Lorenzo Storioni, Cremona, c. 1785, the 'Roisman, Steinhardt'


Violin: 41111

Labeled, "Joseph Guarnerius fecit Cremonae anno 1741 IHS".

Cut down from a small viola.

Back: in two pieces of maple with narrow-width, irregular flame.

Top: in two pieces of spruce with broad-width grain.

Scroll: also by Storioni but not original to the instrument, of slightly plainer maple.

Ribs: of similar wood.

Varnish: of a dark orange-brown color.

Length of back: 36.0 cm

Upper bouts: 16.5 cm

Middle bouts: 11.8 cm

Lower bouts: 21.0 cm

There are 26 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


Notes:

"Charles [Beare] told me that the violin, except for the scroll, was unquestionably the work of Cremonese master Lorenzo Storioni and that the instrument, probably made in the 1780s, was originally a small viola, so small that either Storioni himself or a later violinmaker decided to cut it down to violin size . . . .

Several weeks later, Jacques Francais served up an identical opinion but in addition made me an offer I ultimately could not refuse. Jacques explained that he had a del Gesù without its original scroll and that in his opinion I had a del Gesù scroll without . . . Here he stopped in midsentence. 'Excuse me, mon ami.' Jacques disappeared into the back of his shop and emerged moments later with a small Storioni viola scroll, which matched my instrument astonishingly well in both color and proportion. He contended that this was very possibly the violin;s original scroll, separated for profit years earlier by an unscrupulous dealer working in what amounted to a violin chop shop. "

Violin Dreams, Violin Dreams, New York

Provenance

- Emil Hauser
until 1974 Joseph Roisman
from 1974 Current owner

Known players

Arnold Steinhardt, Emil Hauser, Josef Roisman

Certificates & Documents

  • Proforma Certificate: Tarisio, New York, NY (2022)
  • Dendrochronology report: Peter Ratcliff, London (2022) Dates the latest ring of the bass and treble side as 1735 and 1729, respectively. Printed report available for purchase upon request.
  • Certificate: Jacques Français, New York, NY (1980) #2154.
  • Certificate: Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., New York, NY (1946) Jay Freeman: Attributes the instrument to Nicolo Bergonzi.
  • Letter: Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., New York, NY (1932) Attributes the instrument to Michel Angelo Bergonzi.
  • Certificate: Otto Möckel, Berlin (1926) Attributes the instrument to Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu.

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

  • The Strad 2008 Calendar, Newsquest Specialist Media, London (illustrated)
  • The Strad, July, 1988, R. D. Lawrence, London (illustrated)
  • The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (illustrated)
  • Violin Dreams, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York

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