“The Sauret” Stradivarius

Gardiner Houlgate proudly offered “The Sauret” Stradivarius for auction on Monday 6th November 2006. Details of this significant violin can be found below.

An important violin by Antonio Stradivari, known as “The Sauret”, Cremona, circa 1685, labelled Antonius Stradivarius, Cremonensis Faciebat, Anno 17., the handsome one piece back, cut on the slab, of irregular broad curl descending from right to left, the sides and head with wood of similar curl, cut on the quarter, the table of a close grain and the varnish of a rich golden-brown colour, length of back, 14″, 35.60cm


The first record of this violin is in the notes of John Betts, when he refers to the owner in 1775 as a Mr. Hammer, in 1808 as a Dr. Ernly, and he later repaired it for Reverend Jefferson. Later in the century the well-known Scottish collector David Laurie purchased it. He took it to Paris and in 1880 sold it to a player named Gleichoff. In 1885 Gleichoff sold it to Emile Sauret, the distinguished soloist who used it for thirty-five years until his death in 1920. It was then purchased by a violinist named John Sheridan and in 1928, after Sheridan’s death it came into the possession of W.E. Hill & Sons. They sold it in 1965 to its present owner who used it until his retirement.

The violin, together with a full-page supplement photo, was featured in an article in the April 1926 edition of “The Strad” entitled “Emile Sauret and his violins”.

In notes dated 14th December 1920, and 9th February 1921, Alfred Hill attributed the belly to the contemporary maker Franccesco Gobetti who worked in Venice (1690 – 1745).

We were told by the owner that on 8th November 1969 hr consulted Simone Sacconi. His opinion was that the violin dates from 1682 but that the belly is a later replacement by Stradivari. On his return to England, the owner reported this to Charles Beare, but agreed with Alfred Hill’s opinion.

On 14th February 2005 Etienne Vatelot of Paris issued a certificate of authenticity stating that in his opinion the violin is a typical example of Stradivari’s work in the period 1680 – 1685.


W.E. Hill & Sons, London, dated 15th March 1965 attributing the table to Francesco Gobetti.

Etienne Vatelot, Paris, dated 14th February 2005 certifying the violin as being a typical        example of the work of Stradivari of the period 1680 – 1685.


An article in the April 1926 edition of “The Strad” together with a full page supplement photo   entitled “Violin by Antonio Stradivari, 1702”.

Doring, Ernest, How Many Strads? 1945 and the updated edition 1999, page 118.


A Tree-Ring Analysis Report by John C. Topham, specialist in the dendrochronology of violins, dated 16th June 2005 and a further report by Mr. Topham dated 20th June 2005 which     includes cross-matching of the front of the “Sauret” to wood used by Stradivari and wood used by Gobetti.