Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Guarneri del Gesu

Guarneri del Gesù 1736 Violin


  • “Muntz”
  • “Muntz”


This violin was made by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri “Guarneri del Gesù” (1698-1744), a celebrated luthier comparable to Antonio Stradivari. This violin takes its name from Mr. H. M. Muntz of Birmingham, England, its previous owner who was an excellent amateur and collector of Birmingham. Mr. Muntz purchased this violin from Gand et Bernardel of Paris. On his death, the violin was passed into the hands of his daughter, who also played the violin, and sold it to W. E. Hill & Sons of London in 1911. It was then sold to Mr. Bonnemain in 1913 and subsequently to an amateur Mr. Alfred C. Marshall in 1931 both by W. E. Hill & Sons. On his death, it was acquired in 1934 by the Baroness Ravensdale from W. E. Hill & Sons for the use of Guila Bustabo (1916-2002), an American violinist. She kept possession of the violin until 1970 when she approached W. E. Hill & Sons about selling the violin, and the Hills recommended Max Möller, dealer of Amsterdam, as he was urgently looking for just such an instrument. In the same year, it was passed into the hands of Mr. Georgio Ciompi of North Carolina. Hence, the violin was also known as “Ex-Ciompi”, “Ex-Muntz” as well as “Ex-A. C. Marshall-Muntz”. Nippon Music Foundation acquired this violin from Mr. Ciompi in March 1995.


The back is in one piece of maple marked by a broad faint curl descending to the right. That of the sides is marked by a stronger smaller curl, whereas the scroll is plainer. The table is of spruce marked by varying grain, part small, part medium, and the varnish is an orange-brown color on a golden ground.


Guarneri del Gesu 1736 Violin “Muntz”

December 16, 1981 Jacques Francais, to Georgio Ciompi
July 31, 1970 Hammer & Co. Stuttgart
June 10, 1970 Max Möller & Zoon


Guarneri del Gesu 1736 Violin “Muntz”

April 7, 1995 Andrew Hill, Report to Nippon Music Foundation
October 23, 1970 W. E. Hill & Sons, History letter to Mr. Möller
June 22, 1937 W. E. Hill & Sons, History Letter to Baroness Ravensdale

"Guarneri Family" by W. E. Hill (P101)

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