"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