Simon Morris discusses the musical past behind Lot 14: Cello by Andrea Guarneri, c.1695

The best musicians rely more and more on sponsors and foundations to lend them great instruments. This is a result of the consistent upward price pressure on the finest violins and cellos. This cello is one such instrument, having been owned by a foundation for some years and lent to deserving musicians. Previously owned and played by the noted German cellist Ludwig Hoelscher, it has a rich musical past and is in fine playing order. 
 
These great eighteenth century Cremonese cellos made during the golden age of violin making still have a tonal quality that is unmatched. The voices of these instruments combine projection and power, as well as a palette of tonal colours that can be heard at the back of the largest concert halls.  The cost for these great examples is high of course and sadly beyond the reach of many musicians.  But it is difficult to put a value on quality.  
 
This instrument is smaller and more manageable for the cellist than the large models being made in Cremona some years earlier.  This reflects the trend for a model of cello more suited to the florid and virtuosic repertoire that was beginning to emerge at this time.  It would still be some years before Antonio Stradivari adopted his own ‘forma B’ pattern, and it was these cellos, from the workshop of Andrea Guarneri working with his son Joseph, that helped to lead the way.  

These fine instruments have also proven to be fine investments.  A growing demand and a diminishing supply mean that prices of these great instruments have increased steadily.  They are the only fine works of art that also function as a 'tool of the trade' and this 'need' continues to drive the market.  

- Simon Morris, Managing Director of J & A Beare for Beares Auctions

To find out more about this cello and the maker, please visit the relevant Lot page on our current catalogue. 

Lot 14: Cello by Andrea Guarneri, c.1695. Bidding starts on 26 March 2016, 2pm. Bidding ends on 27 April 2016, 2.30pm.