Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, c. 1670, the 'Flatback, Betts, Iwasaki'

Cello: 24672

Label not original, dated 1667.

Back: An early 20th century replacement, probably by W.E. Hill & Sons, the original flat back preserved apart.

Scroll: Also by Stradivari but not original to the instrument.

Length of back: 72.0 cm

Upper bouts: 36 cm

Middle bouts: 24.7 cm

Lower bouts: 44.7 cm

There are 65 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


The back of this instrument was replaced by Hill in the late 1800s. The original back, which Iwasaki still owned in 1978, was a flat back, typical of a viol. Charles Beare, who sold the instrument to Iwasaki, believes that the instrument was originally a 5-string instrument of the viol family.

Ko Iwasaki, Simon Collins, The Strad, April, 1978, London

"The first back manufactured for the instrument consists of two pieces of maple wood characterised by narrow curls which run almost horizontally. A line of purfling decorates the centre joint. The second and 'rounded' back was made around the end of the 18th century [...] The sides match the original back whereas the scroll presents less vivid curls." – Alessandra Barabaschi

Antonius Stradivarius (Volumes I-IV), Jost Thöne, Jan Röhrmann, Alessandra Barabaschi, Jost Thöne, Jan Röhrmann, Alessandra Barabaschi, Antonius Stradivarius (Volumes I-IV), Cologne


until 1972 John & Arthur Beare
... ...
in 1978 Ko Iwasaki
until 1990 Bein & Fushi, Inc
from 1990 Current owner

Known players

Ko Iwasaki

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: John & Arthur Beare, London (1972) "We consider the actual date to be c.1690. . ."
  • Letter: John & Arthur Beare, London (1972) "At some time in the 19th century the whole instrument was reduced to its present size, and at the end of the century, when it came to Hill in London, the rounded back was made and the flat back removed. When we restored this instrument, we first tried it out with the flat back, but while the quality of the sound was extremely fine, it had to be admitted that there was not quite the power that one expects from a concert instrument. After some time we reluctantly replaced the rounded one, which gives a strong sound with no less quality."

Cozio holds copies of many certificates and other documents, some of which are available to view on request. Please contact us if you wish to view a particular document. (Note that we do not always have permission to share documents.)


  • Antonius Stradivarius (Volumes I-IV), Jost Thöne, Jan Röhrmann, Alessandra Barabaschi, Jost Thöne Verlag, Cologne, 2010 (illustrated)
  • Bein & Fushi 1992 Calendar, Bein & Fushi, Inc, Bein & Fushi, Chicago (illustrated)
  • How Many Strads? (1999 edition), Doring, Bein & Fushi, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1999 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, April, 1978, Simon Collins, London
  • Private Archives - 10072
  • We Love Stradivari, NHK (illustrated)


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