Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù', Cremona, 1743, the 'Il Cannone, Paganini'

Violin: 40130

Number of images available: 7.
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Back: Two-piece

Varnish: Red

Length of back: 35.4 cm

Upper bouts: 16.8 cm

Middle bouts: 11.1 cm

Lower bouts: 20.7 cm

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"The Paganini violin, known as "Il Cannone" (the Canon), because of the power and sonorous quality of its tone, was of all the instruments owned by Nicolò Paganini his favorite. Made by the renowned Cremona violin maker Guarneri (known as del Gesù) and considered one of his masterpieces, the violin has distinct features that set it apart from modern instruments, including a slightly shorter and thicker sound box, and a markedly curved neck. Its tone is distinctly bright, yet full. The violin has survived intact and whole and belongs to Genoa, a gift made in1837 by Paganini to his native city. The violin is played monthly in Genoa to preserve it in best condition and on special occasions. "Il Cannone" was last seen in New York as part of an exhibition devoted to Guarneri and his atelier at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994.Because of the instrument's priceless value a security official from Genoa will accompany the violin to New York and an American guard will escort the instrument to the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro where it be remain until the performance."

The Hill brothers list this instrument as made in 1742, but under ultraviolet light the last digit of the date is revealed as a 3, the lower sweep of the 3 having been rubbed away and leaving what looks, to the naked eye, like a very small 2.

Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú, Peter Biddulph, London, 1998

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City of Genoa, Nicolò Paganini, Livron

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Known players

Nicolò Paganini

Certificates & Documents

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