Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Guarneri del Gesu

Guarneri del Gesu 1736 Violin


  • “Muntz”
  • “Muntz”


This violin was made by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Antonio Guarneri; Guarneri del Gesu (1698-1744), a celebrated luthier comparable to Antonio Stradivari. The back is in one piece of wood marked by a broad faint curl descending to the right. That of the sides is marked by a stronger smaller curl, whereas the head is plainer. The table is marked by varying grain, part small, part medium, and the varnish is golden orange-brown worn to gold. It is in a good state of preservation. The violin bears a label “Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu, 1736”


This violin takes its name from Mr. H. M. Muntz, an excellent amateur and collector of Bermingham. Mr. Muntz purchased it from Gand & Bernardel of Paris. On his death, the violin passed into the hands of his daughter, who also played the violin, and whom subsequently sold it to W. E. Hill & Sons of London. It was then sold to an amateur of the name A. C. Marshall. On his death, it was then acquired by Baroness Ravensdale in 1938 from W. E. Hill & Sons for the use of Guila Bustabo (1916-2002), American violinist. She kept possession until 1970 when she approached W. E. Hill & Sons about selling the violin, and Hills suggested to Max Möller in Amsterdam to deal with the matter. Subsequently it was in the hands of Mr. Georgio Ciompi of North Carolina. Hence, the violin was also known as “Ex Muntz”, “Marshall, Ex-Muntz”, and “Ciompi”. In March 1995, Nippon Music Foundation acquired this violin from Mr. Ciompi through a luthier.


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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