Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù', Cremona, 1731, the 'Messeas'


Cello: 40385

original, the last known label of the elder Giuseppe

Back: Two-piece, of poplar or willow

Top: five-pieces of spruce

Ribs: of beech

Length of back: 73.5 cm

Upper bouts: 35.4 cm

Middle bouts: 24.3 cm

Lower bouts: 43.7 cm

There is 1 additional image in the archive which is not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


Notes:

"The last instrument carrying Giuseppe's label that's known. The hand of his son (del Gesu) can be clearly seen."

I Centenari Dei Guarneri, I Centenari Dei Guarneri: 1698-1998, Cremona


According to Hargrave, this instrument "seems to be entirely the work of del Gesù, with is characteristic archings evident on both plates. The scroll of the cello is also of different workmanship, matching those of del Gesù's early violins, in particular the "Kreisler". The proportions are quite different from any previously known work by the elder Giuseppe: the centre bouts are shorter than usual, and this alone indicates the use of a different mould. Despite the claim on the label, the whole marks a complete break from the earlier style of Giuseppe filius Andreae. . . ."

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


"We sold a cello this year that was actually a del Gesù cello. Everybody knows that he didn't make cellos, but he made this one! Everybody in the trade from Alfred Hill on has been aware of this cello, which has a Joseph Filius label dated 1731. That is the label of the father. But when you look at the instrument, it has all the characteristics of a del Gesù. I would safely say that cello was made in early 1731 when his father's business was closed and he moved to his new house."

Guided Tour of the Library of Congress Collection of Stringed Instruments, Robert Bein, Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XVII, No. 2, Flushing, NY


". . .Arthur Hill wrote in his diaries in 1915, 'this is the only cello by this maker in which, Alfred tells me, he has been able to definitely detect the handiwork of the great Joseph del Gesu.'"

Cremona 1730-1750: the Olympus of Violin Making, Christopher Reuning, editor, Cremona 1730-1750: the Olympus of Violin Making, Cremona


". . . we find an entry in Arthur Hill's diary from December 23, 1915 in which he states: "One was the sale of a cello made by Joseph Guarnerius filius Andrea, which we obtained from an important Cornish house where it had been lying perdu for very many years to a Mr. James Messas. This is the only cello by the above mentioned maker in which, Alfred tells me, he has been able to definitely detect the handiwork of the great Joseph del Gesu." Apparently, the Hills, while recognizing the cello was made by del Gesu, chose to sell the instrument as labeled rather than specify the actual maker.

When Rembert Wurlitzer and Fernando Sacconi examined the cello they were emphatic about the authoriship of the instrument. In 1961 Rember Wurlitzer wrote: . . ."we looked with admiration at the boldness of its work and then studied the many individual characteristics which go to make up a definitie conclusion that this cello showed in its entirety that was made by Guarneri del Gesu.""

Bein & Fushi Catalog, circa 1998, Bein & Fushi, Inc, Bein & Fushi Catalog, No. 11 (1998), Chicago

Provenance

until 1909 W. C. Pendarves
until 1911 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1911 D. T. Brown
until 1915 W. E. Hill & Sons
... ...
in 1931 James Messeas
- A. B. Bolte
until 1961 Rembert Wurlitzer Inc.
from 1961 Christopher Loring
until 1999 Bein & Fushi, Inc
in 1999 Anonymous
in 1999 Sold by Eduard Wulfson
2001 - 2013 Anonymous
from 2013 Current owner

Known players

David Geringas, Natalia Gutman

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: John & Arthur Beare, London (1999)
  • Certificate: Bein & Fushi, Inc, Chicago, IL (1999)
  • Letter: Rembert Wurlitzer Inc., New York, NY (1961) ". . . We came to the very definite conclusion that this cello showed in its entirety that it was made by Guarneri del Gesu. . ."

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

  • The Strad 2011 Calendar: Cello Heroes, Newsquest, London (illustrated)
  • The Strad, April, 2001, Laurinel Owen, Orpheus, London (illustrated)
  • The Strad, April, 2001, Orpheus, London (illustrated)
  • Bein & Fushi Catalog, No. 11 (1998), Bein & Fushi, Inc, Bein & Fushi, Chicago (illustrated)
  • Cremona 1730-1750: the Olympus of Violin Making, Christopher Reuning, editor, Consorzio Liutai Antonio Stradivari, Cremona (illustrated)
  • Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú (2 volumes), Carlos Chiesa, John Dilworth, Roger Graham Hargrave, Stewart Pollens, Duane Rosengard & Eric Wen, Peter Biddulph, London
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XVII, No. 2, Robert Bein, The Queens College Press, Flushing, NY
  • I Centenari Dei Guarneri: 1698-1998, Consorzio Liutai e Archettai "Antonio Stradivai", Cremona
  • Interpol Database of Stolen Art
  • Stradivari Society Recipients
  • The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London

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