Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Stradivarius 1717 Violin


  • “Sasserno”
  • “Sasserno”


The back is made of two pieces of wood, marked by a handsome irregular broadish curl descending from the joint. The sides are of broad curl, whereas that of the head is plainer. The table is marked by fine grain at the center, opening quite quickly towards the flanks. The varnish is a rich orange-gold color, worn to golden-brown. One of the most handsome examples made by Stradivari, it is in an exceptionally pure condition.


The name of this violin derives from the ownership by Monsieur Sasserno who purchased it from Gand & Bernardel 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 in 1894 he sold it to a violinist Otto Peiniger, who in turn sold it via W. E. Hill & Sons to Mr. Pickering Phipps, who owned a brewery in Northampton, England. In 1906 Hill & Sons sold the instrument to Henry Summers of England, whose family retained it for 93 years, and it is from his granddaughter that Nippon Music Foundation purchased the violin in May 1999 via a luthier.


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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