[Joseph Guarnerius fecit / Cremonae Anno xxxx IHS]; Sotheby’s: Joseph Guarnerius Cremone Anno 1745
No. of Strings:
Toshinari Ohashi [who acquired it at a European auction, i.e. Sotheby’s]
M. Igarashi to TGM, 7/10
Herzog 2003, GB-7; Sotheby’s 4/3/85, lot 73; Sotheby’s 12/16/71, lot 186 [not seen]
Sotheby’s 4/3/85, lot 73 (back); [unpublished, from M. Igarashi: front, back and side body only, table ornament, head FB+S, (label), many details (color)]
Sotheby’s 1985/04/03, lot 73; Sotheby’s 1971/12/16, lot 186
Body appears (from photos) to have been enlarged all the way around the perimeter of table and back (both now with single purfling), likely at time of cello conversion, though corners are currently unpointed. Igarashi: used to have C holes instead of F holes; has been extensively restored. Sotheby’s: “An Interesting English Violoncello converted from a Viola da Gamba, of the Richard Meares School, circa 1680; labelled Joseph Guarnerius Cremone Anno 1745, the arched two-piece back ... with purfling of geometrical design ... the table ... with a floral design beneath the fingerboard”; ribs later; length of back 71.6 cm; photo shows pointed body corners as well as cello neck and pegbox. Design on back (central grid of 7x7 diamonds plus smaller groups of diamonds with center-pointing arrow at bottom and below fold) also found on a viol that M. Heale offered for sale in 2001 as “considered to have been made by George Miller of London circa 1640”. Hebbert (pvt. comm., 8/10): table ornament is one of Barak Norman’s designs, but decoration of back not in his style (nor is it like Meares, lacking arrows at corners of central grid); perhaps an older instrument with replacement table by Norman, or else a composite of more recent origin. Herzog: back, though arched, was originally folded at top as well (this portion now replaced); original carved head.