The Most Expensive Violins In the World
Stradivarius violins are considered to be the most expensive violins in the world. Not only are they rare, but they are a class apart in beauty, sound quality and construction. Each Strad also has an interesting story to tell about how they survived the centuries, some passing through generations by exchanging hands through different owners.
Stradivarius Violins are the musical instruments made by Antonio Stradivari in Clementia, a small town in Italy. These instruments are widely regarded as the best sounding string instruments of the world.
In this article, we will discuss the three most expensive Stradivari violins in the world. These are:
La Pucelle Stradivarius
La Pucelle is one of the most precious violins in the world. The violin is distinguished with an ornate tailpiece design. Antonio Stradivari did not design the tailpiece of the violin. It was added by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume who took it apart in the 19th century. It was Vuillaume who named it La Pucelle when he noticed that the inside of the violin had remained untouched since it left Stradivari’s workshop.
The violin was owned by the heiress Huguette Clark who received it as a birthday gift from her mother. The violin is currently in possession of the collector David L. Fulton who regards it as one of the finest items in his collection.
Messiah is another of masterpiece of Antonio Stradivari. It remained in his workshop till death and was later sold by his son. The violin was created during Stradivari’s golden period.
The violin takes its name after a remark by Jean-Delphin Alard who calls it a Messiah while discussing the merits of the violin.
The violin is currently one of the most expensive musical instruments of the world with an estimated worth of 20 million USD. The violin is not played much and remains in a pristine condition even today.
Nowadays, the violin is on display in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.
The Lady Blunt Stradivarius is one of the best-preserved violins in existence. The violin is still in pristine condition. It has the same original neck and is rarely played.
The violin was in possession of famous luthier Jean Baptiste Vuillaume who sold it to Lord Byron’s granddaughter Lady Blunt. From here the violin got its name and has been called the Lady Blunt Stradivarius ever since.
The violin reached the hands of Robert Lowye who paid what was then the highest price for a violin. He bought it for about 84,000 pounds. The violin remained with him for nearly 30 years before it was sold to the Nippon Music Foundation for $10 million USD. The foundation put it on auction to raise money for their relief fund for Tsunami victims in 2011. It was sold on a record price of £10 million ($15.9 million USD) which broke the record for the highest price ever paid for a Stradivarius violin in 2010. The Molitor Stradivarius was sold for $3.6 million USD.