Fine Music Instruments Sound Off at Skinner Auction

. April 13, 2010

Fretted, stringed instruments and bows to be offered April 25th in Boston

BOSTON, Mass. – Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of Fine Musical Instruments on April 25th in its Boston gallery. Offered will be nearly 350 lots representing the best in classical and modern instruments including vintage guitars by Gibson and Martin, exceptional solid body guitars, fine Italian violins, and fine French bows.

Outstanding violins grace the auction including one by Giovanni Grancino of Milan, c. 1690, with a certificate of authenticity by the eminent French expert Etienne Vatelot, estimated $90,000 to $110,000. The cover lot is an Italian violin by Giovanni Baptista Ceruti of Cremona, 1803, with a W.E. Hill certificate from 1905. The violin is in near pristine condition showing almost no wear to its original varnish and its edge work. Ceruti had an original style with bold outlines and long luxurious corners that are perfectly preserved in this example. In an old Rhode Island family for more than 100 years, the violin is estimated $80,000 to $120,000. From the same family is a rare Italian violin from Pietro Guarneri of Venice, 1734. Meticulously restored by the Hill Shop in 1900, the state-of-the-art restoration work still remains unsurpassed in quality. While the scroll is Italian, probably Venetian, it’s likely by another maker of the same period. The piece is an extraordinary example, rarely ever seen at auction, and is estimated $30,000 to $50,000. The auction also features an unusually good offering of modern Italian violins from 20th century makers.

French bows include excellent examples by Sartory, the most popular maker of the 20th century. One example from 1930 retains its original screw and eyelet. A collectors piece, it is estimated $6,000 to $8,000. Another example from Sartory’s finest period, c. 1910, is in beautiful condition, and estimated $11,000 to $14,000. Other makers include Pajeot, Ouchard, Tubbs, Gaulard, Voirin, and Nurnberger.

Among the fretted offerings is a good selection of Martin and Gibson vintage acoustic guitars, including a 1927 Martin 000-18, a large body acoustic flat-top guitar, which is a fine choice for fingerpicking, estimated $4,000 to $6,000. Also featured is a 1946 000-28 Martin, another large body fingerpicking guitar, with Martin’s famous “herringbone” edge binding, estimated $6,000 to $8,000.
Solid body electric guitar enthusiasts will appreciate a Fender Telecaster from 1968 with sunburst finish estimated $3,000 to $4,000. Other Fender highlights include a Precision Bass guitar in “as new” condition, estimated $5,000 to $6,000 and a Stratocaster from 1958, certified 100% original parts, estimated $12,000 to $16,000. Fans of the mod era will love a Rickenbacker model 365 from 1961. A model popular among bands like The Beatles and The Who, this instrument is estimated $2,200 to $2,800. For the jazz player, a Gibson ES-175 from 1959 in “as new” condition with original case, strap, cord and hang tags will be offered for $6,000 to $9,000.

Also on the block, an unusually good offering of Gibson mandolins and a rare mandolin Artist model by the Bacon Manufacturing Company, c. 1921, estimated $100 to $200. Also from the reputable Groton, CT manufacturer are three outstanding tenor banjos, all “Silver Bell” models, with estimates ranging from $1,500 at the low-end to $5,000 at the high. One other outstanding banjo is an Epiphone model Deluxe Recording tenor banjo in excellent condition and estimated $3,000 to $5,000.

Catalog, Preview and Event Information
Previews for the auction will be Friday, April 23rd, 12 to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 24th, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, April 25th, 9 to 10:30 a.m. On Friday, a reception featuring live music from the J-Way Jazz String Quartet will be held. R.S.V.P. to 617-350-5400.

Illustrated catalog #2501 is available by mail for $35 ($42 for foreign requests) from the subscription department at 508-970-3000 x3240. It is also available at the gallery for $32. Prices realized will be available at during and after the sale. Skinner’s site also allows users to view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs, and bid live in real-time through Skinner-Live, Skinner’s live online bidding applet.

About Skinner
Skinner, Inc. is one of the world’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business. Skinner’s appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Paintings & Prints, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass. For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner’s web site

Image: 2501 Lot 31: American Guitar, Gibson Incorporated, Kalamazoo, 1959, Model ES-175 est, $6,000-9,000

Category: Auction News

Comments are closed.