Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, Parma, 1759, the 'Scott'

Violin: 45219

Labeled, "Joannes Baptista Guadagnini / Cremonensis fecit Parmae / C. S. R 1759."

Back: Two-piece of medium curl

Top: of medium to narrow grain

Scroll: of wood similar to back

Ribs: of wood similar to back

Varnish: Orange over a golden ground

Length of back: 35.4 cm


"Three people, including Nicolo Bonelli's own sister, were charged with felony crimes Wednesday in connection with the mysterious disappearance of the retired Minnesota Orchestra player's 1759 violin.

Authorities originally suspected that the violin was stolen by Stephen Huro, who was convicted earlier this year of stealing more than $104,000 from the 85-year-old Bonelli.

But charges filed by the Ramsey County attorney's office Wednesday allege that Amelita Bonelli, the musician's sister, her friend Margarie J. Kidder and Kidder's son, Kenneth R. Talbot, are responsible.

Amelita Bonelli, 83, of St. Anthony, allegedly gave Kidder the 1759 Guadagnini violin in 1996 because Bonelli did not want Ramsey County officials to sell it to pay for her brother's nursing home care. Bonelli, who failed to turn the violin over to a court-appointed conservator for her brother, was charged with wrongfully obtaining public assistance. She declined to comment Wednesday.

Kidder, 66, of Mounds View, and Talbot, 47, of Stacy, Minn., each were charged with six felony offenses including attempted theft by swindle, attempt to receive stolen property and attempted theft by wrongfully obtaining assistance. Neither could be reached for comment.

According to a criminal complaint, Amelita Bonelli was deceived by Kidder, who told Bonelli she left the violin at a store to be found by a stranger but actually arranged with her son to sell it in England and keep the proceeds.

Talbot took the violin to London and arranged to have the proceeds of the sale paid to him, according to a criminal compliant. The plan was foiled when a St. Paul violin shop owner, John Waddle, who was aware of the missing violin, spotted it last November in a Christie's auction catalog and alerted authorities before it could be sold.

The violin was returned to Minnesota, where Waddle arranged for its purchase by an unnamed Minnesota violinist for $148,500. The proceeds, about $135,000, are being used by the court-appointed conservator to pay Nicolo Bonelli's nursing home costs."

Sister accused of giving away 1759 violin to stop sale, Star Tribune, Minneapolis


until 1998 Nicolo Bonelli
from 1998 Current owner


  • Christie's Musical Instruments Auction Catalog, November 19, 1997, London, Christie's, Christie's, London (illustrated)
  • Star Tribune, Minneapolis
  • The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (illustrated)


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