Andrea Guarneri, Cremona circa 1680

A fine and typical example of the master’s large pattern, this violin is a perfect blend of visual and tonal artistry. The wood of the front is of varied open-grain with a light and very fine winter growth. The back is in two pieces of maple with gentle flames of narrow to medium width that are mostly straight across with some areas of undulation. The sides are from similar maple with slightly angular flame in the upper and lower bouts. The lovely scroll is of maple matching the back.

The design of the body is in harmony with the materials as the outline and arching blend in open and graceful curves. The back arch is tall and full through its length and width, reaching its peak just below the center and gradually sloping toward the edges, then dipping below the level of the edge before returning quickly to meet the purfling. The arching of the top rises quickly from the upper and lower blocks and spreads gracefully toward the sides while maintaining its fullness in a slender plateau that spans much of the top length. The ribs are narrow and well-proportioned, lending an appearance of mass to the top and back arch, while optimizing the interior acoustic space. The f-holes are well-placed in subtle asymmetry, with the upper holes cut into the arch just as it begins to descend, then stretching along the arch toward the opening of the lower holes which sit with ample space inside the defining line of the purfling and rounded bead of the edge. The scroll is masterful as it sits atop the body and in its play of proportions, simultaneously appears delicate and bold. The rich amber hue of the wood sets off the glistening vignettes of varnish that show in colors of deep reds to brownish-oranges.

Just as the body is in a harmony of design, material and execution, the tonal quality echoes this beauty and the acoustic voice becomes complete in complexity, purity and power. The lower strings are rich and resonant and transition effortlessly to the upper register where the highs are clean, sweet and silvery. The volume is boundless and speaks clearly in subtle, near silent passages, and boldy in moments of powerful delivery. The sound is fresh and vigorous and offers the player an ideal partner to speak meaning, emotion and passion through musical expression.

Additional Photos