Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1711, the 'Mara'


Cello: 40275

Original label

Back: Two-piece of maple of medium grain ascending from right to left

Top: of wide-grain pine

Scroll: matches back

Ribs: matches back

Varnish: Orange-brown

Length of back: 75.6 cm

Upper bouts: 33.8 cm

Middle bouts: 22.6 cm

Lower bouts: 43.6 cm

There are 26 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


Notes:

The name derives from Giovanni Mara, a second-rate cellist, whose main claim to fame was that he had the good fortune to marry Gertrude Elizabeth Schmöhling, one of the premier violinists at the turn of the century. Mara is generally described as a drunkard, and his wife divorced him in 1799.

How Many Strads?, Ernest N. Doring, Ernest N. Doring, William Lewis & Son, Chicago, 1945


Exhibited at the South Kensington Invesntions Exhibition in 1885.

Celebrated Violins and Their Owners, Eugene Polonaski, edited by E. Polanski, London, 1897


"He [Baldovino] had parted with his old and mythical companion, the 'Mara' Stradivari of 1711 after selling it to Heinrich Schiff a few years before, but the cello's anecdotes went on. . . One in particular is that of the 1963 shipwreck in the river Rio De La Plata, involving the Trio De Trieste in hours of frozen waters, fires on board, lives lost (all the stuff in a second rate American movie) and then the miraculous recovery of the 'Mara' cello!"

Il Violincello Mainardi-Baldovino, Claude Lebet, Edizioni dell'Ariete, 1999


"Mara, the husband of the gifted Madame Mara, was a good player, but a drunken fellow, and behaved ill to his wife. He brought over a fine instrument of this maker, the tone of which was everything that could be desired, especially that of the first string, it was musical aud rich, with much power ; the figure or mottle of the wood was extremely beautiful. It is believed that Mr. Crossdill purchased this instrument from Mara, and that he sold it at the beginning of the present century to General Bosville, afterwards Lord Macdonald. His son disposed of it to Mr. Lucas, who played on it for some time at the Italian Opera, where he succeeded Lindley as principal violoncellist, and subsequently parted with it to Mr. John Whitmore Isaac, of Worcester."

The History of the Violin and Other Instruments Played On With the Bow From the Remotest Times to the Present, William Sandys and Simon Andrew Forster, John Russell Smith, London, 1864


"Photographs of the parts of this instrument, which became severely damages as a result of being immersed in water, due to the sinking of the ship off the river Plate on which Mr. Baldovino was travelling. The instrument was subsquently restored by us at a cost of £1000."

W. E. Hill & Sons Photographic Archive, W. E. Hill & Sons Photographic Archive

Provenance

- Giovanni Mara
until 1808 John Crosdill
in 1808 John Betts
1808 - 1810 William Champion
from 1810 Lord MacDonald
- Charles Lucas
until 1860 Miss Miriam Lucas
from 1860 John Whitmore Isaac
in 1885 G. Swinton Isaac
until 1887 W. E. Hill & Sons
1887 - 1902 Signor Alessandro Pezze
1902 - 1908 H. J. Gardner
1908 - 1910 W. E. Hill & Sons
1910 - 1934 Carlos A. Tornquist
until 1934 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1934 Murray Lees
in 1950 Anthony Pini
1953 - 1954 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1954 Amedeo Baldovino
- Sold by John & Arthur Beare
from 1996 Anonymous
in 2014 Current owner

Known players

Amedeo Baldovino, Giovanni Mara, Heinrich Schiff, John Crosdill

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London States that the instrument is original and in a perfect state of preservation.

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

  • Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Instruments
  • Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1902
  • Antonius Stradivarius (volumes I-IV), Jost Thöne, Jan Röhrmann, Alessandra Barabaschi, Jost Thöne Verlag, Cologne, 2010 (illustrated)
  • The Violin Times, May, 1897, Eugene Polonaski, edited by E. Polanski, London, 1897
  • How Many Strads?, Ernest N. Doring, William Lewis & Son, Chicago, 1945
  • How Many Strads? - Supplemental
  • Il Violoncello Mainardi-Baldovino, Claude Lebet, Edizioni dell'Ariete, 1999
  • Private Archives - 10072
  • The History of the Violin and Other Instruments Played On With the Bow From the Remotest Times to the Present, William Sandys and Simon Andrew Forster, John Russell Smith, London, 1864
  • The Strad, October 2017, Alessandra Barabaschi, Newsquest, London, October (illustrated)
  • The Strad 2007 Calendar, Orpheus Publications, London, 2006 (illustrated)
  • W. E. Hill & Sons Photographic Archive (illustrated)
  • W. E. Hill Business Records (1850 - 1990)

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