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The Ex-Dragonetti, Italian Double Bass by Gennaro Gagliano, Naples circa 1764

The Ex-Dragonetti, Italian Double Bass by Gennaro Gagliano, Naples circa 1764


The ownership of this rare and exceptional instrument can be traced right back to Domenico Dragonetti - the legendary mid-18th to mid-19th century double bass virtuoso who bought it over to the UK directly from Italy. The recent discovery of several important letters coupled with a variety of scholarly publications undisputedly corroborate the anecdote that on his way over to London, Dragonetti stopped by at Beethoven's house in Vienna in 1799 and used this very same instrument to perform Beethoven's most recently published cello sonata - the Sonata Op.5, No2 with Beethoven accompanying him on the piano. The same letters, along with several amazing photographs also confirm that over the past quarter of a millennium, this magnificent instrument has been owned, played and coveted by a short-string of eminent players, nearly all of whom have been principal players of some of the UK's greatest orchestras. If all that wasn't enough, the provenance of the instrument is well documented in no less than two of the pioneering publications about the double bass by Raymond Elgar and more recently a dendrochronology report provides a conclusive date match to the making career of Gennaro Gagliano.

This really is a very desirable instrument for any player or investor. After Dragonetti's famous Gasparo da Salo of 1590, Bottesini's famous Carlo Antonio Testore of 1716 and the über well-documented Domenico Montagnana of circa 1747 this double bass by Gennaro Gagliano circa 1764 - the very same one that Dragonetti played at Beethoven's house in 1799, is arguably the next most famous double bass in existence.

In terms of sound and playability, bass playing really doesn’t get much more pleasurable than this.


LOB (length of back) - 114.5cm (45.00in)
Width across upper bouts - 54.0cm (21.25in)
Width across middle bouts - 41.7cm (16.45in)
Width across lower bouts - 64.7cm (24.48in)
Depth of lower ribs inc both plates - 24.2cm (9.50in)
Body Stop - 62.4cm (24.50in)
String length - 106.6cm (42.00in)

Reference number #2900