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Musical Instruments from Italian Masters to Contemporary Classics Up for Sale

by WorthPoint Staff (11/13/12).

A violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini and a D-28 guitar by C.F. Martin and Company are among the 215 instruments, ranging from violins to contemporary guitars up for bid in Christie’s upcoming Fine Musical Instruments Sale, to be held on Nov. 27.

NEW YORK — A violin by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, a D-28 guitar by C.F. Martin and Company, 10 contemporary guitars from the Dopyera Collection and a fine classical guitar from German born maker Hermann Hauser Sr. are expected to be the belles of the ball in Christie’s upcoming Fine Musical Instruments Sale, to be held on Nov. 27.

More than 215 instruments, ranging from violins to contemporary guitars, will also feature an Argentine classical guitar by Antonio Emilio Pascual Viudes (Buenos Aires, 1924, estimate: $10,000-$15,000); a Spanish classical guitar by José Ramirez (Madrid, 1905, estimate: $5,000-$8,000); and a Spanish classical guitar by Manuel De La Chica (Granada, 1966, estimate: $5,000-$8,000).

Guitars

For the fretted guitar collector, the sale features a selection of more than 30 American guitars from recognized makers such as Gallagher Guitar Co. and its G-50 guitar, the ex-Doc Watson known as “Ol’ Hoss,” (Wartrace, Tenn., 1968, estimate: $6,000-$8,000). This guitar was owned and used by eight-time Grammy award winner Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson for the seminal recording sessions for the 1972 LP “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Born in Deep Gap, N.C. in 1923, Watson developed a heightened sense of hearing due to his blindness at infancy. He became adept in many instruments and performed a multitude of musical genres from ragtime, bluegrass, gospel, rock and roll, popular song and country music. In his 60 years as a performer, Watson indelibly influenced generations of flat-picking and finger-picking guitarists. In 1975, the guitar was placed with the Country Music Hall of Fame, where it resided on exhibition until recently.

The sale also features 10 guitars from the Dopyera Collection with estimates ranging from $200-$7,000. The resophonic guitar, also referred to as Nationals or Dobros, short for Dopyera Brothers, was created by the Dopyera family in 1925. It developed a new type of guitar with substantially more volume, such as the Resonator Guitar, Model 175 Deluxe Special, circa 1932-34 (estimate: $7,000-$9,000) allowing it to compete with other modern day instruments. The distinctive sound of these instruments is loud and crisp, making it a favorite in bluegrass, Hawaiian, gospel, blues, ragtime and jazz.

A Gallagher Guitar Co. G-50 guitar, known as “Ol’ Hoss,” was once owned by Doc Watson. It carries a presale estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.

A Dopyera Brothers’ Resonator Guitar, Model 175 Deluxe Special, made circa 1932-34, will sell for an estimated $7,000 to $9,000.

Additional highlights include a L-5Gibson archtop guitar (Kalamazoo, Mich., circa 1928-29, estimate: $10,000-$15,000); a D-28 guitar with its original case by C.F. Martin and Company (Nazareth, Pa., 1941, estimate: $35,000-$55,000); and Fender’s electric guitar, Stratocaster (Fullerton, Calif., 1957, estimate: $14,000-$26,000) being sold with a 1957 Fender Deluxe electric guitar amplifier.

Stringed Instruments and Bows of the Violin Family

One of the many highlights in this sale is a violin, circa 1760, created by Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini (Parma, estimate: $400,000-$600,000). Guadagnini is considered one of the finest violin makers of the 18th-century and known as the last great classically trained violin maker of the Northern Italian School. He developed a distinctive style based on his interpretations of the work by Antonio Stradivari and his violins are tonally superior to many of his contemporaries.

Other stringed instruments in the auction include:

• Joseph Rocca, from the Estate of Jeanne Louise Bayless, circa 1853 (estimate: $50,000-$70,000);
• A violin by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris, circa 1850, sold to benefit Loyola University Chicago;
• A viola by Jacob Stainer, Absam, circa 1663 (estimate: $200,000-$300,000);
• A violin from an Enrico Rocca violin, Genova, 1914 (estimate: $70,000-$90,000) from notable violinist Chaim Storosum (1923- 2012).

This violoncello ascribed to Joseph Rocca from the Estate of Jeanne Louise Bayless, circa 1853, has an estimate of $50,000-$70,000.

This violin from an Enrico Rocca, from notable violinist Chaim Storosum, is estimated to sell for $70,000 to $90,000.

Born in Cologne and a survivor of the Nazi occupation of France during the Second World War, Storosum founded the celebrated Collegium Musicum Judaicum in Amsterdam whose repertoire spanned the deep European-Judaic tradition from pre-Renaissance to the contemporary. Chaim Storosum continued to play the violin until his death in 2012.

This session will also feature an impressive selection of bows, which span the 19th and 20th centuries.

Among the most noteworthy in the auction is a bow made by French bow maker Joseph Henry, a silver-mounted violin bow, circa 1855, (estimate: $70,000-$90,000); a gold-mounted violoncello bow by Victor François Fétique, Paris, circa 1905, from the Estate of Jeanne Louise Bayless (estimate: $12,000-$18,000); and a silver-mounted violin bow Eugène Nicolas Sartory, Paris, circa 1920 (estimate: $10,000-$15,000).

For more information about this auction, call 212.636.2680, e-mail spark@christies.com or visit the Christie’s website.

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