Vanessa-Mae uses a 1761 Guadagnini (Italy) acoustic Violin on most of her classical
pieces. Her parents bought it for her at auction for £150000
(often quoted £200K and higher recently).
This violin and maybe also her Hill violin were stolen from her home
in January 1995. The Guadagnini (and maybe the Hill too) was recovered
by the police several months later. Vanessa also fell off the stage hours
before a performance and broke into pieces her Gaudagnini violin. It was
off for repairs for many weeks and evidently came back in perfect
tone. Vanessa's pet name for her Guadagnini is "Gizmo".
Guadagnini (pronounced gwah-dah-nyee-nee) is a Italian family of
violin builders. They build instruments from the end of the 17th to
the middle of the 20th century. Giuseppe Guadagnini worked in Bresicia
around 1697. One of his well-known ancestors was his son, Lorenzo
Guadagnini (born before 1695, died after 1760) in Cremona and
Piacenza. Most likely he was a pupil of A. Stradivari. Lorenzo's son,
Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Guadagnini (born 1711, died 1786) in
Piacenza, Mailand, Cremona, Parma and Turin also called himself a
pupil of Stradivari. The last representatives were Francesco
Guadagnini (born 1864, died 1948) and his son Paolo Guadagnini (born
1908, died 1942), both worked in Turin.