In 1955, the instrument survived the car crash in which its then owner, Ossy Renardi, was tragically killed.
Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú, Carlos Chiesa, John Dilworth, Roger Graham Hargrave, Stewart Pollens, Duane Rosengard & Eric Wen, Peter Biddulph, London, 1998
Laurie relates that at the time he sold the instrument to Gleichauff, it still had its original neck and bass bar. But Gleichauff had these replaced, and the job was done so poorly that the tone of the instrument disappeared and Gleichauff returned the instrument to Laurie. Laurie entrusted the instrument to Gand and Bernadel, who repaired the damage that had been done, and the instrument's tone returned.
Reminiscences of a Fiddle Dealer, David Laurie, T. Werner Laurie, Ltd., London, circa 1900
"A few years after both the Marquis and his lady died and the violin with other things were to be sent to Paris and sold, but I did not
know this until I had gone to Pau, where I got the address of the avocat who had charge of the estate in Paris to whom I applied on my return. He informed me he had sent the instrument to Vuillaume the great, to get it valued and would then treat with me, but as I had never seen it I asked him for a note to Vuillaume to allow him to shew it me. I was very much struck with it, it being different to any other "Joseph " I had ever seen. It was a rough, carelessly made one, date 1744, but its state of preservation was
perfect, having still its orginal hand, and the bar inside had never been changed. Its wood, although not showy, was perfect in quality for tone. . . .
In Mr. Davidson's book on the violin there is a ridiculous story that this was the violin Paganini lost at play. How or where he (Davidson), got it I cannot say, and I only mention it because some people have asked me about it, thinking that as I had sold it I was the author. Needless to say that I saw it first and last in the work referred to. It was always called a " Strad," the
violin that Paganini gambled way."
The Late Mr. Carrodus's Violins, David Laurie, The Strad, 1896, London