Made in 1687, Iso owned this violin from 1935 to 1937. This violin is one of the relatively rare 'decorated' instruments Stradivarius produced and is often referred to as the 'Ole Bull' due to the fact that it was once owned and played by that famous violinist. Thanks to a generous gift made in 1997, it now resides in the Smithsonian Institution.
The Baillot Violin was made by Antonio Stradivari in 1732. The first owner of note was the eponymous Pierre Marie Baillot (1771-1842), an extremely influential pedagogue at the Paris Conservatoire, co-author of that institution's official manual on violin method and technique, soloist, chamber musician, and leader of the Paris Opera. The instrument was played by the young Fritz Kreisler at his first public performance in Vienna.
Iso Briselli came into possession of this violin in 1942. Though almost homely compared to the fabulous 'Spanish Strad', which Briselli also owned, the Baillot was his last and favorite instrument. Slightly larger than most other Strads, he preferred its sound and tone above all the others.
A drawing by Jean Auguste Ingres of Baillot with the violin:
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