A recent auction held in London produced some surprising finds, as an antique cello and a rare bow sold for an amount that surprised the owners.
A family in Rome was recently taken aback to discover the instrument, which had been in thefamily for more than a century, was actually worth far more than had been anticipated. The vendor did not realise the significance of the cello and was amazed when he discovered the estimated value prior to the auction, which took place at Bromptons in London.
The cello was made by Giovanni Grancino in 1710. Grancino came from a family of luthiers in Milan, working alongside his father and brother to repair and make stringed instruments. Although the early designs of Grancino are reminiscent of Niccolo Amati from Cremona, his later works resemble Stradivari. The cellos he produced were larger than those made by his contemporaries, but produced a better quality of sound and had a superior quality to others.
The estimated value of the cello was between £120,000 and £160,000, and on the day, after a heated bidding war, the instrument sold for £145,000. The cello’s case held a surprise find, as a rare cello bow was revealed. The bow was made by François Nicolas Voirin in 1870. The final selling price for the bow turned out to be a record sale for the maker, at £28,000.
The new owner of the rare antique instruments may want to consider displaying them in an antique cabinet so that they can be admired by others rather than stored away.
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