Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Brescia, 1600, the 'Dumas Tenor'

Viola: 40414

Back: Two-piece with the curl slanting down from the center joint; double-purfled

Top: Two-piece, with strong close grain, widening towards the outsides; double-purfled

Ribs: cut on the slab

Varnish: Rich golden brown

Length of back: 42.45 cm

Upper bouts: 20.28 cm

Middle bouts: 13.18 cm

Lower bouts: 24.59 cm

There are 3 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


"More spectacular was the mark-up on a rare viola by Giovanni Paulo Maggini, named the "Dumas" after its original owner. It was valued by Biddulph at £200,000 in 1992, even though he had in 1990 valued two lesser Maggini violas for another client at £300,000 and £400,000. Although the estate agreed to sell the Dumas to Howard Gottlieb for £200,000, instead James Warren bought it for that price, together with a Guarnieri violin for £150,000, after Gottlieb allegedly discovered flaws in the instruments.

Although Biddulph claims to have doubted the authenticity of the scroll on the Dumas - doubts confirmed by WE Hill's recently published records - Warren had none, and promptly valued it at $1m, then consigned it to Bein & Fushi, who sold it as 'perfect' three months later for £750,000."

News, sport and opinion from the Guardian's US edition | The Guardian, Alix Kirsta, The Guardian, London

One of the instruments exhibited in Brescia in June, 2007 at the "Gio Paolo Maggini Secoli di dettagli" exhibition.

Gio Paolo Maggini, Exhibition - Brescia, Italy, 2007

"The instrument maintains its original dimensions and all the characteristics of the violin making of Maggini.."

Liutai in Brescia: 1520-1724, Eric Blot, Liutai in Brescia: 1520-1724, Cremona

"As a specimen of Maggini's violas the Dumas instrument may confidently be pronounced unsurpassable. It will bear comparison with the finest violas of the other great makers."

Gio: Paolo Maggini: His Life and Work, Margaret L.Huggins, Margaret L.Huggins, Gio: Paolo Maggini: His Life & Work, London


- Luigi Tarisio
from 1840 Pierre & Hippolyte Silvestre
- Dumas Brothers
until 1892 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1892 John McGowan
until 1896 W. E. Hill & Sons
in 1897 Baron Johann Knoop
until 1918 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1918 H. M. Dowson
- Sold by W. E. Hill & Sons
- Ernest A. Sandeman
until 1940 W. E. Hill & Sons
... ...
in 1959 Horace Egar Bowles
until 1958 W. E. Hill & Sons
1958 - 1992 Gerald Segelman
in 1992 Segelman Trust
in 1992 Sold by James Warren
from 1992 Anonymous
in 2007 Current owner

Certificates & Documents

  • Dendrochronology report: John C. Topham, Surrey (2013) Dating the youngest tree ring to 1571.
  • Certificate: Bein & Fushi, Inc, Chicago, IL (1993) "The Viola is the best example by the maker that we have seen."
  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1938)
  • Certificate: Peter Biddulph, London

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.)



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