The 1743 Guarneri violin is known as "Il Cannone" or "the Cannon" due to the power and full quality of its tone. This instrument was the favorite of Nicolo Paganini and was made by the renowned Cremona violin maker Guarneri - also known as del Gesu. The violin has distinct features such as a slightly shorter and thicker sound box and an markedly curved neck that set it apart from other violins. The tone of the Cannon is distinctly bright, yet very full, and is ideal for a player who wants the sound of their instrument to stand out.
The original 1743 Cannon has survived intact and belongs to Genoa, Italy as a gift made in 1837 by Paganini to his native city. The violin is played monthly in Genoa and on special occasions. "Il Cannone" was last seen in New York as part of an exhibition devoted to Guarneri and his atelier at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. The Hill brothers list this instrument as made in 1742, but recent discoveries under ultraviolet light reveal that the last digit of the date is actually the number 3. On the original violin, the lower sweep of the 3 seems to have been rubbed away which makes the date appear to be 1742 when looking at it with the naked eye.