Category Archives: History

The Value of String Instruments at the End of the 18th Century

There is, in the National Archives of the French Republic, a document of exceptional interest for the history of the violin trade: the inventory of musical instruments seized by the revolutionaries in Paris in 1792. 1792 was the apex of … Continue reading

Categories: History, Marketplace |

Music in Ancient Greece

Music meant something different to the Ancient Greeks than it means to us today. It was not simply sound or performance on an instrument; it was, in addition, an entire artistic collection of song, poetry, and dance. Music also sounded … Continue reading

Categories: History, Music |

An American Family: A Reminiscence by C.F.C. Arensberg

Conrad Frederick Covert Arensberg purchased a handsome Gemunder violin in the summer of 1890. It still remains in the possession of his family. As the history that follows indicates, the Arensbergs may not be a “typical American family,” but their … Continue reading

Categories: History |

A Violin by George Gemunder (with Its Original Bill of Sale)

The Arensberg Gemunder violin, complete with receipt from the firm of George Kappel, Pittsburgh, June 2, 1890 is a rare example of unbroken provenance for a fine art object. We can presume that the 1890 sale of this Gemunder in … Continue reading

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Vienna to Auschwitz, A Biography of Alma Rosé

Alma Rosé was born in 1906, the daughter of Gustav Mahler’s sister, Justine, and Arnold Rosé, the concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic from the 1880s until 1938. The Rosé household was a veritable Who’s Who of musical personalities from Brahms to Schoënberg, Mahler, Strauss, Bruno Walter, Berg, and Webern. Continue reading

Categories: History, Players |

Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini, by Duane Rosengard

When Ernest Doring’s The Guadagnini Family of Violin Makers was published in 1949 it was a watershed event. At the time relatively few books were available on the subject of master violin makers. The Guadagnini family had not yet commanded … Continue reading

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The Stradivari Workshop, circa 1700

From many perspectives, but particularly the personal one, Antonio Stradivari found himself in a much different position at the opening of the eighteenth century than he had been only a few years earlier. In May of 1698, his wife of … Continue reading

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