Cozio is the world’s largest source of stringed instrument and bow data, containing over 3,500 makers, 36,000 instrument and bow records, 210,000 photographs, 14,000 certificates and documents, and 57,000 historical auction price records. It was founded by Philip E. Margolis in 2003 to make information about fine instruments available to the wider public. Tarisio acquired Cozio in 2012 and Cozio now incorporates Tarisio’s own extensive photo archive of instruments and bows.
Jason Price gives a guide to exploring Cozio
How Cozio got its name
Cozio is named after Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue (1755–1840), who was arguably the first great collector and connoisseur of stringed instruments. Having inherited his father’s estate at the age of 18, Cozio was able to pursue his fascination for fine violins. He was one of the first to recognize the genius of Stradivari, and later became a sponsor of G.B. Guadagnini. He amassed a large collection of valuable instruments and acquired the contents of the Stradivari workshop, including tools, moulds and patterns. He also kept detailed notebooks of makers and instruments, published under the name Carteggio, which have proved extremely helpful in understanding the violin making world in the latter part of the 18th century.
Cozio was forced by financial difficulties to sell most of his collection in the early 19th century, and was assisted in this by one of the most enterprising dealers of the time, Luigi Tarisio (c. 1790–1854). Tarisio sold many of Cozio’s instruments to dealers in Paris but kept others for himself, most famously the pristine 1716 ‘Messiah’ Stradivari. After Tarisio’s death over a hundred instruments were found in his Milan apartment, and his collection was bought in its entirety by J.B. Vuillaume.
Additional images in the archive
Some Cozio images are not available publicly. These can sometimes, subject to copyright, be made available privately to users with specific research projects. Please submit details of your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.