The Sainton is named after the famous French violinist and composer, Prosper Sainton, who was, among other things, violin soloist to Queen Victoria from 1848-1855. This fine example of Guarneri del Gesù's later work (it was made in circa 1744) featured in the Guarneri exhibition held in Norway in June 2010 and the Hills singled it out for particular praise in their book on the Guarneri family.
It was later the property of the Italian violinist Adolfo Betti, leader of the illustrious Flonzaley Quartet, which was established in 1902. Following a successful European tour in 1904, the quartet quickly became one of the leading American quartets. The musicians were greatly admired for their beautiful tone quality and commissioned Stravinsky's Concertino in 1920. This is one of two instruments belonging to the Flonzaley Quartet that we have sold, the other being the Beatrice Harrison Tecchler cello. Beare's recently sold the Sainton to a private benefactor.