Instrument

  • ID: 277
  • Type: cello
  • Maker: Antonio Stradivari
  • Year built: 1712
  • City: Cremona
  • Name: Davidov
 
Back: Two-piece, quarter-cut
Ribs: slab-cut

Photos

Click on a thumbnail to view the full-size image.

  • front, back & f-hole
  • scroll and side

Iconography Index

"Shine On", Roger Hargrave, The Strad, December, 2001, 2001: Color photos.

…And They Made Violins in Cremona from Renaissance to Romantic Era, Conzorzia Liutai & Archetti A. Stradivari Cremona, Cremona, 2000: Color photos (front, back, side & scroll). Order

2011 Strad Calendar: Cello Heroes, Newsquest, London, 2010: Color photos (front & back).

How Many Strads?, Ernest N. Doring, William Lewis & Son, Chicago, 1945: Black-and-white photos (front, back & side).

I Capolavori Cremonesi della Royal Academy of Music, Consorzio Liutai Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 2003: Color photo (front). Order

The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Black-and-white photos (front, back, side, scroll & f-hole - initialed by Emil Herrmann).

Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, New York, 1972: Black-and-white photos (front, back, side, scroll & f-hole).


Notes

"The Stradivari, in the other hand, has a remarkable combination of attributes. The pianissimos float effortlessly. The instrument's response is instantaneous. The sound can be rich, sensuous or throbbing at every range, yet can also be clear, cultured and pure. Each sound stimulates the player's imagination. However, there is no room for error as one cannot push the sound, rather it needs to be released. Since 1983 the cello's sound has been growing constantly, becoming richer, deeper and fuller. Part can be attributed to constant playing, causing it to vibrate more fully. Part may be due to my own changing aural aesthetics."
http://www.beares.com/Noteyoyoma.htm
The 'Davidov' was constructed around Stradivari's so-called B mould. This mould was probably developed by the family in the first decade of the 18th century. Previously Stradivari's cellos were much larger and almost all of the 35 or so that have survived have since been reduced. About 20 instruments were made to the more manageable specifications of the B pattern; however, their outlines indicate that more than one B type mould may have been employed. Much later the Stradivari family made an even smaller model known now as the B Picola, but it never proved as successful as the normal B pattern, which became the standard design for almost every cello maker since the beginning of the 19th century.
"Shine On", Roger Hargrave, The Strad, December, 2001, 2001.
"Made in 1712, supposedly for the Duke of Tuscany, Wielhorsky had obtained the instrument from a Count Aparxin for an unusual compensation: his Guarnerius cello, 40,000 francs and the handsomest horse from his stable!"
"Immediate Impressions", Edward Sainati, The Strad, October, 1988, 1988.
"The way in which Davidoff became possessed of his wonderful Stradivarius violoncello was a very strange one. The late Czar, Alexander II., used to give musical entertainments at his palace. On one occasion Rubinstein, Wieniawsky. and Davidoff were present. A certain Count Wielhorsky (noted for his love of art and his absentmindedness), received the artistes, when Davidoff at once noticed that the Count was very nervous and excited. Asking what the matter was, Davidoff received the following answer: 'To day I celebrate my seventieth birthday, and in a way of my own; I present you with my Stradivarius violoncello.' Davidoff took this for a joke, but he very soon found out that the Count was quite in earnest. The music began, and after the first trio the emperor spoke to Wieniawsky, remarking upon the lovely tone, of his violin, and asking him what make it was. A Stradivarius, your Majesty, was Wieniawsky s answer, whereupon the emperor remarked to Wielhorsky: 'You have also a Strad, have you not '. The count said, "No, your Majesty, I used to have one, but I gave it to-night to Carl Davidoff." The new owner of the violoncello now saw that the count had indeed not been joking. Wielhorski had bought the instrument from Count Apraksin for the sum of 50,000 francs (£2,000), and in addition to two beautiful horses. Wielhorsky had, for a long time past, intended to present his instrument to that 'cellist, who should play Romberg's Swiss Concerto best, and after he had given his violoncello to Davidoff he said: 'It is true I have never heart you play Romberg's Swiss Concerto, but I cannot imagine anyone playing it better than you.' "
"Carl Davidoff", Carl Fuchs, The Strad, 1892, March.

Provenance

Owner Owned From Owned In Owned Till Price paid
LVMH (Société Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton)   1988       
Jacqueline du Pre   1964       
Ismena Holland  1964    1964  For members only 
Herbert N. Strauss (and wife)  1928    1964   
...         
Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.  1928    1928   
W.E. Hill & Sons      1928   
Gaupillat  1900  1902     
Karl Davidov   1870  1872     
Count Wielhorsky      1870   
Count Apraxin         
...         
Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III de Medici  1712       
...         

Current owner Current owner
Indicates that the owner is or was also a musician Indicates that the owner is or was also a musician

Players

Name Played From Played In Played To
Yo-Yo Ma   1983     
...       
Jacqueline du Pre   1964    1968 
Raisa Garbusova        
...       
Karl Davidov   1885     
Karczmit       
...       

Current player Current player
Indicates that the musician is or was also an owner of one or more instruments. Indicates that the musician is or was also an owner of one or more instruments

Certificates

Dendrochronological analysis: John C. Topham, Surrey. Youngest ring is 1674.

References

…And They Made Violins in Cremona from Renaissance to Romantic Era, Conzorzia Liutai & Archetti A. Stradivari Cremona, Cremona, 2000. Order

2011 Strad Calendar: Cello Heroes, Newsquest, London, 2010.

Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1902.

How Many Strads?, Ernest N. Doring, William Lewis & Son, Chicago, 1945.

I Capolavori Cremonesi della Royal Academy of Music, Consorzio Liutai Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 2003. Order

Stradivarius: Five Violins, One Cello and a Genius, Toby Faber, Macmillan, 2004.

Stradivarius-Guarnerius del Gesù: Catalogue descriptif de leurs instruments (Facsimile of Gand's notes from 1870-91), Charles-Eugène Gand, Les Amis de la Musique, Spa, 1994.

The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C..

Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, New York, 1972.

"Buys Rare Stradivarius", The New York Times, August 8, 1928.

"Carl Davidoff", Carl Fuchs, The Strad, 1892, March.

"How May Strads? - Supplemental Remarks", Ernest N. Doring, Violins & Violinists, November, 1946, 1946.

"Immediate Impressions", Edward Sainati, The Strad, October, 1988, 1988.

"Shine On", Roger Hargrave, The Strad, December, 2001, 2001.

http://www.beares.com/Noteyoyoma.htm

http://www.celloheaven.com/masters/davydov.htm