Rare 1736 Guarneris violin, the other Stradivarius, estimated for $4.3 million- $4.8 million heads to auction

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Rare 1736 Guarneris violin, the other Stradivarius, estimated for $4.3 million- $4.8 million heads to auction
Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarnerius "del Gesù" (1698 - 1744), Crémone, 1736. Measurement on the back: 351 mm Estimate: €4m ($4.3 million) - €4.5m ($4.8 million).

PARIS.- The old wood offers a unique sound quality because the instrument has oxidised over time: there is a kind of vibration that finds its way into the piece of wood. This is how the years improve the instrument, like good wine. The "Pasquier" belongs to the middle period, which contains some of the most attractive works of the prestigious violin maker, and for the first time since the beginning of the 21st century, a Guarnerius from the violin maker's most mature period (1730 - 1740) will be offered at auction. Moreover, it has been more than 10 years since a violin by this famous maker has been auctioned.

Comparison with a Stradivarius.

Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarnerius, called "del Gesù", and Stradivarius are the two greatest violin makers of all time. A contemporary and great rival of Antonio Stradivarius, Guarnerius marked his production with IHS (Iesus Hominem Salvator) and a trefoil Greek cross. His first known independently produced instruments are from the 1720s, but his IHS label did not appear until 1731. The 1730s represent the highest point of his career and expertise. "The 'King Joseph of 1737' is a particularly important part of this, and his later instruments display the qualities most characteristic of his unique vision.

Some 1,000 Stradivarius instruments are known to exist, while only about 150 Guarnerius instruments have been identified. The latter crafted violins and a cello. Moreover, Guarnerius, born in 1698, ended his career in 1744, whereas Stradivarius, born in 1644, ended his career in 1737, and the violin offered at auction dates from the middle of Guarnerius's career.

The quality and scarcity of his instruments have led to prices up to millions of American dollars. This instrument, complete in all its main parts, has a beautiful one-piece flamed maple back. The two-piece soundboard is made of regular fine pored spruce. The scroll and splint are made of regular medium wave maple, and the varnish is orange-brown on a gold background.

Stradivarius and Guarnerius produce very different, almost incomparable sounds: the Gesù violins retain their sweetness but have an unequaled depth and darkness of sound that some players prefer. Indeed, much of his posthumous fame relies on Paganini, who considered the 'Cannon of 1743' his most expensive instrument.

A certificate from Charles Beare, 'the world's most esteemed authenticator' according to the New York Times, accompanies Régis Pasquier's Guarnerius.

Régis Pasquier and "Del Gesù" meet: a true revelation.

Régis Pasquier played the "del Gesù" in public, for the first time, during the Folles Journée de Nantes, over twenty years ago, in a double concerto for violin and cello by Brahms with Trul Morks at the cello, broadasted by the channel Arte.

His encounter with the instrument happened the day before; Régis Pasquier remembers the true revelation that the exceptional sound power of the "del Gesù" was for him, during the test session at the Salle Gaveau among a selection of 8 famous violins: at the moment of the contact between the bow and the strings, the resonance of the wooden body turned out to be immediately different and projected the sound considerably further, thus offering the possibility to play it in very large concert halls. "This instrument sounds on its own; it has an exceptional resonance," says the musician. The artist still recalls, with wonder: "Something extraordinary coming out of such a small instrument! The audience was able to give each violin a grade, and our instrument received by far the highest score. The violinist was immediately won over and secured his wife’s support; she encouraged him to buy it. He decided to play it in concert the very next day without giving himself time to tame the instrument, so much so that the osmosis with the violin seemed obvious."

A violin that has traveled the world.

Violin prodigy, Régis Pasquier (photo below left) has toured the world with his "del Gesù" for over 20 years. Many internationally renowned stages - Carnegie Hall (New York), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Teatro Cólon (Buenos Aires), Opera House (Sydney), Guangzhou Opera House (Canton), Grand Théâtre (Quebec), Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Opéra Garnier, Salle Pleyel... - have welcomed this great violinist and his faithful companion, who have given an average of 70 concerts each year.

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