"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