This illustration of a violin by Guarneri del Gesù was published in The Strad, June 1960. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, the most illustrious member of the Guarneri family, had but a brief working life, and unfortunately for posterity, not a prolific one as a maker. His total output, which was entirely made up of violins, did not exceed two hundred instruments. It is not surprising, therefore, that a violin by del Gesù is now among the most highly prized of all Cremonese instruments.
The Guarneri illustrated has a label dated 1736, but in the opinion of several American experts, was possibly made about 1732, when he was in his middle 30s and presumably at the height of his powers. It closely resembles - in outline, pattern and in the figure of the wood of the back - the ex ‘Pixis’ of 1732.
The one piece back is of beautifully figured maple marked by lively medium width flames slanting down from left to right. The ribs and head are from wood with a similar figure. It still has its original neck, which has been lengthened by the addition of a wedge where the neck is morticed into the neck block. The jointed table is of close grained pine. The perfection of workmanship and fine preservation are typical of this maker at his best. The varnish is a beautiful orange-red.
The principal measurements are: Length of Body, 13 13/16 inches; Upper Bouts, 6 7/16 inches; Middle Bouts, 4 7/16 inches; Lower Bouts, 8 inches.