The Guarneri Violin Labels Page

Labels of Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu

Giuseppe del Gesu, contradictory though it seems, was most consistent as regards the form, figures, and composition of his label; he began by ignoring his parentage and Patron Saint, and he did not once vary the wording, or make any alteration whatsoever throughout his career. The type used for the printing is similar to that seen in certain of the labels of his father and grandfather, those of the years 1690 to 1694 and 1714 to 1731. Note the spelling of "Cremone" with a cedilla under the c, and his adoption of the cipher I.H.S., His figures were well formed, the 17 always printed, the others added by hand; and in this connection we note a slight yet curious addition from time to time; he added two more strokes ( we have seen three ) with his pen when putting in the figures, and these strokes are found under the last figure of the date and the first letter of the monogram, Other than this curious feature we have observed no change; nor have we, as previously stated, ever come  across a marginal note, or a line of his handwriting.
In a quite appreciable number of reproductions of the master's label it will be found that "Cremonae" is spelt with a diphthong ( see the fathers labels of 1714 and 1731 ), but we have never in our experience come across an authentic label so spelt. Vidal reproduces a ticket so worded, taken from the fine Guarneri violin ex Alard, now reposing in the "Museum of the Paris Conservatoire of Music". We have been privileged to scrutinize this superb example on several occasions, and we do not believe its label to be an original. We would add, however that a doubt as to the correctness of our judgment might be legitimately raised, for the inscription is obviously old, and printed in characters of the period; yet the fact remains that we have never in a single instance met with another authentic violin of the master bearing an original and similar label, nor do the figures f the ex Alard satisfy our scrutiny. The last reproduction of those given is a replica of that frequently found in Guarneri copies, the work of Vuillaume, and which were labeled by him; the spelling of Cremona will be noted as also the fact that the whole inscription is not a close imitation of an original.

Labels Inserted By Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu

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 Note of Special Interest By Anthony Joseph Guarnieri author/editor of
"The Guarnieri Home Web Page" We at have been contacted on several occasions by people who claim to have a violin with the "I.H.S. del Gesu & a Cross"  inscribed on the instrument.....We have been told by several sources that such violins were mass produced in Germany, & France.... by the thousands up and into the 19th century..and are worth from $300 to $3,000 dollars today depending upon their condition....A real "Guarnerius del Gesu" violin would be worth hundereds of thousands of dollars and more.....Most or in safe keeping or on display in Museums Like the one on display at "The Henry Ford Museum" located in Dearborn, Michigan USA...If you think you have an Original "del Gesu", try contacting "The Guarneri House" located in Grand Rapids Michigan USA..*** { click on the high-lighted links for more information/photos of these locations }..Also if anyone has more to add about this subject please contact us at & we would be glad to post it here....

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