Alessandro D'Espine, Turin, 1830, the 'Piatti'

Cello: 47639

Back: One-piece

Length of back: 75.8 cm


"One of the cellos from the 1829 concourse, I believe, was subsequently relabeled Stradivari. It was in this form in 1844 when Piatti used it for a theatre performance in Torino. D'Espine was in the audience -- his Swiss-born wife being a singer in the ensemble -- and of course recognized his work, leading to the first and only meeting between the two."

The Pressenda Family, Philip J. Kass, Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XV, No. 1, Flushing, NY

"Tarisio frequently handled the violoncello, and spoke of it in terms of the warmest admiration, quite giving Castagna to imagine that he considered it a genuine Stradivari, but I need hardly say that he did not buy it himself. . . . When Castagna died, his wife wrote and asked me to go and see the violoncello again, and I did so. I remembered the instrument well, and I told her that there was no question but that it was a modern instrument, and worth about the money I had paid for it. On looking, however, at the bow I had sold with the violoncello, of which I had never taken particular notice, I found to my astonishment that it was a genuine Tourte, and I bought it back on the spot for a higher price than I had received for it when accompanied by the violoncello and case. . . ."

The History of a Violoncello, The Violin Times, July, 1894, London


from 1842 Alfredo Piatti
Madame Castagna
Current owner

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: John & Arthur Beare, London (2003)

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, 1894, edited by E. Polanski & Edward Heron-Allen, London
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XV, No. 1, Philip J. Kass, The Queens College Press, Flushing, NY
  • Troostwijk Exceptional Auction Sale Catalog, July 1-2, 2004, Zurich, Zurich (illustrated)


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