The { Guarnerius } Violin is 2nd only to the { Stradivarius } Violin....
Or So Some Say.......Others Say The Guarnerius is the most Prized Of All Violins


The violin emerged in Italy in the early 1500's and seems to have evolved from two medieval bowed instruments--the fiddle, also called vielle or fiedel, and the rebec--and from the Renaissance lira da braccio [ a violin-like instrument with off-the-fingerboard drone strings ]. Also related, but not a direct ancester, is the viol, a fretted, six-string instrument that appeared in Europe before the violin and excisted side by side with it for about 200 years.

The earliest important violin makers were the northern Italians Gasparo da Salo [1540-1609] and Giovanni Maggini [1579-c. 1630] from Brescia and Andrea Amati [c.1520-c. 1611] from Cremona. The craft of violin making reached unprecedented artistic heights in the 17th and early 18th centuries in the workshops of the Italians Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri, both from Cremona, and the Austrian Jacob Stainer.

GUARNERI { gwar-nay'-ree} (Family)

A family of violin makers in Cremona, Italy, in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Guarneris, along with the Amati and Stradivari families, brought the art of violin making to it's peak. While the Amatis and Stradivatis confined them selves to Cremona, the Guarneris established branches in Mantua and Venice. Guarneri violins followed the patterns and traditions of the Amatis until the time of Giuseppe del Gesu, whereas the Stadivaris evolved thier own lines. Andrea Guarneri, [born c. 1626, died dec.7th 1698], was a fellow apprentice of Antonio Stradivari in the Amati workshop. His sons Pietro Giovanni Guarnieri [known as Peter of Mantua to avoid confusion with his nephew], [born nov. 25th 1666, died c.1740], continued their father's traditions with minor variations. In the third generation, Pietro Guarneri (Peter of Venice), [born april 14th 1695, died april 7th, 1762], incorporated aspects of Venetian instuments into his own, and his brother Giuseppe Guarneri, [born aug. 21, 1698, died oct. 17th, 1744], became the finest violin maker of the Amati line. Giuseppe is known as "del Gesu" because of the initials I. H. S. and a cross inscribed in his violins. He deviated widely from family tradition, developing instruments uniquely his own, second in quality only to those of Stradivari.
Giuseppe del Gesu and Peter of Venice may have been cousins rather than brothers, and Peter of Venice may have been the son of Peter of Mantua. One of del Gesu's violins was played by Niccolo Paganini and is still on display in Genoa Italy.

More Information about the del Gesu Violin From A Letter sent To Us On 01/18/1998 By:
Matt Matolcsi
Ass. Principal SDYS
In 1977? Eugene Fodor won the Italian Niccolo Paganini violin competition - the first American to ever do so. The contest was held in Genoa, Italy, and in honor of his victory, the town awarded him the del Gesu that it had kept for over 175 years. I must say the instrument that I heard Mr. Fodor play just 2 hours ago is incredible, and the tag of the maker is also true. this leads to my second point: Guarnieri del Gesu instruments are not second to Stradivari's instruments. this is a common misconception because Stradivarius' instruments are more easily played, whereas a Guarnieri del Gesu can take years to master. When he was 15, Paganini lost his Amati while gambling, and the only other instrument in town was a neglected del Gesu. interestingly enough, it was the only instrument Paganini used for the rest of his life.
E-Mail Matt Matolcsi Ass. Principal SDYS

**On February 11th 2001 this was played on the NPR Radio Network Weekend Edition**
Click on the link below to here not only a recording of the interview,,
But The sound of the actual Violin itself,,!!!
{28.8 modem or faster recommended}
$3.5 Million Violin 28.8) -- Five years ago, violinist Robert McDuffie found his true love: a 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin known as The Ladenburg, whose list of players included 19th-century virtuoso Nicolò Paganini. McDuffie says it was the violin he always longed to play. The only problem - how to pay for it. McDuffie tells Liane how he set up a limited partnership to meet the steep pricetag. (9:00) (NOTE: We hear music from McDuffie's latest recording, the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Miklos Rozsa, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Yoel Levi. Telarc CD-80518).

Genealogical Table of The Guarneri Violin Makers
The Guarneri Violin Labels Pages
"The Guarneri House Violin Shop" A good place to go if you have a Violin you may think is a
Original Guarnerius Violin

Guarneri (in latin, Guarnerius), Italian family of violin makers, one of whom, Giuseppe Antonio Guarneri, known as Giuseppe del Gesu, is regarded as second only to the great Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari. The principal members of the family, all whom were born in Cremona Italy, are the following.

Andrea Guarneri

(1626-98), who learned violin-making in the Cremona workshop of the noted violin maker Niccolo Amati.

Pietro Giovanni Guarneri

(1655-1728), Andrea's elder son, settled in Mantua and is known as Peter of Mantua; his instruments are particularly highly regarded.

Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Guarneri

(1666-1739?), Andrea's younger son. Both made a number of technical changes in thier fathers Amati-influenced designs.

Pietro Guarneri

(1695-1765?), Giuseppe's son known as Peter of Venice, utilized some features of the Venetian violin-making school.

Giuseppe Antonio Guarneri

(1687-1745), Giuseppe's other son, gained his appellation Giuseppe del Gesu {Giuseppe of Jesus} from the sacred monogram IHS (the beginning of the Greek word for Jesus), which he placed after his name on his labels. His violins are noted for their rich tone and have been prized by such players as the Italian virtuoso Nicolo Paganini.

Photos of Census Records from 1667, & 1672 Click Here>>>
From The House Of Guarneri showing the Family members of Andrea Guarneri

Special thanks to Rica Marilyn Guarnieri for the suggestion to add this info
to "Our" Guarnieri Web Page {see guestbook entry dated 04/29/97}