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"Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna:
Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance
NNM 6045. Choral mandolino, The Cutler-Challen, by Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1680. Authentic signature written in ink on the inside of the central rib: Antonio Stradivario in Cremona 1680. Although best known today for his bowed stringed instruments, the surviving patterns and relics now housed at the Civic Museum in Cremona show that Stradivari made all kinds of other stringed instruments, as well. This choral mandolino is one of only two that are known, the other being in private hands in London. The Museum also has one of his surviving guitars (NMM 3976, The Rawlins), another of which can be seen at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University in England. His only known harp is at the Conservatory of Music in Naples. Although such instruments, unlike his bowed stringed instruments, were superseded by more robust designs - The Cutler-Challen, which survives with its original wood case, is "as light as a feather" - most of them are exquisite examples in a long continuum, as in the case of the mandolin family, that has yet to come to an end. Restoration by Andrew Dipper, Minneapolis. Ex coll.: Christopher Challen, Horsley-Stroud, England. Purchase funds gift of Mr. & Mrs. Richard A. Cutler, Sioux Falls, 1997.
Source: André P. Larson, Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance 1789-1848, with essay by John Koster, exhibition catalog, Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 12-November 2, 2003 (Vermillion: National Music Museum 2003), p. 68.
A poster of this mandolin is available from the Gift Shop
A postcard of this mandolin is available from the Gift Shop