Sorry, Grandpa’s old violin isn’t a Strad. It is a Guarneri.

Edited: May 16, 2021, 2:52 AM · 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:

Replies (12)

May 16, 2021, 3:26 AM · Greetings,
I only practice on inexpensive modern violins these days. It saves me having to go to the trouble of writing to all these people just to find out who made the darn thing.
May 16, 2021, 5:18 AM · 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.
May 17, 2021, 9:48 AM · Holy moly.
May 17, 2021, 11:28 AM · 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!
May 17, 2021, 11:34 AM · I know...
Edited: May 18, 2021, 3:26 PM · 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!
May 19, 2021, 4:01 PM · Trevor, sure it isn't a Stradamatineri?
May 19, 2021, 4:35 PM · @ Demitri, I believe you mean Bruce CARLSON, the caretaker the Il Cannone.
Edited: May 19, 2021, 9:49 PM · 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.

Erick Friedman had a student that had a Giuseppe Guarneri (filius Andrea), which he absolutely loved. He said it was every bit as good as his Guarneri del Gesu.

May 21, 2021, 12:17 PM · Why all this hoo-ha about Guarneri?
They're slightly more expensive than other types of loaf, but I wouldn't say they broke the bank.
May 21, 2021, 5:42 PM · Some additional information.

May 22, 2021, 8:32 AM · I found a hitherto undiscovered Strad at an estate sale. It was a case, though, not a violin. Still a find in any event :-)

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