Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1709, the 'Markevitch, Delfino'

Cello: 41288

Labeled, "Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis, faciebat anno 1709."

The initials "S.M." inscribed adjacent to the bass sound-hole.

Read Jason Price's Carteggio feature on this cello.

Back: in two pieces of quarter cut maple with narrow-width flame descending slightly from the center seam.

Top: in two pieces of spruce with medium-width grain broadening toward the edges.

Scroll: of slightly plainer maple.

Ribs: of similar wood.

Varnish: of a red orange-brown color.

Length of back: 75.6 cm

Upper bouts: 33.2 cm

Middle bouts: 21.8 cm

Lower bouts: 42.75 cm

There are 29 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


"About three years after the instrument was finished, on M. Delphin, a man of some attainments, but not a musician, bought with all its contents, a house in Cremona. Here, among other valuables, he found the Stradivarius 'cello. . . .

In the course of time, Delphin's grandson became a musician, and to him was presented the 'cello. The young Delphin became an adept at his art, and while still a youth attracted the attention of the Prince Potemkin Tavritschesky, a high noble in the reign of Catherin II of Russia. . . . Thus Delphin was employed, and when he entered Russian brought the Stradivarius 'cello with him. Delphin had been only a few years in Russia when his Patron died. . . . Casting about for employment, he obtained the indulgence of that young fashionable, Count Goudowitsch, Master of the Royal Hounds of His Majesty Nicholas I. Here Delphin thrived until 1800, when he died suddenly. [sic, incorrect]

During his life in Russia, Delphin had married, one daughter resulting from the union. . . . The girl, however, had no great desire to own the 'cello, convinced that she could make but poor use of it, and wishing rather that it might be perpetuated to the honour of her parent. So when the Count gave her 20,000 francs for it, she was both grateful and content.. . ."

. . . Growing towards old age, the Count expressed a desire to transmit the 'cello to some one that would both appreciate and preserve the gift. That was in 1864. The count was then 85 years old. . . . Among his relatives was this Andrew Nicolaievitsch Markowitsch, who was a musician of some attainments and a connoisseur of classic instruments. Feeling that he could make no better selection than this, he presented the 'cello to him, and by him it has been kept to this day."

A Valuable Violoncello, The Violin Times, July, 1898, London

Count cozio's Notes, June 5, 1816: "Measurements of the cello made by Antonio Stradivari in 1709, and owned by Professor Alessandro Delfini, called Brescianino. . . ." (p. 244)

Memoirs of a Violin Collector: Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue, Memoirs of a Violin Collector: Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue, Baltimore

Count Cozio notes on 5 June 1816: The [front plate] measurements of the 1709 Antonio Stradivari cello of Signor Prof. Alessandro Delfini [Delfino] (who is known as ‘Brescianino’) [...] are made using the Piede di Parigi and are taken ‘over the arching’ [preso sulle curve]: Upper Bout maximum width, including the borders: piedi 1, pollici 0, ponti 92/3 Centre Bout minimum width, including the borders: piedi 0, pollici 8, ponti 81⁄2 Lower Bout maximum width, including the borders: piedi 1, pollici 4, ponti 32/3 Total length of the front plate, including the borders: piede 2, pollici 4, ponti 11⁄2 = 346.6mm = 235.7mm = 441.2mm = 761.1mm

'In 1863 he received a Stradivari instrument from his great uncle, Andrei Gudovitch, who had acquired it in 1822 by trading a superb open carriage with four jet-black horses, as well as two bondsmen, a coachman, a footman and all their families.'

Mastering Bach, Dennis Rooney, The Strad, April, 1999, London


- Sold by Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.
from 1712 Alessandro Delfini
until c. 1820 Count Alessandro Delfino
1822 - 1863 Count Andrei Gudovich
... ...
in 1902 Senator Andrei Nicolas Markevitch
until 1915 Boris Markevitch
1915 - 1916 Caressa & Français
from 1916 M. Rateau
in 1933 Jean Louis Courvoisier
in 1933 Sold by Caressa & Français
until 1938 Grace L. Broadbent
from 1938 Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.
in 1959 Clarence Henry Dragert
1962 - 1972 Dmitry Markevitch
from 1972 Dr David Josefowitz
until 2022 Fridart Stichting
in 2022 Sold by Tarisio Private Sales
from 2022 Current owner

Known players

Dmitry Markevitch, Lev Aronson, Oleg Kogan

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: Tarisio, Berlin (2022)
  • Dendrochronology report: John C. Topham, Surrey (2000) Dating the youngest tree ring to 1698.
  • Letter certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons (photocopy), London (1938)
  • Letter certificate: Rudolph Wurlitzer Co. (photocopy), New York, NY (1938)

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 Violin Times, July, 1898, edited by E. Polanski, London
  • Antonio Stradivari - Catalogue of the 2008 Exhibit in Montpelier, Peter Biddulph, Frédéric Chaudière & John Dilworth, Musée Fabre / Actes Sud, Montpelier (illustrated)
  • Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1902
  • Italian Violin Makers (1964), Karel Jalovec, Paul Hamlyn, London, 1964
  • Italienische Geigenbauer (1957), Karel Jalovec, Artia, Prague, 1957 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, March, 1996, David Rattray, Orpheus, London (illustrated)
  • Mastering Bach, April 1999
  • Masterpieces of Italian Violin Making, David Rattray, Outline Press, London (illustrated)
  • Memoirs of a Violin Collector: Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue, Brandon Frazier, Baltimore
  • Museum & Collections - What’s on - Royal Academy of Music
  • Private Archives - 10072
  • Rare Cello Brought Here by Aronson, May 31, 1959
  • Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, NY (illustrated)
  • Young guns


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