Sorry, Grandpa’s old violin isn’t a Strad. It is a Guarneri.
An unnamed private party had an old violin in their possession (yes, in the attic), but despite the tantalizing label “Joseph Guarnerius Filuis Andreae Cremonae Sub Titulo S. Theresie, 1705” no expert would certify it as original. For one thing, the font of the label didn’t exist at the time, and “Filius” is misspelled.
The owner however didn’t give up, and via WhatsApp he sent a few photos to a scientist at Italy’s CNR, the National Center of Research. The expert was able to date the grain in the top plate with certainty to 1696, and another person stepped forward with a fully-certified Guarneri of the same period to show not only it was made from the same tree, but was a virtual twin.
Now the attribution has been made with certainty. Giuseppe Guarneri, son of the founder of the Guarneri dynasty Andrea, was the father of Giuseppe “del Gesù”.
For the full story:
Very cool. Of course, terminus post quem only means that it wasn't made by Andrea. If I had some 325-year-old lumber in my attic, I could have conceivably made it last week. And we still have to assume that there was no comparable weather pattern in the 1970s.
Stephen S, it's not just dendrochronology. It's an exact tree match to another Filius Andrae Guarneri, and Bruce Carlton, the steward of Il Cannone, certified it as authentic. It's about as solid an attribution as you can get. The article is worth a read, thanks for posting it, Dimitri!
I play an 18th c Franco-Germano Stradarneri that's been in my family since 1850. And I'm a Grandpa, so that's all the boxes ticked!
Trevor, sure it isn't a Stradamatineri?
@ Demitri, I believe you mean Bruce CARLSON, the caretaker the Il Cannone.
What a great find. I wonder how many other instruments like this by the Amati, Guarneri, or Stradivari family are tucked away inconspicuously in someone’s attic.
Why all this hoo-ha about Guarneri?
Some additional information.
I found a hitherto undiscovered Strad at an estate sale. It was a case, though, not a violin. Still a find in any event :-)