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the other Joseph Guarnerius... Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, March 09, 2007 8:41 AM
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http://www.cozio.com/forum/Topic237-9-2.aspx#bm478

About "the other Joseph Guarnerius":

In Horace Petherick's book "Joseph Guarnerius, his work and his master" (1906) two violins labelled "Joseph Guarnerius Alumnus Andrea Gisablerti fecit Cremonae" and dated 1706 and 1714 respectively, are described. We can be as certain as we can of anything regarding the early violin masters that these labels are authentic - a joke or a hoax of this kind would simply be too elaborate and way too pointless.

Who this Gisalberti student was, is still uncertain, except it can not have been Joseph filius Andrea.
Petherick is convinced it was the famous Josph Guarnerius del Gesu and provides some very compelling historical and stylistic evidence to support his case. He fails to produce any irrefutable proof though.
One possible scenario that fits both Petherick's theory and the "established truth" of Guarnerius studying under Joseph fili Andrea is that the young Joseph first studied with Gisalberti, tried to set up his own shop when his master left Cremona, closed down the shop and went to work for his namesake and relative and finally emerged as the Joseph Guarneri del Gesu we know.

However, as far as I know nobody's looked further into the issue Petherick raised. Early 20th C. violin experts had all kinds of reasons why they didn't want to investigate a theory that would complicate matters considerably for them and later musicologists seem to have overlooked Petherick's book.

So unless anybody here has more information about the matter, all we can say is that somebody who was named Joseph Guarnerius and had studied under Gisalberti, set up shop in Cremona at the beginning of the 18th century.

(P.S. I'll follow the discussion here with interest hoping somebody has more information. But I only have a 24-hour trial subrscription so I won't be able to reply to anything.)
Post #523
Posted Friday, March 09, 2007 8:48 AM


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I've moved this to a new topic so as not to rehash any of the old discussions.

I think you need to consider that an enormous amount of research has gone into discovering all the roots and connections of the Guarneri family. The seminal book was published by the Hills in 1931, and very few of their conclusions have been challenged since. The Hills were well aware of Petherick's theories and didn't give them any credence.

As far as labels, I think you can find almost any combination of names and alumnuses. Deciding which labels are authentic and which are fakes is not so easy. If there was a maker named Gisalberti, and if he did have a student named Joseph Guarneri, it's almost certainly not the Joseph Guarneri we know. The evidence that Guarneri del Gesu learned the craft from his father, filius Andrea, is pretty overwhelming.

Also, you can continue posting to the forum even after your subscription expires. The membership only controls access to pricing data and some of the photos.

Cozio Publishing

Post #524
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007 5:10 PM
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The image of a label with the exact same text and decorative border is illustrated on page 251 in the manuscript: "ITALIAN VIOLIN MAKERS", 1964 Revised Edition, Karel Jalovec. Until 2006, the violin which bears this label reposed in the collection of a (now deceased) collector in Germany. It was later purchased from a German dealer who had acquired it from the collectors estate. The physical beauty, exceptionally fine tone qualities, and the label caught the discerning ears and eyes of a young professional violinist who lives in the United States which caused him to consult with the author of this letter. The instrument is now in the possession of the person who discovered it.

Kind regards,

John A. Thornton

Brewton, Alabama

USA

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Post #528
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007 5:36 PM


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Beware of labels in books! Just because a label appears in a book doesn't meant it's genuine. Also, one should be very suspicious when a label in an instrument exactly matches a label in a book. Chances are that the label is a copy of the one in the book.

Cozio Publishing
Post #529
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007 7:19 PM
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Although the text and decorative border appear to be identical on each label, certain differences indicate that the label in the violin is not the one illustrated in the Jalovec manuscript. An investigation will be conducted, and the results will be published here as soon as possbile.

John A. Thornton

Brewton, Alabama

USA

Post #530
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:11 AM
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Here are a few toughts about the dates:

 

If the violin labelled „ Joseph  Guarnerius Alumnus Andrea Gisalberti “  and dated 1706, is authentic , it could not be the work of del Gesu because of one simple fact ; he would be only eight years old in that time, according to the generally accepted date of his birth based upon famous Hills book ; 21st  August 1698.  

But the sources written before 1931, the year when Hills book was published , state different dates:

In the very famous German “Meyers konversations – Lexikon” printed in Leipzig 1887, the date of Guarnerius birth was mentioned, without quoting the source, as 8th June 1683. (The period in which he worked remains the same, from 1725 to 1745, so the question is what he was doing during, at least 20 of 42 years, since his birth until to his first known work).

In “Der Neue Brockhaus”, another famous lexicon printed in 1938, also in Lepzig, the year 1687 is written, and this data is based upon the book by Lűttgendorf, published in 1922.

This is what I know, and probably there are more different dates. Anyway, when in serious reference book someone finds exact date (day, month, and year); he must ask himself about the sources of that data. It will be very interesting to compare the sources of “1698 “and “1683 “hypothesis.

 So to conclude, if we accept that Hills date is correct, a logical conclusion would be that one of the other dates could be the date when the other Joseph Guarnerius was born!?

 

And something about the label:

 

Is it possible that the label mentioned above, and showed on photo, is authentic? It will be fantastic, but I am very suspicious about spelling “s“ instead “f “ in name “Joseph“. I doubt that in Italy in those times, Bible name Joseph could be spelt on that way. I haven’t seen such a thing yet, but maybe someone did? But, as the experts always claim, do not believe the labels, the violin could be authentic as well as the existence of the other Guarnerius. I wish Mr. Thornton a lot of success in his quest.

 

Amateur

 

Post #531
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2007 9:51 AM
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Hi John,

When you will investigate a violin with label by Joseph Guarneri alumnus Andrea Gisalberti pay attention on inscriptions from letters, which stand in different places of a violin.

Joseph Guarneri alumnus Gisalberti and Joseph Guarneri del Gesu it is one person, but not son Giuseppe Guarneri, and not grandson Andrea Guarneri. It is the fact it is determined in the letter Vicar the Cathedral of Cremona, Giulio Fusetti, to J.-B. Vuillaume, from September, 7, 1853. And also the letter conte Cozio di Salabue to Alessandro Maggi, from September, 30, 1804. The person by name Joseph Guarneri del Gesu was nephew Andrea Guarneri, and could not be his grandson and son Giuseppe Guarneri fil. Andrea.

On the label, which you have sent, except a standard inscription, after year 1706, there is other inscription, which is badly read, whether probably to make more precise photos of this place?

Piligrim

Post #533
Posted Saturday, March 17, 2007 11:25 PM
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Here are some more dilemmas:

 

The opinion that Joseph Guarnerius wasn’t a grandson but was a nephew of Andrea Guarneri, as it seems, was accepted fact in the 19th century.  In  “Meyers konversations – Lexikon” printed 1887, which I have mentioned in discussion before, we can read: “Giuseppe Antonio, Neffe (German word for nephew) von Andrea G., gennant G. del Gesu….geb. 8. Juni 1683 zu Cremona”. That is written in one of the most important reference book from that time in Europe.

Also, it is known that young Guarneri had marked his early works with the label:  “Joseph Guarnerius Andreae nepos”. Latin word nepos means both, nephew and grandson so the both, “old” and “actual” theory could use that fact as it fit the best. 

But, from that dilemma it is not so obvious that the story is about one and the same person; on the contrary, so many different information stimulate the impression about the existence of two persons with the same name, one nephew, another grandson of Andrea Guarneri.

 

And something more about the labels:

 

One label “Joseph Guarnerius Alumnus Andrea Gisalberti fecit Cremonae 1706” and another dated 1714. It is possible also to see, on VIOLIN CAD the third, violin with the label from 1717.  Here is something wrong with the dates. It isn’t possible to be Alumnus (Latin word for pupil) for such a long period; 8 even 11 years is quite enough time to start own shop. Some of the dates must be a fake. I am only hopping the violins are not.  

 

 Amateur

 

Post #550
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 9:03 AM
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It has been written count Cozio di Salabue in 1803 which had correspondence both with Stradivari's sons, and with others violin-makers of Cremona:

 

“Vi fu, come Lei sapra, altro Giuseppe Guarnerio contemporaneo e meglio del sudetto che pero non deve essere ne figlio, ne nipote dell’Andrea e questo per distinguersi dal Giuseppe sudetto figlio d’Andrea apponeva ne suoi il Biglietto col segno Jesus [HIS]”.

 

Now that Giuseppe Guarneri became grandson Andrea we are obliged Hills who have turned a history del Gesu from legs on a head. But till now the majority of the Italian historians hold the opinion or hypotheses Cozio di Salabue.

 

You are completely right, when write, that dates on labels Guarneri Alumnus Gisalberti it fake. Moreover, I think, what and Andrea Gisalberti also fake, and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, as well as Giuseppe Guarneri Alumnus Gusalberti is mimicry under family Guarneri.

 

Piligrim 

Post #562
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 9:40 AM


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It should be pointed out that all of the old historians -- Vidal, Fetis, even Cozio -- based their conclusions on hearsay. None of them, so far as I know, ever actually looked at the documents in the town archives. So it's not surprising that their books (or notebooks) are full of errors. The Hills were the first to approach the subject like real historians by hiring researchers to look for birth certificates, wills, and other documents in the Cremona archives. Additional research into the archives was performed around 1937 as part of the Stradivari Bicentennial celebration. And most recently, Carlo Chiesa and Duane Rosengard have done a thorough sifting through the records. Virtually everything they have found confirms the Hills' account of the Stradivari and Guarneri families. So all this stuff about del Gesu being a student of Gisalberti is a really old story that has been discredited many times over. I don't know of any modern experts who take it seriously.

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