By Stephanie Powell

c. 1789 Ferdinando Gagliano violin

c. 1789 Ferdinando Gagliano violin

An unrestored c. 1789 Ferdinando Gagliano violin exceeded its estimated bid of £65,000-£85,000 at Ingles & Hayday’s October auction. The instrument, which was purchased by a Neapolitan noblewoman at the end of the 18th century and later remained in the Cafisi family for more than 200 years, sold for £180,000. The bass bar, blocks, and linings are original, and the varnish appears to be untouched, offering an untampered insight into Gagliano’s approach.


Advertisement


c. 1789 Ferdinando Gagliano violin

The scroll of a c. 1789 Ferdinando Gagliano violin

Winston Churchill’s “Cigar Box” violin sold for £6,600. The back piece is inscribed with “Selección Privada, Fabrica Tabacos Don Joaquin, Habana” and under the bridge of the violin it reads “Made in Havana – Cuba.” The makeshift violin was made by William Robinson in 1956 and was played by Yehudi Menuhin in 1958, adding notoriety to the cigar-box-turned-fiddle. Also of note, a 1715 Giovanni Battista Grancino II violin sold for £144,000 and the 1788 “ex-Albert Caressa” Tomasso Balestrieri violin sold for £300,000.

Comments