George Gemunder I, Turin, 1860, the 'Maud Powell'

Violin: 42699

Number of images available: 11.
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Labeled, "Johannes Baptista Guadagnini, in Turin, 1775"

Back: Two-piece of smallish figured curly maple with the grain almost straight across

Top: of medium-grained spruce

Scroll: of plainer wood

Ribs: of wood similar to back

Varnish: Red

Length of back: 35.6 cm

Upper bouts: 16.5 cm

Middle bouts: 11.1 cm

Lower bouts: 20.3 cm


"Previously thought to have been made about 1775 by Johannes Baptista Guadagnini of Turin, this instrument has been identified by Kenneth Warren as having been made by George Gemunder of Astoria, NY about 1860-1870. He states that the instrument is a well-made copy after Johannes Baptista Guadagnini of Turin, Italy, and cites the presence of the characteristic yellow-pink varnish typical of George Gemunder."

Henry Ford Museum Documentation

"[quoting Maud Powell:] 'Then there is the matter of the violin. I first used a Joseph Guarnerius, a deeper toned instrument than the Jean Baptista Guadagnini I have now played for a number of years. The Guarnerius has a tone that seems to come more from within the instrument; but all in all I have found my Guadagnini, with its glassy clearness, its brilliant and limpid tone-quality, better adapted to American concert halls. If I had a Strad in the same condition as my Guadagnini the instrument would be priceless. I regretted giving up my Guarnerius, but I could not play the two violins interchangeably; for they were absolutely different in size and tone-production, shape, etc. Then my hand is so small that I ought to use the instrument best adapted to it, and to use the same instrument always. '"

Violin Mastery: Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers, Frederick A. Stokes Co., New York, 1919

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Current owner, Nathan E. Posner, John Friedrich & Brothers, Henry Ford, Maud Powell, H. Godfrey Turner, Henry Ford Museum

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Known players

Maud Powell

Certificates & Documents

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