Image of a cello, a Spanish cello attributed to Joannes Guillami of Barcelona, Spain and bearing a label dated circa 1769

1769 Joannes Guillami cello

This powerful cello, known as “El Tiburón” (The Shark), was made in the year of Joannes Guillami’s death, and may have been a collaborative work undertaken with his his son, Joannes II, who was his only pupil. Guillami’s shop in Barcelona, Spain, produced a number of oversized cellos, sometimes referred to as church bass. This particular cello has been reduced from a larger size to fit more modern needs, but retains the deep haunting voice and dark overtones—that can be felt by both player and audience alike—of a larger bass-like instrument.

The instrument has a two piece slab cut back of plain figure. The ribs and scroll are quarter cut and made of a similar material to the back. The chamfers of the scroll are picked out in black. The two piece top is made of narrow grain at the centre, to wide grain at the flanks. The varnish is a red brown over amber.

Donor: The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
Acquired: 1999


Past winners:

2015 - 2018 Noémie Raymond-Friset

Instruments and current winners