Violoncello by Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1726, 'Marquis de Corberon'

Object type
The front of this violoncello is made from two matching wedges ofquarter-cut spruce. The slab-cut one-piece back and ribs are made from willow. The scroll is made from beechwood and has a modern neck graft. Tiny pin prick holes can be seen under the varnish of the scroll on its spine and ear, which would have been made by the maker to help guide their carving.

The instrument is coated with a thick layer of dark orange, translucent varnish.

The violoncello was constructed on Stradivari's "B" form and has a modern set up.
Date made
The "Marquis de Corberon" was presented to the Academy by Audrey Melville in 1960, on the condition that the well-known American cellist Zara Nelsova could have lifelong use of the instrument. Miss Nelsova used the cello in her teaching at the Juilliard School in New York and in many concert appearances. It was also heard during her lifetime at the Academy, where she gave many masterclasses.


Beethoven, Five Sonatas and Variations, with Arthur Balsam (London Records)
Bloch, Schelomo Rhapsody for Cello Solo and Orchestra (Vauguard, Cardinal Series)
Chopin, Rachmaninov, Franck, Poulenc, Sonatas for Cello and Piano, (Golden Crest)
Dvorák, Cello concerto & Rondo and Silent Woods (MMC Vox)
Hindemith, Cello sonatas, with Grant Johannesen
played by Zara Nelsova
woodwork, cello, Stradivarius
willow, spruce, ebony, beech
Object type
Type Length Width Height Diameter Unit (length)
Stop 407 mm
Neck 281 mm
Back 760 mm
Upper Bout 343 mm
Middle Bout 237.5 mm
Lower Bout 436 mm
Back (with caliper) 759 mm
Upper Bout (with caliper) 340 mm
Middle Bout (with caliper) 232 mm
Lower Bout (with caliper) 433 mm
Total String Length 692 mm
Accession No


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