Christie’s, which has recently announced the auction of ‘The Madoura Collection’ of Picasso Ceramics in its London auction house in July, is again in news for presenting the spring sale of fine musical instruments. Focusing on classical music instruments, the sale will comprise of 109 lots with a particular significance on impressive bows, including examples crafted by master craftsmen, Jean Baptiste Vuillaume and Francois Xavier Tourte.
The ivory and gold-mounted violin bow created in Paris Circa (featured below) in 1849 by master craftsman Jean Baptise Vuillaume, is the most notable highlight of the bows section, and is priced at $70,000 to $120,000. Vuillaume, a revered French violin maker and dealer followed the bow making techniques of another master craftsman Francois Xavier Tourte, and exploited the most noteworthy artisans of the craft to ensure that the bows created in his workshop were as admired as the violins. Further, the depiction of noted musicians is a trademark of the Vuillaume’s bows. This special bow pays tribute to the renowned violinist, guitarist and composer, named Niccolo Paganini.
A French clock-maker turned musical instrument craftsman, Francois Xavier Tourte’s tortoiseshell and gold-mounted violin bow will also be featured in the sale at an estimated price of $150,000-$250,000. This bow is a archetypal example of the form revolutionized by Tourte, and was created in circa 182-1825, in Paris. To meet the 19th century's ever-changing musical styles demands, Tourte modernized the structure of the bow, allowing the musicians to play more varied repertoires in larger venues.
Further, this sale also features a varied selection of stringed instruments, including a Venetian violin by Domenico Montagnana, which was created in circa 1740, and will be available for auction at an estimated price of $200,000 - $300,000.
Another notable stringed instrument includes a Mantuan violin by Pietro Giovanni Guarneri which is estimated to fetch around $250,000 to $350,000.
Craftsman Nicolas Lupot’s French violin, known as the ex-Spohr is also the part of the sale, and is expected to fetch an estimated price of $60,000 to $80,000. The ex-Spohr is an instrument with noteworthy provenance, and is traditionally believed to have once been the primary instrument of Ludwig Spohr, renowned German composer, conductor and violinist.
Carl Augustin Grenser’s five-keyed boxwood clarinet is an exceptional woodwind instrument that is being offered at sale, and is expected to fetch an estimated of $10,000 to $15,000 price. Known as one of the greatest woodwind makers of the 18th century German school, Carl Augustin Greener was not only a talented craftsman but was an accomplished musician. His surviving instruments are revered for their splendid tone, intonation and exceptional workmanship.
Music enthusiasts and collectors can view these rare musical instruments at the Christie’s galleries, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, from 21-25 April 2012. And, the auction will be held on 26 April.