"It is an instrument of many poetical reminiscences; that it shared the vicissitudes as well as the triumphs of its great master is proved by the inscription of its initials on the 'button' at the back of the instrument. It appears that Paganini pawned it to pay a gambling debt, and scratched his initials thereon to identify it. The Duke of Parma bought the 'cello of the same pawnbroker for the sum of £30, and then presented it to Piatti, who used the 'cello entirely until he was presented with the famous old 'Strad' by his London admirers in 1883."
Celebrated Violins and Their Owners, Eugene Polonaski, The Violin Times, February, 1898, London
"He (Piatti) also told me of its one and only accident while in his possession. It happened when he was playing in Dublin, some years ago. After the concert was over the quartet of artists found difficulty in getting a conveyance to take them to the station. Eventually a four-wheeled cab was obtained, the 'cello was hoisted -- needless to say in a substantial case -- on to the top of the vehicle. On arriving at the station poor Piatti became nearly frantic to find that the cab was there, he was there, but Jacobus Patrio Ruggeri's masterpiece was not there. Immediately the steps of the party were retraced, and after traversing some ditance the 'cello was discovered lying in a snow-heap with its case burst open, and surrounded by a group of small boys, who labouring under the delusion that they beheld a coffin, were trying to catch a glimse of the corpse. . . ."
Letter to the Editor, Muriel Handley, The Violin Times, April, 1898, 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
"On a curious note, the cello is also the protagonist of a comic strip by Guido Crepax, son of the cellist Gilberto, entitled Pietro Giacomo Rogeri."
Liutai in Brescia: 1520-1724, Eric Blot, Liutai in Brescia: 1520-1724, Cremona
"This magnificent cello has a suitably colourful history. An 1898 issue of 'The Violin times' tells how Nicolo Paganini scratched his initials on the back button, where the characters 'NP' can still be seen, before pawning it to pay off a gambling debt. It was then bough from the pawnbroker for £30 by the Duke of Parma. The Hills mention it specifically in their seminal book 'Antonio Stradivari, His Life and Work' in their discussion of the evolution of Stradivari's cello designs. The call it an 'admiral form. . .of excellent dimensions. . .for many years used by Signor [Alfredo] Piatti as his solo cello.'"
Hard Knock Life, Peter Biddulph, Frédéric Chaudière & John Dilworth, The Strad, July, 2009, London