Joseph Guarneri del Gesù Reproduction of "Kreisler" 1733 4/4 Violin
In 2004, a collaboration between Czech and British violin builders produced a series of two models of violins under the moniker of "The Guarneri Project Violins." Production was restricted to 300 or fewer of each model worldwide, 180 or less for the US. This violin is a a copy of the Guarneri violin played by Fritz Kreisler. The carving and assembly of the violin was done by a luthier in Prague. The varnish and set up was completed by a luthier in London. The collaborative effort produced instruments that have been called 'digitally remastered' copies of the original.
The violinmaker Joseph Guarneri (1698 - 1746) was born into the third generation of a family of violinmakers in Cremona, Italy. He is also known as Joseph del Gesù because his labels include the mark of a cross over the letters IHS, which stand for "Jesus Hominum Salvator." A contemporary of Stradivarius, Guarneri was less prolific and less consistent than his peer. The best Guarneri violins are every bit the equal (some think superior) to a Strad. However, Guarneri's daring temperament and propensity for drinking caused him financial and other personal misfortunes.
Although, toward the end of his life he built a number of violins in prison while drunk (these violins are sometimes called 'drunken Josephs'), his best violins achieved near perfection and were the prized, primary violins of famous premier violinists including Ole Bull, Spohr, Paganini, Sainton, Vieuxtemps, Pott, Mayseder, Carrodus, Auer and Kreisler. This violin is a reproduction of the fine violin on which Fritz Kreisler played so much beautiful music.
The Guarneri Project violins are a unique series of limited edition violins intended for advanced students, professionals seeking a second instrument and collectors of historical instruments. Few of the instruments were made. Fewer were distributed in the US. This new instrument has a rich, loud voice that will only get better as a violinist plays it.