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Final Auction Price for the Folinari Guarneri Del Gesu


GoldenPlate

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If “Parma,” then most of the ‘a’ is no longer visible, and what looks like a ‘d’ is a final flourish, rising counterclockwise from the end of the ‘a.’

The blob on the ‘P’ may have been intentional, but sometimes quill pens just let loose.

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If “Parma,” then most of the ‘a’ is no longer visible, and what looks like a ‘d’ is a final flourish, rising counterclockwise from the end of the ‘a.’

The blob on the ‘P’ may have been intentional, but sometimes quill pens just let loose.

Could it have been written on bare wood for the ink to stick or absorb (depending on the ink that was used)?

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Are Del Gesus rare enough that if you have the money to buy anything (price no object) that there may not be one in good playing shape to buy? As I understand (or don't) there are about 200 DG violins extant, and no other instrument types by him that are undisputed.

Dwight

FKWG

I think that if price is no object, one could manage to acquire a fine one... though depending on the timing, an owner may need his/her arm twisted just a little. :) There have been a few I'd classify as very fine that have changed hands in the last couple of years... my personal favorite among them.

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I don't know but I am under the impression that it's been 1 or 2 decades now that many violins have ceased to be only playing instruments to become speculation art objects like paintings.

Plus on a completely off topic matter in France for example, you don't pay much (or even maybe not at all) tax on art objects. So it's quite a usual way for very rich people to avoid things like inheritance taxes.

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Could it have been written on bare wood for the ink to stick or absorb (depending on the ink that was used)?

I don't think it would look like that if the wood had been bare, because naked wood would draw the ink sideways by capillary action. The inscription would look all "furry". It looks to me like ink on varnish that was mixed and/or applied unevenly, such that some spots had enough "tooth" to release some ink from the quill, while others were too slick.

What's interesting to me is why Mori Costa wrote it (presumably it was he) to begin with, and why so much of it still remains, because writing inks were all water-soluble at the time and would certainly have been rubbed off of varnish in just a few months' or even weeks' handling unless protected by having been varnished over. And if he varnished over it to preserve it forever, why? It certainly doesn't enhance the instrument.

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Are Del Gesus rare enough that if you have the money to buy anything (price no object) that there may not be one in good playing shape to buy? As I understand (or don't) there are about 200 DG violins extant, and no other instrument types by him that are undisputed.

Dwight

FKWG

The numbers I've seen (from Robert Bein in a VSA publication and another source I can't remember exactly) for existing del Gesus is in the 140s. So they are rare, much rarer than existing Strad violins which number somewhere between 600 and 700.

Arnold Steinhardt in his book Violin Dreams notes that he had a Guadagnini (not a del Gesu, though) which was in the trunk of his car when gasoline leaked all over it. How would you ever restore a gasoline soaked violin? How would you ever get the smell out? But apparently, Erwin Hertel in New York was able to restore that violin just fine.

Given what restorers are able to do, maybe those remaining 140+ del Gesus will be in existence forever.

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