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skiingfiddler

A del Gesu Cello.

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This may be old news but is interesting nonetheless.

A cello which bears the label (original and undisturbed, I assume) of Joseph filius Andrea Guarneri has been re-evaluated and is attributed to the son, del Gesu:

Cozio.com: del Gesu cello

It is interesting what Roger Hargrave is cited as saying about it: That it is not the work filius Andrea, as the label states, but is entirely the work of del Gesu.

I find it worth noting that here you have a rather uncommon instrument, the cello, made entirely by del Gesu, but nonetheless it got the label of the father, the man who ran the shop. Clearly the notion of shop was more important in this instance of a classical Cremonese instrument than the notion of individual maker was.

It's another piece of evidence for me that we tend to overrate the notion of individual maker in classical Cremonese making and we underrate the role that the shop played. The Cremonese weren't working for their individual glory, but for the welfare of the shop they worked in.

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Worth rereading Roger Hargrave to get the details.

If I recall correctly, the scroll and label are by the father, everything else by the son. There is also another that is more half and half.

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Be nice to find a viola too! Ha!

Interestingly people do seem to expand the dimensions of del Gesu models and make violas with such characteristics.

See this discussion:

viola

Here is one attempt at following the model:

viola49-a-big.jpg

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Be nice to find a viola too! Ha!

Interestingly people do seem to expand the dimensions of del Gesu models and make violas with such characteristics.

See this discussion:

viola

The German connoisseur Albert Berr noted that there are fakes and then there are adulterated fakes, the former being a copy with the intent to deceive, the latter being an instrument that has been mutilated in order to deceive. The mutilated Gagliano viola falls into that latter, more unfortunate category. As Berr would have said, a genuine Gagliano had to die in order to give birth to a fake del Gesu.

As I remember from that complete Strad article, Dilworth speculates that Vuillaume might have known better than to believe the adulterated Gagliano was a del Gesu, but chose to ignore his own better knowledge.

Luckily, in the case of the 1731 del Gesu cello, no such mutilation occurred. The cello seems to be a genuine, unadulterated del Gesu.

I wonder if the filius Andrea label will be left in the cello. I hope so, since it is original to the instrument and is part of the history of the instrument.

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This may be old news but is interesting nonetheless.

A cello which bears the label (original and undisturbed, I assume) of Joseph filius Andrea Guarneri has been re-evaluated and is attributed to the son, del Gesu:

Cozio.com: del Gesu cello

It is interesting what Roger Hargrave is cited as saying about it: That it is not the work filius Andrea, as the label states, but is entirely the work of del Gesu.

I find it worth noting that here you have a rather uncommon instrument, the cello, made entirely by del Gesu, but nonetheless it got the label of the father, the man who ran the shop. Clearly the notion of shop was more important in this instance of a classical Cremonese instrument than the notion of individual maker was.

It's another piece of evidence for me that we tend to overrate the notion of individual maker in classical Cremonese making and we underrate the role that the shop played. The Cremonese weren't working for their individual glory, but for the welfare of the shop they worked in.

Since I can well remember, from the age of about 13, making bit and bobs for my fathers work, without ever doubting that the end product would be a 100% Wilf, I am a little uncomfortable about this subject. In posting #8 of a recent thread

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=323730

there was a similar discussion 150 years removed, about Lemböck. My view is that the Lemböck instruments are Lemböcks although he probably didnt even touch many during the making. It was however his shop, his responsibility, his label and with his name on the front door. A cello made in the Joseph filius Andrea Guarneri shop, labelled and sold as such by G. himself, is, if one is to be consistent, just that, i.e. a Joseph filius Andrea Guarneri, even if his lad helped making it. I realise that this point of view might put me slightly in conflict with Roger, but that has happened occasionally before without long term consequences.

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Slightly (a lot) off topic, but I couldn't help but feel the same about these lots from Tarisio's latest London auction:

89 A FRENCH VIOLIN, WORKSHOP OF CHARLES J. B. COLLIN-MEZIN fils, PARIS, c. 1927

90 A FRENCH VIOLIN BY CHARLES J. B. COLLIN-MEZIN fils, PARIS, 1928

91 A FRENCH VIOLIN BY CHARLES J. B. COLLIN-MEZIN père, PARIS, 1895

Why should 89 be 'workshop' and 90 'by'? Who can tell the difference/hand involved, if indeed there is any?

And by the same token, why is 91 'by'?

According to Jacob's comment here:

In posting #8 of a recent thread http://www.maestrone...howtopic=323730

should not all these instruments be 'by'?

Andrew

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looking at the Cozio Calendar it lists Janos Starker as playing the 'Lord Aylesford Strad' I've always thought he played a Gofriller. Does he own both or has he changed cellos in the last 10 years?

BTW that Del Gesu cello is really hard to play but I bet in the right hands it would be awesome!

Oded

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looking at the Cozio Calendar it lists Janos Starker as playing the 'Lord Aylesford Strad' I've always thought he played a Gofriller. Does he own both or has he changed cellos in the last 10 years?

BTW that Del Gesu cello is really hard to play but I bet in the right hands it would be awesome!

Oded

Starker has not had the Strad for many years. When I was at Indiana in the early 80s he was playing the Gofriller. The Aylesford is a large instrument and Starker did not like playing it for that reason. His Gofriller is gorgeous.

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BTW that Del Gesu cello is really hard to play but I bet in the right hands it would be awesome!

Oded

Would it be any more or less awesome, were it to be "only" a Joseph filius Andrea after all?

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Interesting, 1 piece back versus 5 piece front? Isn't that both are also rare case for a cello (though back is not maple)?

Hi Casey,

It's a two piece back. Cozio got it wrong. Peeking inside the instrument it looks more like willow to me than poplar but they are very difficult to differentiate when under varnish (outside) or covered with dirt and rosin (inside).

This shot is fun for seeing how the arching goes.

Bruce

post-29446-0-01306700-1309893210_thumb.jpg

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Hi Casey,

It's a two piece back. Cozio got it wrong. Peeking inside the instrument it looks more like willow to me than poplar but they are very difficult to differentiate when under varnish (outside) or covered with dirt and rosin (inside).

This shot is fun for seeing how the arching goes.

Bruce

post-29446-0-01306700-1309893210_thumb.jpg

Great photo.

It looks like, through the middle bout area, the arching starts to rise farther from the purfling and rises more suddenly and higher than one might expect, at least compared to what one would expect from contemporary making. It almost looks Germanic. I get the feeling you never know what to expect in arching from del Gesu.

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Great photo.

It looks like, through the middle bout area, the arching starts to rise farther from the purfling and rises more suddenly and higher than one might expect, at least compared to what one would expect from contemporary making. It almost looks Germanic. I get the feeling you never know what to expect in arching from del Gesu.

Hi skiingfiddler,

Reflections in photographs have to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes you can change the camera angle or lighting angle just a little and get a very different impression. Although it is hollowed through the c-bout area it is fuller than the photograph suggests. Natalia Gutman was kind enough to let me take a few candid shots of the instrument at the house of a mutual friend but there was not much time for study as she had to practice. Never enough time....

Bruce

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Hi skiingfiddler,

Reflections in photographs have to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes you can change the camera angle or lighting angle just a little and get a very different impression. Although it is hollowed through the c-bout area it is fuller than the photograph suggests. Natalia Gutman was kind enough to let me take a few candid shots of the instrument at the house of a mutual friend but there was not much time for study as she had to practice. Never enough time....

Bruce

Bruce,

There seem to be two qualities of violin family instruments which are hard to judge from photos: the characteristics of the varnish and the shape of the arching.

What are your first hand impressions of the arching? Did del Gesu go with a bumpier, hump in the middle arching on the cello than he did on his violins?

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Bruce,

There seem to be two qualities of violin family instruments which are hard to judge from photos: the characteristics of the varnish and the shape of the arching.

What are your first hand impressions of the arching? Did del Gesu go with a bumpier, hump in the middle arching on the cello than he did on his violins?

The back arching is rounder, fuller at the edges and overall higher than the front. Here's a side view, but the photo sucks.

Bruce

post-29446-0-28627300-1309897133_thumb.jpg

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Hi Skiingfiddler

The Messeas Cello was exhibited in the Cremona exhibition in 2008 "Cremona 1730-1750". I attached an excerpt from the exhibition catalogue with some more info on the instrument.

I vividly remember all those thumbplane/scraper marks all over the place!

Hi Oded

you were asking about the Lord Aylesford Strad Cello, it belongs to the Nippon Foundation and is currently played by Danjulo Ishizaka

Martina

post-24034-0-97636500-1309902691_thumb.jpg

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The back arching is rounder, fuller at the edges and overall higher than the front. Here's a side view, but the photo sucks.

Bruce

post-29446-0-28627300-1309897133_thumb.jpg

Hi Skiingfiddler

The Messeas Cello was exhibited in the Cremona exhibition in 2008 "Cremona 1730-1750". I attached an excerpt from the exhibition catalogue with some more info on the instrument.

I vividly remember all those thumbplane/scraper marks all over the place!

Martina

Bruce and Martina,

Thank you for your very informative posts.

Does anybody know where the instrument is now? Does Eduard Wulfson still own it as stated in Cozio.com, and is Natalia Gutman still playing it?

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looking at the Cozio Calendar it lists Janos Starker as playing the 'Lord Aylesford Strad' I've always thought he played a Gofriller. Does he own both or has he changed cellos in the last 10 years?

BTW that Del Gesu cello is really hard to play but I bet in the right hands it would be awesome!

Oded

For those interested in these kind of details, Starker NEVER DID own the "Lord Aylesford", it was on loan to him, then called back to sell, cut down in Europe, then offered for sale to him. He refused. His memoir goes into exquisite detail on his instruments, his fortunes/misadventures, etc. It can probably be bought cheap on Amazon, and I highly recommend it. (the book, not the cello!)

On that "del Jesu" cello, I find it interesting that 5-10 years ago Bein & Fushi had one for sale [he said, advisedly!] Prior to that time, no one thought one existed, which means that this one was only "authenticated" [he said again, even MORE advisedly!!!] in the past decade, and then by the selling agent.

Note I'm not saying anyone lied/exagerated/speculated on the instrument's origin, except that we all know the $$$ involved, and the sometimes questionable dealings of some of the establishments that deal in such things.

As a cautionary note, remember that for many years Casals was thought to play a Bergonzi, despite the fact not a single cello had, to that point, ever been authenticated as such. Turns out it was a Gofriller (at least as far as we know. LOL!)

Caveat emptor. As I once read in a book on investing: "If you want to invest in collectibles, you'd better be an expert, and if you are indeed an expert, you don't need my advice, nor will you take it." (not exactly verbatim, but the point is made) Even the origin of the "Messiah" is in question by some, so I guess at some point we are at the mercy of the majority of the world "experts", and we can only hope they are at least an arm's length removed from the finances involved (if that's possible!)

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