World's greatest violins set for Christie's selling exhibition

Violin String

Violin String

2015-09-17 08:29:06

Christie's has announced a landmark selling exhibition featuring "some of the greatest violins and cellos still in private hands".

The exhibition features instruments by two of history's most celebrated craftsmen: Antonio Stradivari, and his contemporary Giuseppe Bartolomeo Guarneri ‘del Gesù’.

“The collection is an embarrassment of riches representing the pinnacle of violin making: tonal quality coupled with extraordinary craftsmanship,” said Kerry Keane, Christie’s Musical Instruments Consultant.

The selling exhibition comprises four violins and one cello by Stradivari, and three violins by 'del Gesù', all originating from a single major private collection. Dating from the 1670s to the 1730s, a period regarded as the "Golden Age" of Italian instrument making, these eight instruments have a combined value of almost $60 million.

“What really makes these instruments remarkable is the absolute genius and craftsmanship of the makers," said Paul Cutts, Christie’s Global Managing Director of Decorative Arts. "The mathematical proportion and precision; the almost scientific rigour that they brought to experimenting with sound and creating the greatest sound, yet at the same time each instrument is unique.”

In addition to these instruments, the exhibition will also include the world-famous ‘Titian’ Stradivari, on loan from another private collection and regarded as one of the world's "greatest violins still in private ownership".

The exhibition, sponsored by piano makers Steinway & Sons, will be accompanied by a series of events including lectures and music recitals designed to engage private collectors, foundations, art institutions and musicians alike.

The Art of Music: Outstanding Italian Instruments from an Important Private Collection takes place in Shanghai on October 14-24, before moving on to Hong Kong on November 26-29.

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it