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Lot 28

Ex-Corbett; ex-Bennett

A violin by Girolamo Amati II

Cremona, circa 1700

labelled Hieronymus Amatus Cremonen, Nicolai Figlius Fecit, 1693 and branded WC on the lower bass rib
length of back 137/8in., 35.3cm.

in case

Documents
The certificate of W.E. Hill & Sons, London, dated 14th October 1938
A letter from W.E. Hill & Sons, London, dated 14th October 1938
The certificate of Th... read more

Lot 28

Ex-Corbett; ex-Bennett

A violin by Girolamo Amati II

Cremona, circa 1700

labelled Hieronymus Amatus Cremonen, Nicolai Figlius Fecit, 1693 and branded WC on the lower bass rib
length of back 137/8in., 35.3cm.

in case

Documents
The certificate of W.E. Hill & Sons, London, dated 14th October 1938
A letter from W.E. Hill & Sons, London, dated 14th October 1938
The certificate of The Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., New York, dated 18th April 1938

Provenance
William Corbett came to prominence as a violinist and composer at the end of the 1690s, predominantly working at the theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. His works were popular amongst Italian violinists of his day, and he became leader of the orchestra of the Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket, in 1705. In 1709 he was appointed as Royal Musician by Queen Anne.

Corbett probably left for Italy in 1709, where he continued to play and compose. In addition, he started to collect Italian instruments and also seems to have been involved in espionage. On his return to England in 1723-4 he announced the sale of his collection, which included ‘A series of the finest Instruments made by the famous Amatus’s and old Stradivarius of Cremona, by Gio. P. Maggini, Gasparo da Salo of Brescia; the noted Albani and Stainer of Tyrol’.

Corbett’s will of 1747 included a list of his violin collection, which featured no less than eight Amatis, amongst them the 1564 ‘Charles IX’ Andrea Amati violin in the Ashmolean Museum, and the 1574 Andrea in the National Music Museum, South Dakota. Both instruments have the same ‘W.C.’ brand on the ribs near the endpin, and a further ‘44’ mark (the significance of which is unclear), both of which can be seen on the bottom rib of the Girolamo Amati violin. The description of a Girolamo Amati violin labelled 1710 in Corbett’s will suggests that it was the same instrument which is offered here. In all probability it was bought by Corbett from the maker himself, while he was in Italy.

In Alfred Hill’s letter of October 1938 he mentions that he first came across the instrument in 1880, at which time it was in the possession of ‘an old English family’. Hills purchased the violin and sold it to Richard Bennett, regarded by many as the leading violin collector of all time. Bennett owned many of the greatest Stradivaris in existence, including the ‘Messiah’, the ‘Lady Blunt’ and three Stradivari violas, as well as the ‘Lord Wilton’, ‘Diable’ and ‘Leduc’ Guarneri del Gesùs. After the dispersal of Bennett’s collection, the Amati returned to the Hills and was sold via Wurlitzer in New York to Simon Berg for his daughter Myrtle Jean, who had just been admitted to the Juilliard School. The violin has remained in her family for the last 80 years.

To read the full article about William Corbett by Ben Hebbert, click here.

£200,000-300,000

Sold for £720,000

GBP£720,000.00
EUR€806,400.00
AUD$1,296,000.00
JPY¥106,380,000.00
KRW₩1,054,713,600.00
CHFCHF907,200.00
USD$943,200.00

Property sold with a symbol

This lot is subject to reduced rate. These are subject to restrictions regarding import or export.

This lot has been imported from outside the EU to be sold at auction under Temporary Admission. When Ingles & Hayday Ltd releases such property to buyers in the UK, the buyer will become the importer and must pay Ingles & Hayday Ltd import VAT at the following rate on the hammer price:

‡ - Reduced Rate (currently 5% payable on the hammer price, standard VAT of 20% payable on the Buyer’s Premium).
Ω - Standard Rate (currently 20% payable on the hammer price, standard VAT of 20% payable on the Buyer’s Premium).

Endangered species

Read more

Request Condition Report

Condition Report Request:

GBP£200,000.00 - £300,000.00
EUR€224,000.00 - €336,000.00
AUD$360,000.00 - $540,000.00
JPY¥29,550,000.00 - ¥44,325,000.00
KRW₩292,976,000.00 - ₩439,464,000.00
CHFCHF252,000.00 - CHF378,000.00
USD$262,000.00 - $393,000.00
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