Lot 44
  • 44

GIOVANNI FLORIANO GUIDANTI | (Bologna, b 1687; d 1760) A CELLO, BOLOGNA, 1743

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • (Bologna, b 1687; d 1760) A CELLO, BOLOGNA, 1743
  • length of back: 75.9cm., 29 7/8in.
the scroll by another hand labelled Joannes Florenus Guidantus Fecit Bononiæ Anno 1743 This cello has been slightly reduced in size.

Catalogue Note

Giovanni Guidanti was born in Bologna in 1687 and died there in 1760. He was probably the son of Floriano Guidanti, whom he succeeded as luthier to the Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna in 1716. Clearly a well-trained and sophisticated craftsman, he enjoyed a successful career, but his work today is often unappreciated and overlooked. This is primarily because, like most of his generation of violinmakers throughout Europe, he adhered fairly closely to the principles of Jacob Stainer in design and form, ignoring the contemporary developments of Stradivari and Guarneri in Cremona. While the high-arched Stainer model did fall out of fashion for the violin in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it proved more durable and well suited to the voice of the cello. Guidantus was active until at least 1745, and his instruments do show quite considerable variation, often making them difficult to identify, but the Rostropovich cello of 1743 is a definitive example of his best work. Most striking is the magnificent wood used for the back and sides, deeply and consistently marked with a handsome flame, and the equally well-chosen straight grained spruce of the front. The form is very well drawn and balanced, with a characteristically rounded shape across the lower end and long, graceful centre bouts. The soundholes are very elegantly cut and in this example show more strongly the influence of Amati than that of Stainer. The varnish is a clear golden brown that seems to be laid quite thinly over rather a deep ground, in a manner quite typical of the maker. It is a striking work made by a distinguished and able craftsman at the height of his powers, and maintained today in exceptional condition.