Pressenda violin circa 1840 will highlight Bonhams' Instruments auction

A violin by Johannes Franciscus Pressenda, built in Turin in 1840, is the top lot of Bonhams' Musical Instruments auction in London on October 30 with an estimate of £120,000-150,000 ($190,000-240,000).

Pressenda (1777-1854) was one of the most important violin makers of the Turin school, the great Northern Italian tradition of instrument making that included masters such as Stradivarius.  

Pressenda 1840 Bonhams
The violin was built in the tradition of the Turin School

Violins attributed to him tend to perform well at auction. In 2002, a model from 1841 sold for £149,650 ($241,650), towards the high end of its £110,000-150,000 ($177,571-242,142) valuation at Sotheby's London.

A French violin, most likely by Nicolas Lupot circa 1805, is valued at £60,000-80,000 ($96,841-129,121). Lupot (1758-1824) is one of the best regarded luthiers of his era - appointed violin maker to Louis XVIII in 1815.

In 2004, a Lupot cello sold for £106,000 ($171,044) at Sotheby's London against an estimate of £70,000-100,000 ($112,941-161,344) - an increase of 6% on its highest estimate.  

A Neapolitan Cello attributed to Josef and Antonio Gagliano, circa 1786, is another highlight, carrying an estimate of £60,000-80,000 ($96,841-129,121).

The Gaglianos were a well respected family of instrument builders, of whom Josef and Antonio were the third generation. Their instruments tend to be carved from plainer wood and featured an elongated pegbox - designed so that the strings wouldn't rub when tuned.

These innovations were copied by other instrument makers, most notably Lorenzo Ventapane - whose work closely resembles that of the brothers.

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