Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù', Cremona, 1742, the 'Wieniawski'


Violin: 40090

Back: One-piece of medium curl extending upwards from left to right

Top: of medium-grain spruce

Scroll: of same wood as back

Ribs: of same wood as back

Varnish: Orange on old-gold ground

Length of back: 35.6 cm

Upper bouts: 16.5 cm

Middle bouts: 11.3 cm

Lower bouts: 20.5 cm

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Notes:

"Four years ago, Cerovsek, who already was playing the "Sennhauser" Guarneri del Gesu on loan from The Stradivari Society, asked to borrow a 1742 Guarneri del Gesu named for Henryk Wieniawski, one of the greatest virtuosos of the 19th Century. Because Cerovsek had a contract to record music of Wieniawski, he thought it would be ideal to use the instrument for this CD, in 1997.

Bein & Fushi agreed. "They said, 'Fine, Mrs. Galvin said it's fine if you borrow it for two weeks,' " recalled Cerovsek, 28. "So I came up to Chicago, swapped the 'Sennhauser' for the 'Wieniawski' and left. I was playing the season-opening concerts for the San Francisco Symphony, so I went out to California.

"And on the day of my first performance with the symphony -- Sept. 4, 1997 -- Geoffrey Fushi calls to tell me he has to get the violin back immediately because he has a buyer somewhere in South America, and that he had another nice fiddle that he'd be happy to swap with me before the next concert.

"This was very traumatic, switching a violin the day of a concert and just before the performance," said Cerovsek, who, like most concert artists, needs to be familiar with the sonic capabilities and tonal nuances of a particular instrument before an important performance.

When Cerovsek received the call, "His eyes filled with tears," recalled his mother, Sophia, who had traveled from Bloomington to San Francisco to hear the concerts. "He pleaded with Mr. Fushi up until the last moment to at least let him finish the San Francisco concerts with the instrument.

"When I came home to Bloomington," continued Cerovsek's mother, who had been corresponding with Mary Galvin, "I faxed her all about [what happened] in San Francisco, and all hell broke loose. Mrs. Galvin called me and said she was very upset, because she had given strict orders that the violin should not go on sale until Corey played it.

"She told me on the phone to tell Corey not to let the instrument out of his hands."

Thanks to Galvin's intervention, Cerovsek was able to keep the violin until last year.

Asked about Cerovsek's experience with The Stradivari Society, Bein said that most of the artists appreciate the loans but that "a couple have a chip on their shoulders. It's hard to imagine they are being taken advantage of."

Bein added that although Cerovsek belonged to The Stradivari Society, the "Wieniawski" violin technically was not listed in The Stradivari Society when Cerovsek first borrowed it.

But Galvin agreed with Cerovsek that he was not treated properly."


In 1944, French and American soldiers were billeted in the Talbot mansion in Aachen. A French soldier apparently discovered the Guarneri in the hidden vault and began to play it. An American soldier, upon hearing the instrument, offered to buy it from the French soldier, who promptly sold it for a few packs of cigarettes and other necessities. Four years later, a GI came to the Wurlitzer offices in New York attempting to sell the instrument. Rembert Wurlitzer immediately recognized the instrument as the Wienawski Guarneri and wired the Hills in London to see if they had information concerning the violin. The Hills wired back that the instrument had been taken from the Talbot's home in 1944 and was still missing. After some protracted negotiations, the instrument was eventually returned to Richard Talbot in Aachen.

The "Wieniawski Guarneri", The Strad, November, 1963, London

Provenance

until 1916 Caressa & Francais
in 1916 Sold by Lyon & Healy
from 1916 John McCormack
1921 - 1932 John Hudson Bennett
in 1932 Sold by Anderson Galleries Inc.
from 1932 Richard Talbot
until 1948 Emil Herrmann
from 1948 J. T. Blois-Wack
until 1957 Kenneth Warren & Son
1957 - 1992 Al Duman
from 1992 Bein & Fushi, Inc
in 1998 Anonymous
- Current owner

Known players

Corey Cerovsek, Edouard Nadaud, Henri Wieniawski, Hubert Leonard, Kristof Barati, Kyoko Takezawa

Certificates & Documents

  • Valuation: Kenneth Warren & Son, Chicago, IL (1961)
  • Letter: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1959)
  • Certificate: Emil Herrmann (1948) #1093.
  • Certificate: Caressa & Francais, Paris
  • Certificate: Lyon & Healy, Chicago, IL

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.)

References

  • http://inkpot.com/classical/coreyvengerov.html
  • Bein & Fushi 1996 Calendar, Bein & Fushi, Inc, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1996 (illustrated)
  • Bein & Fushi catalog, Fall, 1995, Bein & Fushi, Inc, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1995 (illustrated)
  • Bein & Fushi catalog, Fall, 1995, Bein & Fushi, Inc, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1995 (illustrated)
  • Bein & Fushi Catalog, Spring 2010
  • Rare Old Violins, Violas & Violonceollos (1916), Lyon & Healy, Chicago, 1916 (illustrated)
  • Rare Old Violins, Violas & Violoncellos (February, 1921), Lyon & Healy, Chicago, February, 1921 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, November, 1963, London, 1963
  • The Collection of John Hudson Bennett Catalog, February 5, 1932, New York, 1932 (illustrated)
  • The Emil Hermann Collection - Part II, Andy Lim & Gregory Singer, Darling Publications, Cologne / New York, 2007 (illustrated)
  • The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (illustrated)
  • The Miracle Makers, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1998 (illustrated)
  • The Wieniawski Guarnerius

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