Barbirolli’s cello is up for sale again

The Gagliano cello, once played by Sir John Barbirolli and owned by his widow Evelyn until her death in 2008, has come up for sale at a French auctioneer in Lyon next month.

It has previously been offered by at least two other outlets.

 

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  • If it has been offered so many times, it probably isn’t very good. If it is really being sold at the auction the link points to, that offers us 500EURO violins, then it probably isn’t very good. Thanks to SD for the warning.

  • The proof is in the pudding – meaning the playing of it. But you’d also want a trusted repairman to take a look at it before bidding. I have to think it was not played for long stretches of time and for various reasons that can harm even the finest instrument.

  • Given the pre-auction estimate, I’d guess that the owner/estate wants too much for the instrument. It is beautiful, characteristic work, but the further complication of being considered a cultural asset and the requirement as well of a special export permit, or possibly being denied said permit, might limit potential bidders.

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