Saturday 10 December 2016

Fiddle sells for €11m – no strings attached

Independent.ie reporters

Published 21/06/2011 | 10:36

A Stradivarius violin in pristine condition has sold for a record $16m (€11m) with the proceeds going to benefit victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

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The violin sold for a record €11m at auction, with the proceeds going to charity.

The Lady Blunt Stradivarius, which has been described as the ‘Mona Lisa’ of stringed instruments, had previously fetched a record price each time it's been auctioned and made €4m in 2008.

However its owners, the Nippon Music Foundation, decided to pass the instrument on to benefit victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

The violin was made by the famous Italian violin maker Antonius Stradivarius in 1721 – although the instrument didn’t get its name until more that 150 years later when Lady Blunt took ownership.

The auction was conducted by London-based online auction house Tarisio on Monday night and attracted considerable interest around the world before it was finally sold to an unnamed bidder for the record sum.

And it is considered to be as good as the Messiah, a 1716 Stradivari bequeathed to The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, on the condition it can never be played.

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