Lot 629
Antique Violin With J. B. Guadagnini Label Dated 1765
Lot Details & Additional Photographs
With grafted scroll, one-piece well-figured maple back, its spruce top with fine grain at the center tending toward wider grain at the edges. The violin comes with a vintage Jaeger plush-lined rectangular hardshell case within a canvas outer wrap.

Corpus 353mm
Rib height at neck root 27mm
Rib height at end button 28mm
Width upper bout 165mm
Width Center bout 108mm+
Width lower bout 200mm+

Private Estate Collection of a North Carolina Doctor

For nearly 57 years this violin has been owned by one family, which has wisely retained all incoming documents pertaining to the instrument. Their records open with a handwritten 1958 bill of sale indicating that the violin was purchased as a genuine J. B. Guadagnini in 1958 for $1,875. The seller, Joseph Settin, was a well-known New York City dealer and luthier who did business from the prestigious Steinway Building on West 57th Street. In 1960, he also penned an insurance appraisal giving the violin a replacement value of $4,500. This document was augmented in 1962 by Settin's signed, numbered and photo-illustrated certificate of authenticity in which he states, "...the violin submitted to me for examination is, in my opinion, an authentic Johannes Baptista Guadagnini of Milano dated 1765, as indicated by the label it bears." A trio of letters, commencing in January 1979, indicate that the violin's owner was exploring the possibility of selling the instrument. The first letter, from the John Sipe Violin Company of Charlotte, NC, details a consignment settlement for the sale of the "Hill bow," which came with the violin in 1958. The second letter, now from Sotheby, Parke Bernet in New York, acknowledges receipt of a copy of Settin's 1962 certificate. The third letter, from the venerable Philadelphia firm of William Moennig & Son, Ltd., acknowledges receipt of the violin "described as a J. B. Guadagnini, Milan 1765" for "examination and possible sale or consignment." Rounding out the archive are a 1962 postcard, a 1988 letter and a 1991 musical program-- all from Charlotte concert violinist William Tritt. The 1962 card is nothing short of a glowing testimonial, stating, in part, that "It is just fantastic. It is the most aggressive little fiddle in the world. It will take on any sized hall and seems determined to fill every inch of it. I swear, I think it would fill up a football stadium. Never have I played a fiddle that gives me such confidence and sureness of myself. There is nothing it won't do for you."

Secure top repairs; no cracks on the back; patch to the right side of the peg head; the instrument is set up and ready to play. Please note that the 1962 certificate of authenticity erroneously gives the violin's length as being 356 mm, whereas it is actually 353 mm.

$2,000 - 4,000