Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù', Cremona, 1743, the 'Il Cannone, Paganini'

Violin: 40130

Back: Two-piece

Varnish: Red

Length of back: 35.4 cm

Upper bouts: 16.8 cm

Middle bouts: 11.1 cm

Lower bouts: 20.7 cm

There are 4 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


"The Paganini violin, known as "Il Cannone" (the Cannon), because of the power and sonorous quality of its tone, was of all the instruments owned by Nicolò Paganini his favorite. Made by the renowned Cremona violin maker Guarneri (known as del Gesù) and considered one of his masterpieces, the violin has distinct features that set it apart from modern instruments, including a slightly shorter and thicker sound box, and a markedly curved neck. Its tone is distinctly bright, yet full. The violin has survived intact and whole and belongs to Genoa, a gift made in1837 by Paganini to his native city. The violin is played monthly in Genoa to preserve it in best condition and on special occasions. "Il Cannone" was last seen in New York as part of an exhibition devoted to Guarneri and his atelier at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994.Because of the instrument's priceless value a security official from Genoa will accompany the violin to New York and an American guard will escort the instrument to the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro where it be remain until the performance."

The Hill brothers list this instrument as made in 1742, but under ultraviolet light the last digit of the date is revealed as a 3, the lower sweep of the 3 having been rubbed away and leaving what looks, to the naked eye, like a very small 2.

Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú, Carlos Chiesa, John Dilworth, Roger Graham Hargrave, Stewart Pollens, Duane Rosengard & Eric Wen, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú (2 volumes), London


until 1799 Livron
1799-1840 Nicolò Paganini
... ...
from 1851 City of Genoa

Known players

Nicolò Paganini

Certificates & Documents

  • Dendrochronology report: Peter Klein, Hamburg (1998) Dating the youngest tree ring to 1735.
  • Dendrochronology report: Peter Klein, Hamburg Dating the youngest tree ring to 1735.

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 (Balfoort), Dirk J. Balfoort, The Continental Book Company, Stockholm (illustrated)
  • The Strad, October, 1994, Stewart Pollens, Orpheus, London (illustrated)
  • Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú (2 volumes), Carlos Chiesa, John Dilworth, Roger Graham Hargrave, Stewart Pollens, Duane Rosengard & Eric Wen, Peter Biddulph, London (illustrated)
  • Italienische Geigenbauer (1957), Karel Jalovec, Artia, Prague, 1957 (illustrated)
  • Ars Musica, Aloys Greither, Bayer AG, Heft 10 (illustrated)
  • L'Esposizione di Liuteria Antica a Cremona nel 1937, Comitato Stradivariano, Cremona (illustrated)
  • Old Violins, H. R. Haweis, John Grant, Edinburgh (illustrated)
  • Ole Bull 2010: Guarneri del Gesu Collection, John Dilworth, Bergen (illustrated)
  • The Strad, 1926, John Dunn, London, Oct 1926 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, June, 1999, Orpheus, London (illustrated)
  • The Strad, September, 2000, Roger Hargrave, Orpheus, London (illustrated)
  • The Strad 2009 Calendar: The Museum Collection, Newsquest Specialist Media, London (illustrated)
  • The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1931 (illustrated)
  • The Violin Masterpieces of Guarneri del Gesù - Exhibition, Peter Biddulph, Peter Biddulph, London (illustrated)
  • The Strad, June, 1999, John Dilworth, Orpheus, London (illustrated)
  • Violins & Violinists (1969), Franz Farga, Frederick A Prager, New York (illustrated)


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