AMERICA'S EARLIEST VIOLA: Here's an instrument that I discovered and sold back in 2006 - an innocuous viola from the middle of the eighteenth-century with slightly the wrong wood and slightly the wrong varnish. It was labelled for Robert Horne, New York, 1757, a known maker who appears in adverts of the time as 'from London'. Sold to a museum, and by a long straw the earliest American-made stringed instrument in existence. Things like this give me a bit of a kick!
I'M IN THE WRONG BUSINESS: This piece of "art" fetched £91,000 in a Christie's Postwar and Contemporary Auction last February. Is it just me who can't see beyond it being the cheapest sort of Mirecourt ink-purfled violin being sliced in a bandsaw and mounted on a board with the assistance of a tube full of crazy glue? "24eme Caprice de Paganini"? My backside!
John Day was born in 1830 and studied in Paris with de Beriot before making his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Society at the tender age of thirteen. He was also a violin maker, famous for making copies of the violins that he owned. This is his forty-third violin, made in 1892 and showing an enormous amount of influence from the finest professional makers of the time.
Foregone conclusion, but anyone want to guess the maker - a fascinating painting from around 1730-45 by Giacomo Ceruti, a Lombard painter working mostly in Brescia, but in Padua and Venice as well... the detail is amazing.
Definitely one of the more exciting fruits of my trip! Two virtually mint Daniel Parker's, both made around 1715 - a violin and viola - together in a double case... in all likelihood my favourite maker of all time, and unbelievably rare! More soon!
Beginning the month with the best purchase ever! After five minutes of getting used to IDendro, I was able to certify this brothers Amati from the 1630s, having had it in the back of a cupboard and wondering what it was for more than ten years! Download the App from Tarisio's website at... http://tarisio.com/wp/2013/04/april-1-tarisio-presents-idendro/