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November 9, 2020 12:00 PM - November 19, 2020 07:00 PMCalender

Italian Brass-mounted Violin or Viola Case, Possibly the Workshop of Antonio Stradivari, c. 1730

Sell one like this
Auction: Musical Instruments - 3490TLocation: MarlboroughDate / Time: November 09, 2020 12:00PM


Italian Brass-mounted Violin or Viola Case, Possibly the Workshop of Antonio Stradivari, c. 1730, leather-bound and tack-decorated, the interior lined with foliate pattern paper, ht. 7, wd. 31 3/4, dp. 12 1/4 in.

Provenance: The collection of Dr. Glenn P. Wood.

Literature: The Art & History of Violin Cases, 2008, p. 15-16, illustrated.

N.B. "This case is decorated with 1223 hand beaten nails which chemical analysis showed to have been originally covered with gold. 820 of them decorate the lid alone. Careful examination shows that underneath the leather, two handwrought iron hinges completely encircle the case, each being 35 inches long and 1 inch wide. One can only surmise that the labour invested in creating this case and all its component parts must have been comparable to that used in making the instrument it contained.

This is the case that started it all. On a trip to England in 2006, I found this case in a dark corner of a shop. It was unlike any case I had ever seen before and I knew I had to have it. According to the shop owner, it was a Cremona case and only recently arrived. We agreed on a price and I decided to hand carry it back to the USA with the intention of doing some research to find out more about it. It caused a minor sensation as I carried it through arrivals at Kennedy Airport in New York. Many people stopped me and wanted to know more about it. Back in those days, immigration officers were much more friendly and the one that checked my passport asked me if I had another one for my distinguished companion.

It caused a similar reaction when I displayed it at one of the conventions of the Violin Society of America, and that was when the idea was muted to portray a violin case on the cover of that distinguish journal and include a pioneering article about historical violin cases.

By that time I had discovered that there were no reference books about violin cases and so, with my collection rapidly growing, stimulated by the acquisition of this case, I decided to write my own book."
Estimate $4,000-6,000

Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Glenn P. Wood, United Kingdom