Amongst the many violins made by Antonio Stradivari, he also made violas, cellos, double bases, harps, guitars and probably other instruments as well. The Sabionari guitar (1679) is one of the five surviving guitars made by Antonio Stradivari. At the present time is the only playable one in the world . In guitar making it is definitely appreciated that to have a guitar this old and still playable is truly incredible. The interesting thing about old instruments is their history……….
A manuscript has survived which provides informations on the guitar being sold and bought in the 18th and 19th century.
Courtesy of Web Statistics, a translation of a letter below, written in 1854 by the owner of the time, Filippo Benetti, a bookseller from Ferrara to a new buyer, the landowner Vincenzo Tioli from Bologna, informs that the guitar had been previously sold by the Stradivari family descendants to Giovanni Sabionari (from whom the guitar takes its name), the year of the sale is not provided and therefore we cannot ascertain who was the Stradivari family member who sold the guitar.
Translation of the manuscript posted Bologna March 2 (18)54
From : Filippo Benetti
Address : Most honourable Engineer Vincenzo Tioli Bologna
Your kindest paper is written on last February 19 : but I did not have it until
the present moment and I don’t know how it is.
The guitar is of Stradivari and the authentication is born by the neck doing the
legalization by his own hand.
This guitar was purchased in Cremona from the descendants of the family who sold
it to a certain Giovanni Sabionari and I purchased it from him : but maintain it as
the pure truth, that the instrument is true and real manufactured by the above
mentioned Antonio and that he made only that one.
This is what I owed you in due answer, meantime I submit to your orders, I am
already collecting other things and manuscripts that at your coming we will make
Meanwhile believe with distinguished esteem .
Ferrara First of May 1854
Very humble servant of you best Sir