Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù', Cremona, c. 1730, the 'Kreisler'


Violin: 40400

Imitation label dated 1733

Dimensions taken with calipers

Back: Two-pieces of quarter-sawn maple descending from the centre joint; from the same log as the 'Stretton'

Scroll: Almost identical to a cello of 1731 bearing the label of Giuseppe 'filius Andreae'

Length of back: 35.5 cm

Upper bouts: 16.8 cm

Middle bouts: 11.2 cm

Lower bouts: 20.5 cm

There are 23 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


Notes:

"This instrument was part of the booty seized by British privateers when Junot's ship was captured and brought to Whitehaven in the Northwest of England. The vicar of Whitehaven bought the violin from one of the sailors for £2, and sold it to a collector, William Thomson, whose initials it still bears, branded in the scroll."

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 feel, and feel very strongly, that no specimen can exemplify del Gesù in his mature youth more strikingly than that dated 1733 (Kreisler), which conceivably was made some years previous to that year. It stands at the threshold of the master's emancipation from the past, the f-holes still reveal his indebtedness to Stradivari, but model and form are his own. Timid of conception, perhaps when contrasted with the audacity of later years, yet admirably typifying those closely knit examples which from the tonal point of view stand up to the greatest."

The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family (1626-1762), W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family, London

Provenance

- General Junot
- Vicar of Whitehaven
- William Thompson
- Day
c. 1875 - c. 1913 John Mountford
until 1913 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1913 Robert E. Brandt
in 1926 Sold by W. E. Hill & Sons
1926 - 1952 Fritz Kreisler
from 1952 Library of Congress, Washington

Known players

Fritz Kreisler

Certificates & Documents

  • Dendrochronology report: Peter Klein, Hamburg (1998) Dating the youngest tree ring to 1704.
  • Letter: Alfred E. Hill, London (1926) To Fritz Kreisler: "... it [the violin] was being transported with Marshall Junot's baggage from Bordeaux to Lisbon, at the beginning of the XIX century, (the latter city being occupied by French troops under his command), when the vessel was captured by an English privateer & brought into Whitehaven, Cumberland. The violin passed into the hands of a sailor who sold it to the Parson of Whitehaven for £2. . . .

    My father declared the violin to be the finest 'Guarneri' he had ever seen. I recognize it to be one of the few of the first rank."


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, May, 1988, Roger Hargrave, London (illustrated)
  • The Strad 2006 Calendar, Newsquest, London (illustrated)
  • 36 Famous Italian Violins, Alex Wasinski, Herman Gordon, New York (illustrated)
  • The Strad, January, 1987, Michael Darnton, London (illustrated)
  • Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesú (2 volumes), Carlos Chiesa, John Dilworth, Roger Graham Hargrave, Stewart Pollens, Duane Rosengard & Eric Wen, Peter Biddulph, London (illustrated)
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XVII, No. 2, Robert Bein, The Queens College Press, Flushing, NY (illustrated)
  • Kreisler's Violins, Tully Potter, 2017
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XV, No. 3, Samuel Zygmuntowicz, The Queens College Press, Flushing, NY (illustrated)
  • The Strad, May, 1988, London (illustrated)
  • The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (illustrated)
  • The Stringed Instrument Collection in the Library of Congress, Shinichi Yokoyama, Gakken
  • The Violin Book, Bafalon, London (illustrated)
  • The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London (illustrated)
  • The Violin Masterpieces of Guarneri del Gesù - Exhibition, Peter Biddulph, Peter Biddulph, London (illustrated)
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. V, No. 2, Albert Mell, The Queens College Press, Flushing, NY (illustrated)
  • W. E. Hill & Sons Photographic Archive (illustrated)

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