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.
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