Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, Turin, 1777, the 'Simpson'

Cello: 40870

Bearing its original label, "Joannes Baptista Guadagnini Cremonsis fecit Taurini alumnus Antoni Stradivari 1777 GBGT."

Back: in two matched pieces of quarter sawn native Italian maple with narrow irregular flame.

Top: in two pieces of spruce of medium width grain.

Scroll: of plainer maple.

Ribs: of plainer maple.

Varnish: of a golden orange brown colour.

Length of back: 71.5 cm

Upper bouts: 33.4 cm

Middle bouts: 24.6 cm

Lower bouts: 42.1 cm

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


"The 1777 'Simpson', made in Turin during his last period, shows signs of the count's influence. Apart from its stunning state of preservation, it is striking for its small size (compact, at 71.5cm in body length), its stark and pugnacious appearance, and the curious effect of a maker adopting a style of work which is alien to him. However, the imposition of a few Stradivarian touches only emphasises the uniqueness of Guadagnini's own method and vision, and helps make this instrument a startlingly different animal to his earlier work…The major problem is the startling difference between front and back; the two outlines seem completely unrelated. The front is considerably wider at all points, and the actual curves of all the bouts defy comparison. It is often the case that fronts of old cellos are slightly wider than the backs, probably due to the arching of the top sinking a little under the loading of the strings, which in turn tends to spread the margins outward. All Guadagnini cellos seem to show this disparity to a marked extent, but the difference between front and back on the 'Simpson' is particularly extreme."

Reluctant Stradivarian, John Dilworth, The Strad, December, 2002, London


Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue
Dr. Robatel
until 1911 W. E. Hill & Sons
1911-1949 H. P. Simpson
... ...
in 1983 Sold by Sotheby's
... ...
in 2001 Anonymous
in 2002 Machold Rare Violins, Ltd
from 2002 Current owner

Known players

Natalie Clein

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: Machold Rare Violins, Ltd, Vienna (2001) X-1441.
  • Certificate: Peter Biddulph, London (2001) Vc.0301-03.
  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1911)

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.)


  • The Strad 2000 Calendar, Orpheus Publications, London (illustrated)
  • Correspondence with the Stradivari Trust, January-February, 2010
  • Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, Duane Rosengard, Carteggio Media, Haddonfield, NJ (illustrated)
  • The Strad, December, 2002, John Dilworth, Orpheus, London
  • Sotheby's Highly Important Musical Instruments Auction Catalog, November 25, 1983, London, Sotheby's, Sotheby's, London (illustrated)


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