Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Stradivarius 1717 Violin


  • “Sasserno”
  • “Sasserno”


The name of this violin derives from its ownership by early French owner Comte Sasserno who purchased it from Gand Père, dealer of Paris in 1845 and sold it in 1884 to David Laurie, a Scottish dealer. In 1887, it was bought by an amateur player Mr. David Johnson and then by W. E. Hill & Sons who in 1894 sold it to Mr. Pickering Phipps, owner of a brewery in Northampton, England. It was sold back to W. E. Hill & Sons in the early 1900s and in 1906 it was sold to an industrialist, Mr. Henry Summers of England, whose family retained it for 93 years. It is from his granddaughter that Nippon Music Foundation purchased the violin in May 1999.


The back is made of two pieces of maple, marked by a handsome irregular broadish curl descending from the joint. The sides are of similar wood to the back, whereas that of the scroll is plainer. The table in two pieces of spruce is marked by fine grain at the center, opening quite quickly towards the flanks. The varnish is a warm orange-brown color on a golden ground.


Stradivarius 1717 Violin “Sasserno”

May 14, 1999 John & Arthur Beare, to Nippon Music Foundation
February 24, 1906 W. E. Hill, to Henry Summers (copy)


Stradivarius 1717 Violin “Sasserno”

May 25, 1999 Andrew Hill, Letter to Nippon Music Foundation
May 5, 1999 J. & A. Beare, History letter to Nippon Music Foundation
April 30, 1999 J. & A. Beare, Letter to Nippon Music Foundation
March 26, 1999 Andrew Hill, Report to Nippon Music Foundation

“How Many Strads?” by Doring (P213)
“Antonio Stradivari His Life and Work (1644-1737)” (P61, 66)
Hill Book on Stradivari, 1902 edition

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