The "Leonardo da Vinci Of Violins" Will Be Auctioned In France

A precious and extremely rare violin made nearly three centuries ago is to be auctioned next month, in France, and the price it could fetch is €10 million.

Guarneri del Gesu's violin was exhibited for preview by the press at the Aguttes auction house in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, on April 26, 2022.

Considered a "Leonardo da Vinci of violins", the musical instrument was made in 1736 by Italian master violin maker Giuseppe Guarneri and belonged to the talented French violinist Regis Pasquier.

The instrument is made of maple wood and is one of about 150 violins made by Giuseppe Guarneri. The quality and longevity of this violin come to rival that of a Stradivarius violin. It was created by Guarneri at the height of his career, and violinist Regis Pasquier bought it more than 20 years ago. Pasquier performed a concert with it the next day without even practicing on it.

"For him, this instrument was perfect," said Sophie Perrine of the Aguttes auction house near Paris.
Giuseppe Guarneri The "Leonardo da Vinci Of Violins
The "Leonardo da Vinci Of Violins" For Sale At Auction

The violin will be auctioned on June 3, after a three-day viewing, and its estimated starting price is 4 to 4.5 million euros, but Perrine said it could fetch up to 10 million euros.

"There are many violins, but this is like selling a Rembrandt, a Goya, or even a Leonardo da Vinci painting. It's both very old, but also very current and alive. And this little thing will continue to allow people to hear its exceptional sound for years to come," the French auction house representative pointed out.

Unlike those made by Antonio Stradivari, Guarneri's violins have a harmonious and powerful sound. It is no coincidence that the great Niccolò Paganini nicknamed the Guarneri violin he used as his musical instrument the "cannone" [cannon], which led to a re-evaluation of the violin maker (until then he had not been properly appreciated).

Some of the greatest contemporary violinists such as Sarah Chang, Uto Ughi, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, Thomas Christian, Anne Akiko Meyers, Giovanni Andrea Zanon, and Lisa Batiashvili play the Guarneri del Gesù in their concerts.

Read Our Interesting Facts Articles