The violin is an instrument full of secrets that hide not only in their wood, their bodies and in the master hands of those who have assembled these elements with much love and talent. The violin fascinates and inspires the musicians when they lead their bow across the strings, but also the audience, which are under the spell of violin sounds. Although every violin is special on its own way, there are some that are even better than others; Violins which fascinate and inspire more.
The Molitor Stradivari
Such a work of art is the "Molitor" Stradivari from 1697, which reached the princely sum of 2.7 million euros. This violin was bought on an action by the American violinist Anne Akiko Meyers in 2010. The Molitor bears the inscription "Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis / faciebat Anno 1697" and was created in the so-called "Golden Period" of the Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari. One owner, this beautiful violin was Bonaparte. But it was named after Molitor, a general of the Bonaparte Army: Count Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor, in whose family it remained until the First World War. The strings for this violin must be carefully chosen in order to well underline the unique sound.
The ex-Ries Stradivari
The Dolphin Stradivari
The "Dolphin" Stradivari from 1714, also belongs on the list of the most valuable violins ever made. It is estimated at 4 million euros and is owned by the Nippon Music Foundation. Currently, it is played by the violinist Akiko Suwanei. It was named the "Dolphin" in the 19th century by George Hart, because the back of the violin, with its shape and its shimmering colour, reminded him of a dolphin. In order to maintain this, you should be especially careful in the maintenance of such high quality instruments and only use special products.
The ex-Szigeti Stradivari
But it gets even better: The "ex-Szigeti" Stradivari violin achieved a premium price of around 4.3 million euros. It is also known under the name "Ludwig" and dates from 1724. It bears the inscription: "Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis faciebat Anno 1724". Since 1989 she is in possession of the L-Bank Baden Württemberg and is awarded to musicians.
The La Pucelle Stradivari
The same price also scored the "La Pucelle" Stradivari of 1709. It is also so called the "Virgin". It got its name from Vuillaume, who described the sound as pure and virginal (French. "Comme une pucelle"). The great virtuoso players use only high-quality shoulder rests, in order to play the bowed stringed instruments for a long time and keep them safe.
The Lord Wilton Guarneri del Gesù
Also worth 4.3 million euros is the "Lord Wilton" Guarneri del Gesù 1742. She was played by the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin. The "King Joseph" Guarneri del Gesù 1737 falls into this category. This violin was played by virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, among others.
The ex-Carrodus Guarneri del Gesù
The Austrian National Bank also has some of the most expensive and most valuable violins in the world in their possesion. One is the violin by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu "ex-Carrodus". It is worth around 5.1 million euros and was built in 1741 Cremona. The "Carrodus" was named after the English violinist John Carrodus in whose possession it was for many years. It is believed that this violin has also once belonged to the great Paganini. 1953, she was even involved in a car accident in which the violinist Ossy Renardy died. The violin remained undamaged.
The ex-Kochanski Guarneri del Gesù
The „ex-Kochanski“ Guarneri del Gesù, which was owned by the violinist Aaron Rosand for 50 years, was sold to an unidentified Russian billionaire for around 7.3 million euros in 2009. This violin is from 1741 and is one of the best preserved violins of Guarneri violin maker. It was named by its long-time owner, the Polish virtuoso Paul Kochanski, but now it is also referred to as the "ex-Rosand" Guarneri. Another valuable violin by Guarneri is the "Vieux Temps", which is currently on sale for $ 20 million. If she were to actually achieve this price, it would definitely top the list of the most expensive instruments.
The Lady Blunt StradivariBut until then, this noble violin remains at the top, since it reached the best price at auction: the "Lady Blunt" Stradivari from 1721. This masterpiece scored the princely sum of about 11.6 million euros at a charity auction. The proceeds went to the victims of the earthquake in Japan. This violin is named after Lady Anne Blunt, granddaughter of Lord Byron, in whose possession it was all of 30 years. The current owner is not publicly known. The special feature of this violin is that it is, in spite of its age, in perfect condition.