The Guarneri Violin Labels Page

Information Abtained from Book Of
The Violin Makers Of The Guarneri Family ( 1626 - 1762 )
Written & researched By: William Henry Hill, Arthur F. Hill & Alfred Ebsworth Hill

A Close study of the labels of the Guarneri as found inserted in their instruments is not without interest. Following the usual practice, their Labels were printed from wood blocks and on hand-made paper, the text being invariably in Latin--with the exception of the Christian name "Joseph"---- and the orthography not always correct !!
Not one of the Guarneri placed his label in a defined position as was the custom of Stradivari; in most instruments it will be found more towards the center or the back, at times placed in a straight line when viewed through the sound-holes, at other times at varying angles, Andrea and both the Pietros appear always to have labeled their productions, though it is possible  that the former may have occasionally inserted the name of Nicolo Amati in certain copies of that master's work made by him; but we ourselves have never been able to identify a violin giving definite evidence that such a practice had been resorted to by Andrea. The Rugeri certainly did so, and we have found the label of Francesco placed in one of his violins underneath that of Nicolo Amati, who was his teacher; nor did the Italian makers of later generations hesitate to ticket their productions----in certain cases copies----with the labels of their more famous predecessors.
We are decidedly of opinion, that the violins which issued from the workshop of Giuseppe filius Andrea towards the latter part of his caree, i.e. after 1715-1720, and which both Carlo Bergonzi and Giuseppe del Gesu were at times concerned, were generally sold without any inscription whatsoever.

Received this Note About The Violin labels from: From:
Deb & Bill Wagner Sent:
Saturday, January 19, 2002 10:08 PM
Subject:Guarnieri & Other Violin Labels

As you may be aware, original labels were regularly removed from instruments by violin houses of note; they were collected like postage stamps, for reference purposes.  At Rembert Wurlitzer, for an example, it fell to Dario and Hans to put the (expertly made) reproduction labels substituted inside the lining of their shoes. & After several days of wear, they assumed the proper "aged" appearence. paper for these was cut from the flyleaves and endsheets of period books.  Several such notable collections of labels are in existence - at least one is in the New York area; there are several others in England and France.  This is no great secret within "the trade," although certainly not acknowledged publically for obvious reasons.  You need not post this, but should be aware that this sort of thing has been going on for well over 100 years, and is a factor in your equations.    Bill Wagner

To View A Genealogical Table Of The Guarneri Violin Makers

Labels of Andrea Guarneri

Labels of Pietro Guarneri of Mantua

Labels of Giuseppe Guarneri, filius Andrea

Labels of Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu'

Labels of Pietro Guarneri of Venice

Back to The Guarnieri Home Web Page Page