Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù', Cremona, 1738, the 'Kemp, Emperor'


Violin: 40426

Back: One-piece

Length of back: 35.25 cm

Upper bouts: 16.5 cm

Middle bouts: 11.1 cm

Lower bouts: 20.5 cm

There are 11 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


Notes:

Paganini was commissioned by Napoleon to find an instrument similar to the Canon for Napoleon's aide-de-camp, General Ernouf. This was the instrument that Paganini chose.

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


"Its state of preservation is extraordinary, and in this respect it easily surpasses any example by del Gesù with which I am acquainted. . ..

The back, as will be seen, is in one piece and shews a fairly broad curl. Near the purfling on the G side of the instrument a small piece of sycamore has been deftly inserted by the maker, doubtless to replace or make up a deficiency in the material. It is visible (near the shoulder) in the photographs, but is of little or no consequence as affecting the value of the specimen. . . ."

Guarneri del Gesu, Date 1738, Towry Piper, The Strad, 1925, London


"The back is extremely strong in thickness, comparable with the 'Cannon', one of the few Guarneris that survive with this original feature."

Ole Bull 2010: Guarneri del Gesu Collection, John Dilworth, Ole Bull 2010: Guarneri del Gesu Collection, Bergen


"The history of the violin contains a rather romantic story. Napolean is said to have heard Paganini, and been so impressed with the sound of his 'Cannon' that he commissioned Paganini to find a similar instrument for his aide-de-camp, General Ernouf. Paganini found for him this violin, which was named the 'Emperor' in Napolean's honor."

Ole Bull 2010: Guarneri del Gesu Collection, John Dilworth, Ole Bull 2010: Guarneri del Gesu Collection, Bergen

Provenance

until 1827 General Ernouf
... ...
in 1889 Joseph Chardon
from 1889 G. Fourchy
1923 - 1924 Nathan E. Posner
1924 - 1940 George H. Kemp
from 1940 Robert Augustus Bower
until 1949 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1949 E. Fleury
- Sold by Henry Werro
- Julian Olevsky
until 1986 Jacques Francais
... ...
in 1998 Howard Gottlieb
until 1999 Bein & Fushi, Inc
... ...
in 2005 David L. Fulton
- Current owner

Certificates & Documents

  • Dendrochronology report: Peter Klein, Hamburg (1998) Dating the youngest tree ring to 1709; both sides match the treble side of the 1745 "Leduc" (ID=448).

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

  • Cremona 1730-1750: the Olympus of Violin Making, Christopher Reuning, editor, Consorzio Liutai Antonio Stradivari, Cremona (illustrated)
  • The Strad, October, 1994, Stewart Pollens, Orpheus, 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)
  • The Strad, 1925, Towry Piper, London, January (illustrated)
  • Ole Bull 2010: Guarneri del Gesu Collection, John Dilworth, Bergen (illustrated)
  • The Miracle Makers, Bein & Fushi, Chicago (illustrated)
  • The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1931 (illustrated)
  • The Violin Masterpieces of Guarneri del Gesù - Exhibition, Peter Biddulph, Peter Biddulph, London (illustrated)
  • The Strad, March, 2006, Newsquest Specialist Media, London (illustrated)

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