An arts benefactor in Adelaide, South Australia, has gifted AUS$510,000 (£283,000) towards the purchase of a 1743 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini cello, currently on loan to the Australian String Quartet. Philanthropist Diana Ramsay is a frequent donor to the Art Gallery of South Australia and to the performing arts. Her contribution will be made over a period of three years.
The cello was bought for AUS$1.83m (£1m) by fellow Adelaide patron Ulrike Klein, who has donated AUS$640,000 (£355,000) towards the purchase price and is raising the balance through further donations. Once the full funds have been raised, Klein will transfer the cello to the Ngeringa Arts foundation, which she established, to be held in perpetuity for the ASQ.
The cello’s purchase is part of a larger project, begun in 2009 by Klein and Melbourne philanthropist Maria Myers, aimed at acquiring a quartet of Guadagnini string instruments to loan as a set to the quartet. Klein has bought three Guadagninis – a 1748-9 violin, a 1783 viola and the 1743 cello – and pledged 50 per cent of their combined AUS$4m (£2.2m) price tag, while Myers has bought a 1784 violin.