Curtin Alf

A copy of the c.1731 'Gibson', 'Huberman' Guarneri 'del Gesù' violin has set a new world auction record for an instrument by a living maker.

The copy (pictured), made by US luthiers Joseph Curtin and Gregg Alf in 1985 for Ruggiero Ricci, sold at Tarisio in New York for $132,000 (including buyer's premium). The previous record was $130,000, for a violin by Sam Zygmuntowicz, which sold at Tarisio in May 2003.

Last week's sale in New York also featured a 1778 Guadagnini violin that was owned by the US pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. It went for $1,390,999, a new auction record for a Guadagnini. Other highlights included an 1838 Pressenda violin, which made $475,750, an 1872 Vuillaume violin that sold for $228,000, and a Sartory cello bow that fetched $66,000.

Another rare instrument that was owned by Bronislaw Huberman, the 1713 'Huberman' Stradivari, is one of the stars of The Strad's November issue, which is out this week. Subscribers receive a poster of the instrument, complete with comprehensive measurements, CT scans and contour maps.

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Photo: courtesy Tarisio