Vincenzo Rugeri, Cremona, c. 1700, the 'Baron Knoop'

Violin: 47349

Labeled, "Francescus Rugerius Alumnus Nicolai fecit Cremone 1663"

Previously thought to be the work of Francesco Rugeri.

Back: Two-piece

Length of back: 35.2 cm

Upper bouts: 16.9 cm

Middle bouts: 11.5 cm

Lower bouts: 20.8 cm


"The Vincenzo Rugeri violin we offer was bought twice by the Baron. First he gave it to a young Russian prodigy named Gregorowitsch, who was a student of Joseph Joachim. Hill & Sons states that Gregorowitsch had "gone bad" and was "murdered by the Bolsheviks." When the Rugeri eventually made its way back to the Hill & Son firm, the Baron purchased it for a second time and presented it to the Baroness for her use.

Hill & Sons states, ". . .the handsome Francesco Rugeri, which we sold to Baron Knoop. . .is one of the finest by this maker that we have ever seen."

It is our opinion that this violin was made circa 1700 (later than Hill & Sons' estimate) not by Francesco, but by one of his sons, Vincenzo Rugeri, whose work has become recognized on its own merit. His design is more advanced than his father's with broader and flatter arches. This violin is built on the grand pattern, from maple of exquisite beauty. Vincenzo frequently made violins using spectacular wood, covered with the finest, most transparent varnish. As one would expect, the sound is also advanced. It possesses the Cremonese timbre but also the power that was desired in Cremona during the time of Stradivari's ascendancy."

Reuning & Son Violins Newsletter, Fall, 2005, Reuning & Son Violins Newsletter, Fall, 2005, Boston


- Abel Sequin
until 1878 Richardson
from 1878 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1878 Kummer
from c. 1880 Baron Johann Knoop
- Karol Gregorowicz
- Sold by Ernst Kessler
until 1894 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1894 Baron Johann Knoop
- Sold by Hamma & Co.
- Sir Ernest Craig
until 1938 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1938 C. L. Benn
until 1969 Mrs Marguerite Silvia Benn
in 1969 Sold by Christie's
from 1969 Anderson
in 2008 Sold by Tarisio Private Sales
from 2008 Current owner

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1938) ". . . was made by Francesco Rugeri and bears a label dated 1664."

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.)


  • Bein & Fushi Catalog, No. 21 (2009), Bein & Fushi, Inc, Bein & Fushi, Chicago (illustrated)
  • Christie's The Loder Stradivarius Violin, Musical Instruments, Miniatures and Objects of Vertu Auction Catalog, December 9, 1969, Christie's, Christie's, London (illustrated)
  • Reuning & Son Violins Newsletter, Fall, 2005, Reuning & Son, Boston
  • The Strad, October, 2007, Christopher Reuning, Newsquest Specialist Media, London (illustrated)


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