Gasparo Bertolotti 'da Salò', Brescia, c. 1620, the 'Ole Bull, Jewel Room violin'

Violin: 40243

Back: One-piece

Length of back: 35.5 cm

Upper bouts: 16.6 cm

Middle bouts: 11.4 cm

Lower bouts: 20.4 cm


"Believed to be built by da Salo and sculpted by Cellini. On the scroll is carved a cherub's face surrounded by flowing curls and colored. Behind this figure, leaning against the shoulders, is an exquisitely beautiful little mermaid, the human form of which terminates in scales of green and gold. The neck of the violin is ornamented with arabesques in blue, red, and gold. On the tail-piece is a carved mermaid in bronze color. It was left Ole Bull to the Vestlandske Kunstindustri Museum in Bergen with very strict instructions about its care, making it virtually impossible to photograph the instrument."

The Gaspar da Salo-Benvenuto Cellini Violin, Violins & Violinists, November-December, 1960, Chicago

"The celebrated 'Treasury Violin' of Inspruch, by Gaspar di Salo with Caryatides, by Benvenuto Cellini, sculptured by special command of Cardinal Aldorandi, and by him presented to the Museum of Inspruch. After the assault upon the said city by the French in 1809, the Museum was plundered and the violin carried to Vienna, where the Councillor Rehazek placed this unique gem in his celebrated collection of ancient musical instruments, refusing to sell it at any price. He left it by will to Ole Bull in 1842. Up to that period it had never been played upon; had no bar, only a bridge of boxwood, sculptured and painted, and a very short and inlaid finger-board."

The Violin Gallery, George A. Dissmore, The Violin Gallery, Des Moines, IA

Known players

Ole Bull


  • Berühmte Geigen und ihre Schicksale, P. J. Tonger, Cologne (illustrated)
  • Gasparo da Salo: architetto del suono (exhibition catalog), Flavio Dasseno, curator, cremonabooks, Cremona (illustrated)
  • Gasparo da Salò, A. M. Mucchi, Editore Ulrico Hoepli, Milan (illustrated)
  • Gasparo da Salò e la liuteria bresciana tra Rinascimento e Barocco, Flavio Dassenno and Ugo Ravasio, editors, Fondazione Civilita Vresciana, Brescia (illustrated)
  • The Strad, 1911, B. Henderson, London, Nov 1911 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, January, 1996, Orpheus, London (illustrated)
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XVII, No. 1, Ammon Weinstein, The Queens College Press, Flushing, NY (illustrated)
  • The Amadeus Book of the Violin, Walter Kolneder, Amadeus Press, Portland
  • Violins & Violinists, November-December, 1960, William Lewis & Son, Chicago
  • The Violin Gallery, George A. Dissmore, Des Moines, IA (illustrated)


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