Violin by

Santo Serafin
Venice, 1743
“Baron Knoop”

Although the provenance of this violin is known as far back as the mid-19th century, it is the most famous collector of all time, Baron Knoop, whose name is attached to it. Knoop was invited to purchase the finest examples of all the important makers by Hills, and it was there that he bought this Serafin in 1895. Since that time, the “Baron Knoop” has been owned by a series of important collectors and musicians including David McCallum, the important British concertmaster.

Widely regarded to be one of the best two Serafin violins in existence, this bold and broad example highlights the extreme precision and artistic style of the maker. The varnish is an unusually dramatic orange-red color, and the violin remains in an especially fine state of preservation. The sound, too, is of the first rank. This instrument can be considered as one of the best Venetian violins we know.