Giovanni Battista Grancino I, Milan, 1706, the 'Piatti, Dunlop'

Cello: 42189


Back: Two-piece, slab-cut maple without flaming

Top: Two-part with a wing added to the treble side

Scroll: narrow, possibly by a later maker

Varnish: Golden-brown

Length of back: 74.9 cm

Upper bouts: 33.2 cm

Middle bouts: 23.7 cm

Lower bouts: 43.6 cm


"The elder Giovanni Grancino would have been 70 in 1706, so this instrument was probably made by his son, also named Giovanni. At an unknown date, the contour of this instrument was reduced. Then, around 1890 , it was enlarge by the Hill firm to the standard size of 75 cm."

Masterpieces of Violin-Making, Rudolf Hopfner, Rudolf Hopfner, Masterpieces of Violin-Making: The Collection of Bowed Stringed Instruments of the Oesterreische Nationalbank, Milan

"It is I suppose nearly twenty years since I first heard, and afterwards examined this bass during a visit which Van Biene paid to Gateshead-on-Tyne. The next occasion was at Puttick and Simpson's Auction Rooms when it came to the hammer after its owner's death. He was in the habit of referring to it as his Guarnerius, but it has long been recognised as a fine example of Giovanni Grancino's work, and was, if I remember rightly, so described at the sale. There is no label, but the authorship is unmistakable, and the general appearance of the body quite characteristic throughout."

The Van Biene Grancino, Towry Piper, The Strad, 1915, London


Alfredo Piatti
Charles B. Lutyens
until 1899 W. E. Hill & Sons
1899-1900 Delanoy
from 1900 Alleman
Auguste van Biene
in 1913 Sold by Puttick & Simpson
... ...
from 1931 Miss Schuyler Dunlop
in 1963 Ralph P. Powell
... ...
in 1994 Sold by Bonhams
from 1995 Oesterreichische Nationalbank

Known players

Alfredo Piatti, Auguste van Biene, Stephan Gartmayer

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: Machold Rare Violins, Ltd, Vienna (1995) X-1146
  • Certificate: Albert Caressa, Paris (1931)
  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1900)

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 1998 Calendar, Orpheus Publications, London (illustrated)
  • Bonhams Fine Musical Instruments Auction Catalog, June 21, 1994, London, Bonhams, Bonhams, London (illustrated)
  • Magician of the Cello
  • Masterpieces of Violin-Making: The Collection of Bowed Stringed Instruments of the Oesterreische Nationalbank, Rudolf Hopfner, Skira, Milan (illustrated)
  • Private Papers
  • The Strad, 1915, Towry Piper, London, Nov 1915 (illustrated)


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