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Musical Million is Made at Bonhams: Plague Survivor's 1692 Violin Sells for 54,000
Philip Scott, Head of Bonhams Musical Instrument Department with the 'Matteo Goffriller Violin'.
LONDON.- A packed saleroom saw much enthusiastic bidding for a selection of Fine Musical Instruments at Bonhams auction this morning, with 86% sold by value to make a magnificent total of £1,026,768.

An outstanding example of early craftsmanship was a violin attributed to Nicolo Amati which raised £54,000. Amati was an Italian violin maker from Cremona who was the early teacher of the great Antonio Stradivari. He single-handedly preserved and passed on the tradition of Cremonese violin making when he was the only violin maker in the city to survive the famine and plague of 1630.

Violins of all periods, from 17th century Venice to 19th century Milan, were available and made good prices. The top lot was an Italian violin made in Venice in 1692 by Matteo Goffriller which fetched £144,000.

A violin by Ferdinando Garimberti made in Milan in 1926 sold for £50,400 easily beating its estimate of £20,000-30,000.

There had been much pre-sale debate as to the creator of a silver mounted cello bow – lot 195 in the auction catalogue. Was it made by Francois Tourte, the French 19th century bow-maker, or was it a very good English copy? Bidding was fierce and the bow eventually made an outstanding £26,400 against a pre-sale estimate of £800-1,000.

Philip Scott, Head of Bonhams Musical Instrument Department comments, “The strong Bond Street tradition of musical instruments sale and the absence of a dependable paper currency has meant that objects like jewellery and musical instruments have become an alternative global currency. Buyers came from all corners of the globe to avail themselves of the buying opportunity at Bonhams.”

Bonhams | Fine Musical Instruments | Nicolo Amati |

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