The 1724 ‘Cecil’ is that rare thing: a genuine Stradivari violin that has gone virtually unreported for the past three centuries. It spent decades in the possession of an Italian family, which means it remains in an excellent state of preservation – the varnish is virtually unblemished and its sound quality is excellent. It was one of the instruments in the collection of Count Cozio di Salabue, and has also been examined and verified by Charles-Eugène Gand and Charles Beare. Despite coming from Stradivari’s late period (he was 80 at the time), the hand of the master, rather than that of his sons, is identifiable all over the instrument. The poster includes full measurements, outlines of the back, scroll, f-holes, and front and back archings, as well as thickness maps and the rib heights.
‘The varnish is the same deep, rich red–brown seen on great examples of the golden period like the 1721 ‘Lady Blunt’ and 1716 ‘Medici’. It is, apart from the repairs to the front, unadulterated by polish and other accretions that camouflage the texture of so many well-used and restored examples‘ – John Dilworth in the November 2018 issue of The Strad