The name of the violin was taken from Domenico Dragonetti (1763-1846), a distinguished
Italian virtuoso double bass player, who possessed it with great care.
The instrument was brought from Italy to England by the English dealer Betts, and in 1818, it was passed to Mr. Rivas, a well-known amateur player in England of his time, who also owned other fine instruments. In 1835, it passed into the hand of Mr. de Rougemont, and was subsequently bought by the novelist Charles Reade, who was a keen violin collector. In 1852, it was sold by Mr. Alvey Turner of Cheapside to Mr. Bashall and it remained in the possession of his family until it was purchased by W. E. Hill & Sons of England in 1910. In 1912 it passed into the hands of Mr. Richard Bennett, who possessed the most famous collection of Italian instruments of the 20th century. In 1929, he disposed of his entire collection to W. E. Hill & Sons. In 1958, it was exhibited at the Exhibition of Antique Art Treasures held in Bath, England, representing the instruments owned by W. E. Hill & Sons. In 1960, it passed into the hands of violinist Alfredo Campoli (1906-1991) and subsequently it was possessed by Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (WestLB), which loaned it to a celebrated violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann. In June 2002, Nippon Music Foundation acquired this instrument from the WestLB through a luthier.