This illustration of a violin by Joseph Guarneri 'del Gesù' was published in The Strad, May 1974. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
The Joseph 'del Gesù' violin illustrated here is undoubtedly one of the best preserved examples of the master's 1730-36 period during which he produced some of his finest work.
For many years this Guarneri was the property of Adolphe Pollitzer (1832-1900) a distinguished Hungarian violinist who spent the greater part of his professional career in London.
This Guarneri is best known in the USA as the 'Koessler' 'del Gesù' after the Chicago physician who retained possession of it for many years. It is renowned in America as being one the most tonally outstanding violins in that country. About five years ago it was played by Yehudi Menuhin during one of his American tours. He was so impressed by the tonal merits of this instrument that he requested that the owner allow him the use of it for an evening for a performance of the Bartók Violin Concerto which he was playing with the Chicago Symphony.
Another noteworthy detail of the Pollitzer is that the instrument is very substantial in the graduation of the back, being a full 6mm at the thickest point, ample evidence that it has not been subjected to the scraper of the so called tone improving method of regraduation. The one piece back is of fairly handsome wood cut on the slab, that of the dies marked by a broad curl of medium width being cut the right way of the grain, the head plainer; the table of excellent pine, the grain fairly open on the treble, becoming finer towards the bass side, and the varnish of an orange-brown colour. The principal measurements are as follows: Length 13 7/8 inches (bare); Upper Bouts 6 7/16 inches (full); Lower Bouts 7 15/16 inches; Middle Bouts 4 3/8 inches.
W. E. Hill & Sons' certificate describes this violin, which bears its original label dated 1736 as '...an entirely authentic and characteristic example of the maker's work.'