Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1712, the 'Viotti'

Violin: 40288

Back: Two-piece

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"The year 1712 provides us with a superb example - the violin used by Viotti until his death, when it was sent over to Paris, and sold with other effects by public auction. It is of the maker's largest and boldest form, extremely handsome in appearance, the tone being remarkable for luscious maturity of quality and sympathetic responsiveness to the lightest possible touch of bow and finger. The noble beauty of its tone seems to us to echo the elevated style of Viotti's compositions and his broad and impassioned playing.

Viotti, we must recollect, was the first supremely great violinist and composer for the violin to introduce and prove to his audiences the merits of Stradivari violins; and we find his followers and admirers- Baillot, Habeneck, Kreutzer, Lafont, Rode, and many others-all using Stradivaris, and permanently establishing their position in the world of music. Several other Stradivari violins are associated with Viotti's name, and existing evidence points to his having been in the habit of obtaining violins for friends and admirers; but the pedigree attached to this violin is undoubtedly authentic, and its superior merit cannot be questioned, although we fear that many of the rising generation of soloists would not appreciate its tonal qualities; - they would find it lacking in assertiveness."

Antonio Stradivarius: His Life & Work, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), London

"In fact, they [the Hills] exacerbated the situation by extolling the virtues of yet another Viotti Strad, made in 1712, in their book on Stradivari; there is no other evidence for the existence of this violin and the reference seems to be a misprint."

Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello and a Genius, Toby Faber, Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello and a Genius


until 1810 Prince Butera
1810-1824 Giovanni Battista Viotti
from 1824 Margaret Chinnery
from 1824 Unknown
from 1853 Unknown
from 1860 Unknown
until 1965 Henry Hottinger
from 1965 Current owner

Known players

Giovanni Battista Viotti

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1889)

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.)


  • Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1902
  • Henry Hottinger Collection (illustrated)
  • Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello and a Genius, Toby Faber, Macmillan
  • Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, NY (illustrated)
  • Viotti and the Chinnerys: A Relationship Charted Through Letters
  • W. E. Hill & Sons Photographic Archive (illustrated)


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