Antiques Roadshow Guest Declines to Sell Rare Ansaldo Poggi Viola Worth Up to $330,000

A guest on Antiques Roadshow brought in a viola purchased by his grandfather in Italy for $600, which was revealed to be worth up to $330,000. Despite its value, the guest declined to sell the instrument due to its sentimental importance.

author-image
Nitish Verma
New Update
Antiques Roadshow Guest Declines to Sell Rare Ansaldo Poggi Viola Worth Up to $330,000

Antiques Roadshow Guest Declines to Sell Rare Ansaldo Poggi Viola Worth Up to $330,000

A recent episode of Antiques Roadshow featured a remarkable discovery when a guest brought in a viola purchased by his grandfather in Bologna, Italy, for a mere $600. The instrument, crafted by the renowned Italian maker Ansaldo Poggi, was revealed to be highly valuable, with expert Claire Givens estimating its worth at up to $330,000 for insurance purposes. Despite the significant monetary value, the guest declined to sell the viola due to its sentimental importance.

The guest's grandfather had connections in Italy through the guest's music teacher, leading to the purchase of the viola in the late 1960s. Ansaldo Poggi, a prominent 20th-century Italian instrument maker known for his precision and beautiful wood selection, created only 41 violas out of a total of 388 instruments, making the guest's viola extremely rare.

When asked about his knowledge of Poggi, the guest responded, "Really, really - I don't know. I know he's prolific. I know he has certain renown. When I mention Poggi to other violinists, they smile. That's about it." The guest also shared his personal connection to the instrument, stating, "As I say, I always carried it around as a kid. I enjoyed playing it immensely. It has a marvelous sound but I never took it that seriously, it was my instrument and that was it."

Expert Claire Givens examined the viola, noting its straight, regular grain of spruce on the top and stunning flamed maple on the back, showcasing Poggi's meticulous attention to detail. She revealed that the instrument's retail value could reach around $200,000 in the United States, with the potential to fetch up to $300,000 in the Asian and European markets.

Ansaldo Poggi, a Stradivari enthusiast who studied with fellow maker Giuseppe Fiorini, was known for his perfectionism. In one instance, he destroyed a viola commissioned by a friend of the guest due to dissatisfaction with its sound, exemplifying his dedication to his craft.

Despite the viola's significant value, the guest remained firm in his decision not to sell the instrument, stating, "OK. Well, I don't intend to sell it, you know." The guest's reaction to the appraisal was one of surprise and amazement, as he exclaimed, "Jeez, that's unbelievable." The Antiques Roadshow episode showcased not only the rarity and value of the Ansaldo Poggi viola but also the deep sentimental attachment that can develop between a musician and their instrument, transcending monetary considerations.

Key Takeaways

  • A guest brought a viola to Antiques Roadshow, purchased by his grandfather in Italy for $600.
  • The viola, made by Ansaldo Poggi, is valued at up to $330,000 for insurance purposes.
  • The guest declined to sell due to sentimental importance, having played it as a kid.
  • Ansaldo Poggi made only 41 violas out of 388 instruments, making this one extremely rare.
  • The viola's value could reach $300,000 in Asian and European markets, but the guest won't sell.