Tarisio to Auction Rare Cello by Antonio Stradivari

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Tarisio Auctions is delighted to present the 'Amaryllis Fleming' Stradivari cello as the star lot in its autumn sale of fine instruments and bows.

Tarisio Auctions is delighted to present the 'Amaryllis Fleming' Stradivari cello as the star lot in its autumn sale of fine instruments and bows. Made in Cremona in 1717, it is one of only around 60 surviving Stradivari cellos. Few of these come up for auction due to their rarity, and this example, which dates from Stradivari's famous Golden Period, is the first in almost ten years. It carries an estimate of £900,000-1,200,000 and is expected to break the world record for a cello sold at auction.

Tarisio is selling the cello in association with London violin dealership J.&A. Beare Ltd. The firm's world-renowned expert Charles Beare describes it as 'originally one of Stradivari's greatest'. It was made on the B-form pattern, his most successful cello model, which was used to make some of the finest cellos in existence, including Yo-Yo Ma's 'Davidoff' and Mstislav Rostropovich's 'Duport'.

Like its brethren, the cello has an outstanding tone quality and Stradivari used particularly beautiful maple for the back and ribs, which are in an exceptionally fine state of preservation. The front and scroll, although not original, were made of fine materials in the mid-18th century by the Spanish luthier José Contreras, whose own instruments are highly prized today.

The instrument bears the name of the British cellist Amaryllis Fleming (1925-1999), who bought it in the 1950s. Daughter of the artist Augustus John and half-sister of James Bond author Ian Fleming, she was taught by Pierre Fournier and became one of UK's top-rank cellists, particularly admired for her performances of Bach. The cello is being sold by her family to benefit the Royal College of Music in London, where she studied and later taught.

Julian Lloyd Webber is to play the cello on 21 July at St James's Palace in London at a RCM concert dedicated to Amaryllis Fleming and hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales. It will also be played by Natalie Clein at a recital in September. It will be available to view on 6 and 7 October at the Kempinski Courthouse Hotel on Great Marlborough Street, London, as well as by appointment at J.&A. Beare on Queen Anne Street. Further viewings are to be held in Cremona (Stradivari's birthplace), New York and Boston. The cello travels insured for £1,400,000.

The auction, which is held online at http://www.tarisio.com, ends on 31 October 2008.

For more information, photographs and to arrange interviews, please call Naomi Sadler:
Tel: 020 7096 7316; Mob: 07818 297926 or email nsadler @ tarisio.com

Note for editors: Tarisio Auctions holds six auctions a year, from offices in New York and London. Recently it teamed up with celebrated violin restorer and adjuster Rene Morel, who now works alongside Tarisio in New York. This summer Tarisio opened a new fretted instruments department.

Tarisio Auctions, Leroy House 1Q, 436 Essex Road, London N1 3QP; http://www.tarisio.com .

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