George Gemunder I, New York, NY, 1860, the 'Maud Powell'


Violin: 42699

Labeled, "Johannes Baptista Guadagnini, in Turin, 1775"

Back: Two-piece of smallish figured curly maple with the grain almost straight across

Top: of medium-grained spruce

Scroll: of plainer wood

Ribs: of wood similar to back

Varnish: Red

Length of back: 35.6 cm

Upper bouts: 16.5 cm

Middle bouts: 11.1 cm

Lower bouts: 20.3 cm

There are 8 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


Notes:

"Previously thought to have been made about 1775 by Johannes Baptista Guadagnini of Turin, this instrument has been identified by Kenneth Warren as having been made by George Gemunder of Astoria, NY about 1860-1870. He states that the instrument is a well-made copy after Johannes Baptista Guadagnini of Turin, Italy, and cites the presence of the characteristic yellow-pink varnish typical of George Gemunder."

Henry Ford Museum Documentation


"[quoting Maud Powell:] 'Then there is the matter of the violin. I first used a Joseph Guarnerius, a deeper toned instrument than the Jean Baptista Guadagnini I have now played for a number of years. The Guarnerius has a tone that seems to come more from within the instrument; but all in all I have found my Guadagnini, with its glassy clearness, its brilliant and limpid tone-quality, better adapted to American concert halls. If I had a Strad in the same condition as my Guadagnini the instrument would be priceless. I regretted giving up my Guarnerius, but I could not play the two violins interchangeably; for they were absolutely different in size and tone-production, shape, etc. Then my hand is so small that I ought to use the instrument best adapted to it, and to use the same instrument always. '"

Violin Mastery: Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers, Frederick H. Martens, Violin Mastery: Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers, New York

Provenance

- Oswald Schilbach
1907 - 1920 Maud Powell
1920 - 1924 H. Godfrey Turner
from 1920 Nathan E. Posner
until 1926 John Friedrich & Brothers
1926 - 1947 Henry Ford
from 1947 Henry Ford Museum

Known players

Maud Powell

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: John Friedrich & Bro., New York, NY (1926)
  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1925)

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

  • Henry Ford Museum Documentation
  • Historic women performers: Maud Powell, Alessandra Barabaschi, February 6, 2018
  • The Strad, August, 1980, Neva Garner Greenwood, London
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. VIII, No. 2, Karen A. Shaffer, The Queens College Press, Flushing, NY (illustrated)
  • Violins & Violinists, July-August, 1959, Victor Angelescu, William Lewis & Son, Chicago (illustrated)
  • The Guadagnini Family of Violin Makers, Ernest N. Doring, William Lewis & Son, Chicago
  • Violins & Violinists, July-August, 1960, Victor Angelescu, William Lewis & Son, Chicago
  • Violin Mastery: Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers, Frederick H. Martens, Frederick A. Stokes Co., New York

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