"It is during this period [1690-1700] that he conceived and built instruments known as "Long. Pattern" of which "The Baillot-Pommerau" of 1694 is a very fine example. As he narrowed and increased the length of instruments so he hoped to augment further the tonal depth, strength and quality and this may have arisen as a result of seeing and hearing examples of the work of the earlier Brescian School. Charles Beare, writing in Groves, says of these instruments: "These elegant violins, representing a huge improvement on everything that had gone before are not always as well appreciated for their tone as perhaps they should be. . . ."
The provenance of the Baillot-Pommerau is fascinating for what it suggests about nineteenth century social European history. It was originally acquired by Pierre Baillot (1771-1842) a contemporary of Niccolo Paganini. Baillot was amongst the first of the urban professional musicians who, as a result of their talents and in his case French political influence in the early nineteenth century, developed a local and international reputation. To some extent he established practices and procedures which later virtuosi followed and continue to follow. He was also one of the first professors at the recently opened Paris Conservatoire created with a view to developing and training future musicians and performers.
Thereafter the instrument remained with the "forces of reaction" in aristocratic private hands for almost a century belonging to the Marquis de Pommerau and his family until the early twentieth century.
At the same time as Sir Joseph Duveen was building the great collections of old master paintings for the legendary American collectors of the early twentieth century like Morgan, Huntington, Frick and Mellon so this violin passed via Hills of London into, at various times, two of the most famous collections of musical instruments those of Baron Knoop and Richard Bennett.
As popular culture developed and financial and political upheavals followed World War I so the Baillot departed from the possession of connoisseurs into the world of commerce and the broadly established professional musician. It had to earn a living and so became the property of Arthur Catterall (1893-1943) whose famous concert career included leadership of the Halle Orchestra 1912-25 and the BBC Symphony Orchestra from its foundation in 1929-36.
Thereafter it was the property of another great musician Alfredo Campoli who had a great career in three continents and whose performances are still remembered to this day. Recently it has been back in private hands enjoying the occasional attentions of a devoted and gifted amateur player."
Phillip's Important Musical Instruments Auction Catalog, November 19, 1996, London, Phillip's, Phillip's Important Musical Instruments Auction Catalog, November 19, 1996, London, London