Joshua Bell’s Guadagnini is up for sale

The 1750 G. B. Guadagnini violin that Joshua Bell played as a teenaged soloist will be sold at auction by Tarisio on May 16, 2019.

The intrument is owned by the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music which received it in 1963 from an anonymous donor.

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  • It is always a bit of a questionable practice when donated pieces are later auctioned off. Access to that instrument would be more beneficial to a budding professional musician than some pocket change. If the School of Music needs money, their development officers should be fundraising not flipping violins.

    • The instrument was donated in 1963. That’s hardly what most people call flipping!

      Unless the donation came with a contractual obligation to keep the instrument in perpetuity, there is nothing untoward here.

  • The performance is obviously the main take home but the warmth, charm and virtuosity of JG are undeniable. In 3 minutes it is clear why many referred to JG as the heart and soul of the CO and perhaps why the recordings during his tenure have an extra measure of vitality.

    • I hate it when people are lazy and won’t write out the words. What the hell are “JG” and “CO”?

      WCAPTKOSG.

  • There is a lot of chatter in the business on what a highly speculative instrument this violin is. It has some noticeable structural differences compared to some other Guadagninis I have played and inspected. Also this ‘Guadagnini’ has little to no provenance other than it being owned by Indiana University. It appears that this instrument in its nearly 300 year life has only ONE certificate from Tarisio attesting to its authenticity. Smart investors will want to know where it was before 1960.

    • Hi Mango. Thanks for sharing your concerns. We are happy to pass along what we do know about the history of the instrument, which is that the gentleman who donated the violin to the University was of European origins and had owned the instrument since at least the mid 1930s. We don’t know who owned it before him but that is not unusual for a violin of this level. It was donated to the University in 1963 and maintained by Kenneth Warren & Son for most of the time thereafter. There are insurance appraisals from Warren and a few other Chicago shops. There’s no cause for concern in regards to the provenance or attribution, and you can visit the lot listing here: https://tarisio.com/auctions/auction/lot/?csid=2198962176&cpid=3568467968&filter_key=
      – Tarisio

    • Hi Mango. Thanks for sharing your concerns. We are happy to pass along what we do know about the history of the instrument, which is that the gentleman who donated the violin to the University was of European origins and had owned the instrument since at least the mid 1930s. We don’t know who owned it before him but that is not unusual for a violin of this level. It was donated to the University in 1963 and maintained by Kenneth Warren & Son for most of the time thereafter.  There are insurance appraisals from Warren and a few other Chicago shops. There’s no cause for concern in regards to the provenance or attribution, and you can visit the lot listing here: https://tarisio.com/auctions/auction/lot/?csid=2198962176&cpid=3568467968&filter_key=
      – Tarisio

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