 SOLD 1.4 M£ including premium
On December 18 online from London, Tarisio sells a violin made by Stradivari in Cremona, dated 1696 by its label, with a starting bid of £ 1M.
This is a fine example of violin with a normal back length of 35.4 cm. It is similar in style to the Molitor of 1697 which was sold for $ 3.6 million by Tarisio on October 14, 2010. Its back is in flamed maple, a recognizable variety which was also used on a 1696 viola and on the 1698 Baron Knoop violin.
Great instruments do not stay in the showcases and their careers with the musicians are often full of adventures and anecdotes. The violin for sale retains its original label, but its provenance is unknown until its authentication by an expert in 2000.
It was acquired soon afterward by a young soloist, and was stolen in 2010 in London in a railway station cafe. It was retrieved undamaged a few months ago, but its owner could not have waited for so long. She now has another Stradivarius, which explains why her former instrument enters the market.
POST SALE COMMENT
The Stradivarius violin was sold for £ 1.2M before fees.
I invite you to view the video shared by ITV where the violin is introduced by a manager of the auction house :
1697 Molitor Stradivarius violin
2010 SOLD for $ 3.6M by Tarisio
1705 Luck and Skill of Stradivarius
2012 SOLD 2.6 M$ including premium
In the 1680s, the Stradivarius violins have the same features as those of Nicolo Amati. Customers love to hear music in large concert halls, and require to improve the sound. The Molitor, dated 1697, is already a wonderful violin. It was sold for $ 3.6 million by Tarisio in October 2010.
On April 26 online, Tarisio sells a Stradivarius violin, little known and well preserved, manufactured around 1705, the Baron von der Leyen. The bidding will begin at $ 2M for this instrument of the period of maturity.
The Lady Blunt, sold £ 9.8 million including premium on 20 June 2011, also at Tarisio, is dated 1721. Its fabulous price is due to its pristine condition.
POST SALE COMMENT
Good result for this violin that was little known before the sale: $ 2.3 million before fees, 2.6 million including premium.
I invite you to play the video shared on YouTube by Tarisio :
1721 The Lady Blunt
2011 SOLD 9.8 M£ including premium
An interesting hypothesis, not proven, is based on the fact that instruments made at the same time by Andrea Guarneri are approaching the quality of the Stradivarius: the very cold climate of the late seventeenth century would have created less dense wood by slowing the growth of trees.
The Lady Blunt has all the qualities required to excite violinists and experts. Luckily, this specimen is very close to its original state. It was manufactured in 1721, in the best time of Stradivari. It belonged to Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, the French violin maker of the nineteenth century who made commendable efforts to understand and achieve the quality of the Stradivarius.
In 2008, this wonderful violin was purchased by Nippon Music in a private transaction whose amount exceeded $ 10M. This Tokyo foundation has decided to sell it to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. The auction, which will be held on June 20 in London, is entrusted to Tarisio which is a leader in this market.
The Lady Blunt is illustrated in the article shared by the Wall Street Journal.
POST SALE COMMENT
Here is the auction result of a Stradivarius violin in exceptional condition : £ 8.75M before fees.
The advertised price of the private transaction of 2008 is exceeded.
Congratulations to Tarisio for this great sale.
I invite you to play the post sale video shared on YouTube by Tarisio. It is also shared on Wikimedia.
1725 Del Gesu Violins
2012 SOLD 1.5 M£ including premium
The popular image for Stradivari is that of a perfectionist craftsman taking care of every detail of the wood and shape. In contrast, the last of the Guarneri from Cremona, Giovanni, is viewed as a more romantic figure. His violins reach the same power and the same quality of tone as the best Stradivarius instruments, and some great performers like Paganini even preferred a Guarnerius.
Giovanni Guarneri inscribed his violins with an acronym of Christ and a cross. For this reason, he received the nickname Del Gesu, also applied to his instruments.
On June 25 online from London, Tarisio sells a Guarnerius Del Gesu estimated £ 1.5 M. Made around 1725, it is one of the earliest instruments of the master at the time when he left the workshop of his father to make his own instruments. It is in very good condition.
POST SALE COMMENT
Great price for this exceptional violin: £ 1.35 million before fees. The catalog stated that the previous auction record for this maker was £ 572K in 1988.
1743 The Luthier of Piacenza
2016 SOLD for $ 1.5M including premium
For the chance of the young craftsman, Piacenza has a significant musical culture. The Ferrari brothers were born here. Domenico Ferrari, violinist, had left for Cremona but his elder brother Carlo, cellist, lives in Piacenza.
Guadagnini is listening the desires of the performers and changes from that early time the shape in a quest to improve the sound. Beyond the reform of the cello conceived by Stradivari, he creates shorter and broader instruments that appeal the virtuosos by their easiness of use and their tone.
There is no documented evidence that Carlo Ferrari ever played an instrument made by Guadagnini but his influence is certain. When Ferrari moves to Milan in 1745, Guadagnini seems to become temporarily less interested in cellos. In 1749 he moves to Milan in his turn.
Tarisio sells in New York a cello made circa 1743 by Guadagnini in a timed online auction ending on May 12. This instrument is a good demonstrator of the precocious talent of the luthier, including a thick honey-colored varnish which prefigures his later achievements on the essential role of the coating in the sound quality of an instrument of the quartet.
This cello is estimated $ 800K, lot 40. The reserve is already off. Here is the link to the website of the auction house.
1753 The Tone of a Guadagnini
2016 SOLD for $ 1.25M including premium
Guadagnini moved three times his studio, to Milan in 1749 and much later to Parma and Turin. He had improved most of his know-how during his first phase in Piacenza, with slightly widened violins, sharp angles in the sides and his much effective reddish-brown varnish. Guadagnini's violins have a strong and harmonious sound and are the best concert instruments from the mid-eighteenth century.
His violins from the beginning of his Milanese period are already demonstrating his great maturity. One of them named the Berkova, made in 1755, was sold for $ 720K including premium by Tarisio on May 2, 2013 although the original coating was not complete.
Tarisio sells in New York one of the best violins made by Guadagnini in Milan, dated 1753. Despite a frequent use in concert, the instrument which has been carefully maintained is in an excellent condition. It is estimated $ 1M in the online sale which ends on October 13, lot 254. Its brilliant sound is demonstrated in a YouTube audio by Tarisio. Here is the link to the auction house's website.
1773-1775 Violin by Guadagnini
2018 SOLD for £ 1.6M including premium by Tarisio
1778 The Turinese Maturity of Guadagnini
2013 SOLD 1.39 M$ including premium
His career can be divided into four periods, in different cities in Italy. The last period in Turin marks his greater maturity, including a synthesis between his own art and the style of Stradivari.
On October 17 in New York, Tarisio sells a violin signed by Guadagnini in Turin in 1778, which has retained the thick red varnish so typical of his art. The starting price is $ 800K.
This instrument was once owned by Dorothy DeLay, who was one of the most subtle violin teachers. She understood that the ideal instrument is not the same for each player and depends on the characteristics of their musical skills. This excellent reference attests to how this Guadagnini violin is close to perfection.
POST SALE COMMENT
Great result for this outstanding violin, sold for $ 1.2 million before fees.
The catalog had quoted a price of $ 1.08 million on another violin, which was from November 2011 the auction record for Guadagnini.
1783 A Real Guadagnini for Rostropovich
2018 SOLD for £ 1.93M including premium
Arrived in 1771 in Turin which will be his fourth and last residence, Guadagnini agrees from 1773 to 1777 to work exclusively for Cozio who was a great admirer of Stradivari. At this time Guadagnini adds the information "Cremonensis alumnus Antonii Stradivari" on his labels. His cellos of this period are short, without loss of sound thanks to a modification of the shape which increases the surface of wood in the cavity.
Mstislav Rostropovich was one of the greatest performers of the cello. For his first success, the gold medal at the Soviet Young Musicians Competition in 1945, he had played a Guadagnini.
In exile from 1974, Rostropovich had appraised the cello of his first glory and learned that its label was apocryphal and that the instrument had nothing to do with a Guadagnini. He is therefore on the watch to acquire an excellent Guadagnini. He will wait a quarter of a century.
The Guadagnini cello bought by Rostropovitch in 2000 is from the best period : made in Turin in 1783 three years before the death of the luthier, it is one of the last instruments of the master and has kept intact its dark intense red-brown varnish typical of that period. It is estimated £ 1M for sale by Sotheby's in London on November 28, lot 42.
Take an unprecedented glimpse into the lives and loves of two of Russia’s greatest musical legends. Visit our London galleries to view the private collection of #Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya or click ahead to see highlights https://t.co/tDnS2NOICK #SothebysRussia pic.twitter.com/ymPge0oA5s— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) November 23, 2018
1863 A Quartet by Vuillaume
2016 SOLD for £ 960K including premium
In the nineteenth century in Paris, the tendency of the cabinetmakers was for imitation and Vuillaume followed this trend with his instruments. He studied the solutions found by the great violin makers of Cremona and brought the same care in the choice of the wood.
Vuillaume already has an excellent reputation in 1855 when he purchases the stock of Luigi Tarisio who had died in the previous year. He now has in hand the 25 Stradivarius of Tarisio including the famous Messiah. He will gradually abandon trading to fully concentrate on production. His copies of the Messiah are the masterpieces of French lutherie.
On March 15 in London, Ingles & Hayday sells a quartet made in 1863 by Vuillaume, lot 177 estimated £ 600K. Here is the link to the press release.
The four instruments based on a model by Stradivari have been manufactured in a matching wood. They are nicknamed the Evangelists by reference to ebony figures below the bridge. Violins are St Jean and St Marc, St Mathieu is the viola and St Luc is the cello. It is remarkable that this set has not been separated. It is in excellent condition, including much of the original varnish.
I invite you to watch the video shared by the auction house :