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:
1690 Guarneri and Son
2019 SOLD for $ 1.27M including premium
From the mid-1680s Giuseppe demonstrated an exceptional skill. Andrea continues to validate the instruments made in their workshop until his death in 1698. Giuseppe 'filius Andreae' is recognized as the best competitor to Stradivari.
The violas made by Guarneri are very rare. They are divided into two periods : four instruments known from 1660 to 1676 plus three from 1690 to 1697. The last three meet the tradition of bearing the name of performers who owned them : Josefowitz, Nobuko Imai, Primrose. They undoubtedly benefit from Giuseppe's know-how and are extremely similar to each other with dimensions considered as ideal.
The Primrose Guarneri viola was sold on July 5, 2012 by Tarisio in a private auction whose result was not disclosed. The Tarisio Auctions page in Wikipedia nevertheless announces a price above $ 4M for this transaction. It is famous for the power of its tone and William Primrose often used it in his recordings.
On May 16 in New York, Tarisio sells the Josefowitz Guarneri viola, lot 45 with a starting bid of $ 800K and a higher estimate of $ 1.2M. Here is the link to the website of the auction house. This instrument has the label of Andrea Guarneri in Cremona with the date of 1690 which is highly credible.
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 Piacenza Cello
2016 SOLD for $ 1.5M by Tarisio
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. Slight changes in shape bring an intense sound that pleases music lovers of his time and today. His varnish is one of the very best of all time.
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. 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.
A cello made circa 1743 by Guadagnini was sold for $ 1.5M from a lower estimate of $ 800K by Tarisio on May 12, 2016, lot 40. 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.
1751 Milan Violin
2021 for sale on October 25 by Tarisio
to be narrated
Logically interested in a career at Milan, he establishes his business in the big city in 1749, a favorable time because the tradition of luxury violins had declined after the closing of the Grancino workshop.
A violin made in Milan in 1753 was sold for $ 1.25M by Tarisio on October 13, 2016. It had been carefully maintained despite a frequent use in concert and is in an excellent condition. The Berkova violin, made in 1755, was sold for $ 720K by Tarisio on May 2, 2013 although the original coating was not complete.
Another violin is estimated € 1M for sale by Tarisio in Berlin on October 25, 2021, lot 143. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
2018 SOLD for £ 1.6M by Tarisio
1778 Turin Violin
2013 SOLD for $ 1.39M by Tarisio
Count Cozio di Salabue is passionate about violins and especially with the achievements from Cremona. His father owned an Amati. Aged 16 in 1771, the Piedmontese is in Turin for a military period. He meets Guadagnini at that time.
Guadagnini is the most effective designer of violins of his time but Cozio admires Stradivari. Guadagnini is looking for customers. He agrees in 1774 to work almost exclusively for Cozio. The young aristocrat designates his partner as the ultimate successor to Stradivari. This qualifier is consistent with the hypothesis that Guadagnini had learned his trade with the old master. His instruments made in Turin are identified by the label "Joannes Baptista Guadagnini Cremonensis fecit Taurini. alumnus Antoni Stradivari", to be however considered with caution because it also appears on posthumous pieces.
Guadagnini has the mood of a creator and not of an imitator. His new contract is in counter-employment for his designing skill. Cozio goes ahead and buys as early as 1775 to the heirs of Stradivari the violin in a sublime condition which will be later known as the Messiah.
The formal contract is broken in 1777 and Guadagnini can again diversify his production. A violin made in Turin in 1778 is a fine example of his personal art at the time of his better maturity. It was sold on October 17, 2013 by Tarisio for $ 1.39M from a lower estimate of $ 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. It retains the thick red varnish so typical of his art.
Guadagnini continues in parallel to produce imitations of Stradivarius for the use of Cozio. He manages it with some freedom so that his Stradivarius models are not identifiable. These instruments are signed Joannes Baptista Guadagnini Cremonensis fecit Taurini on a label, although his only connection with Cremona is the arrangement with Cozio.
On February 22, 2018, Tarisio sold for $ 1.25M from a lower estimate of $ 800K a violin dated 1779, lot 157.
1783 Turin Cello ex Rostropovich
2018 SOLD for £ 1.93M by Sotheby's
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 Rostropovich 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 was sold for £ 1.93M from a lower estimate of £ 1M by Sotheby's on November 28, 2018, 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 :