Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri 'del Gesù', Cremona, 1736, the 'Muntz, Bustabo'

Violin: 49615

Bearing its original label.

Back: One-piece

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"The " Viotti " fiddle dates from the year 1735, and Mr. Marshall's example from the following year. Both instruments measure 13 3/4 inches in length of body, but according to the figures given in the account of the former it is a trifle narrower in the widths than the violin here figured. I was at some pains to get the figures accurately and append the result ; the upper bouts measure 6 9/16th inches across, and the lower ones 8 1/8 ; the sides are from 1 1/8 to 1 3/16 inches high. An extract from Messrs. Hill's certificate will suffice to complete the description : " a characteristic example in good preservation, the back in one piece, of broadish curl ; the curl of the wood of the sides is smaller, but of more figure ; the marking of the wood of the head nearly plain ; the wood of the belly somewhat uneven in grain, and the soundholes more open than usual. The varnish of a golden orange."

". . .attention may be directed to the soundholes, which Messrs. Hill characterise as being more wide open than usual. There is not even a suspicion of the pointed form about their upper or lower turns, but it does not follow from that that their original shape has been interfered with. A good many of del Gesu's violins do exhibit a very strong suggestion of the pointed character (especially when viewed from a distance) which is supposed to have originated in Brescia. That this pointing has in all cases been added by later hands, as has been asserted by at least one writer, I do not for a moment believe : but on the other hand several of Joseph's finest productions betray little or no trace of it ; moreover, the feature, amongst others, has been absurdly exaggerated by imitators or those who profess to be such.""

Joseph Guarneri, Towry Piper, The Strad, 1915, London


1874-1886 George Henri Marc Muntz
until 1911 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1911 Hart & Son
until 1913 W. E. Hill & Sons
... ...
from 1913 and in 1931 Alfred C. Marshall
until 1935 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1935 Guila Bustabo
c. 1970-1995 Giorgio Ciompi
from 1995 Nippon Music Foundation

Known players

Erik Schumann, Karen Gomyo

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London

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