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  • Rare Antonio Gragnani violin valued at $52,000 with Peter Wilson
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AntonioGragnaniRareviolin

Rare Antonio Gragnani violin valued at $52,000 with Peter Wilson

A rare violin made by Antonio Gragnani is being sold as part of Peter Wilson Fine Art Auctioneers' July 11 auction in the UK.

Antonio Gragnani violin
Gragnani's violins are known from their elegance and workmanship in a time when many other luthiers had descended into poor quality instruments



The mid-18th century instrument still has its receipt, showing that it was purchased in 1917 for £115 ($171). It is now expected to sell for between £25,000 and £35,000 ($37,252-52,153).

Antonio Gragnani (1740-1794) was likely trained in Florence and is known as one of the finest violin makers of the 18th century. This violin dates to 1763, making it a very early piece from his illustrious career.

"Dating violins is an exact science nowadays," commented the auction house's Chris Large.

"A dendrochronological report carried out on the instrument has confirmed the age of the wood it is made from to be mid-18th century, while a recently obtained certificate of authenticity from a leading expert dates it more precisely to 1763."

The current auction record for a violin made by Gragnani was set at Sotheby's in 2012 at £58,850 ($94,454). The 1779 violin appeared with an identical pre-sale estimate to the present lot.

A Stradivari violin, known as the Molitor, that was thought to have belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte, sold at auction for $3.6m in 2010, setting the world record for any violin.

The auction world is currently holding its breath as the violin played by Titanic bandleader Wallace Hartley is due to appear at auction, having recently been confirmed as genuine following extensive testing and research.

  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AntonioGragnaniRareviolin