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The Most Expensive Violin: The ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius

Crafted by arguably the most talented violin maker of all time, Antonio Stradivari, this violin has withstood the test of time and constantly impressed the public with its exceptional sound and incredible craftsmanship. While violins are already known to be one of the most expensive musical instruments, the price of this particular one is sure to shock you. Whenever this violin makes an appearance in public auctions, it makes headlines and it is bought for astronomical sums. This violin’s value lies in its craftsmanship and rich history as it is older than time itself and has passed through the hands of many distinguished people.

Priced at a whopping $17.5 million (in Singapore dollars), this record-breaking violin was sold for £84,000 at Sotheby’s in 1971, with the auction house calling on the famed Yehudi Menuhin to demonstrate the quality of the violin. Its price tag comes from its exceptional condition and the fact that it was made in 1721 by Antonio Stradivari (during his ‘Gold Age’). This violin has been passed on from collector to collector, ensuring that it has remained in almost original condition. It has hardly been played and as such, it has not been subjected to the changes seen in most other 18th century violins.

From the hands of French luthier Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, it was passed on to Lady Anne Blunt, in the mid-19th century, who gave the precious violin its nickname.

In 2011, this violin was put up for auction, by Tarisio, in order to help raise funds for two organisations that were involved in providing relief to victims of natural disasters in Japan. It exceeded records, selling for more than $17.5 million (in Singapore dollars). Its extraordinary history and design have caught the attention of many and it remains a testament to Antonio Stradivari’s commitment to his art.


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