Guarneri

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Guarneri [Guarnerius]. It. family, makers of vns., vcs., etc. in 17th and 18th cents. Founder was Andrea (b Cremona, c.1626; d Cremona, 1698), fellow-pupil with Stradivari of Nicola Amati. His sons were Pietro Giovanni (b Cremona, 1655; d Mantua, 1720) who settled as vn.-maker in Mantua, and Giuseppe Giovanni Battista (b Cremona, 1666; d Cremona c.1739) who developed an individual style. But most celebrated of family was Bartolomeo Giuseppe (b Cremona, 1698; d Cremona, 1744), nephew of Andrea, and known as ‘del Gesù’, from the letters I.H.S. on his labels. Regarded as 2nd only to Stradivari. Revived early Brescian sch. traditions, making instrs. with rich, powerful tone. One was owned by Paganini, who bequeathed it to city of Genoa.

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Guarneri (gwärnĕ´rē) or Guarnerius (gwärnĕr´ēəs), family of violinmakers of Cremona, Italy. The first craftsman of the family was Andrea Guarneri, c.1626–1698, a pupil of Niccolò Amati. He designed and built his instruments in the Amati fashion. Andrea's two sons, who were his pupils, surpassed him in his work. They were Pietro Giovanni Guarneri, 1655–1720, who worked in Mantua and made several innovations, and Giuseppe Giovan Battista Guarneri, 1666–c.1738, who made superb violins in an original style. The son of Giuseppe Guarneri, Pietro Guarneri, 1695–1762, made his best violins in his later years, following his uncle's pattern for the most part. The greatest violinmaker of the family was Giuseppe Guarneri, 1698–1744, grandnephew of Andrea, called "del Gesù" because he signed his labels with a cross and the letters IHS. He was second only to Stradivari in the history of violinmaking. He followed the school of Brescia instead of the Amati in his designs. Giuseppe built varied models to achieve a superb tone so that his instruments are not uniform.

See W. H. Hill, The Violin-Makers of the Guarneri Family (1931).

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