Another Stradivarius On The Market

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Gary
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Another Stradivarius On The Market

Post by Gary » Thu May 11, 2006 8:19 pm

Christie's eyes record for violin
By Martinne Geller

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Auction house Christie's unveiled a Stradivarius violin on Thursday that it said could fetch more than $2 million next week to become the most expensive musical instrument ever sold at auction.

The violin, known as the Hammer, goes on the block in New York on Monday. It was made by Antonio Stradivari in 1707 in Cremona, Italy, and Christie's estimates its value at $1.5 million to $2.5 million.

The current auction record for a violin belongs to the Lady Tennant, a 1699 Stradivarius that sold for $2.03 million last spring. Private sales have exceeded that price.

The Lady Tennant had a presale estimate of $800,000 to $1.2 million.

"There are certainly grounds for (the Hammer) to realize more than the Lady Tennant," said Kerry Keane, head of the musical instrument department at Christie's.

He said unlike the Lady Tennant, the Hammer was made after 1700, during Stradivari's "golden period," when he is believed to have made his finest instruments. Also, "appraisers like to err on the conservative side," Keane said.

Of the more than 1,100 instruments Stradivari is believed to have made, only about 620 violins survive today, he said.

"These are the finest violins in the world and there is a finite number of them," Keane told Reuters, adding that as the economies of China and the former Soviet republics strengthen, the number of interested buyers is growing.

Reporters were among those who heard the Hammer being played on Thursday by American virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn, whose own 1720 Strad, called The Mendelssohn, is said to be the inspiration for the 1999 film "The Red Violin."

In 1990 Pitcairn's family -- descendants of John Pitcairn, who made his fortune as president of Pittsburgh Plate Glass -- bought the "Red" Mendelssohn at Christie's in London for $1,776,940, a record at the time. It had been owned by a Berlin banking family, descendants of composer Felix Mendelssohn, from the late 19th century until the 1950s.

Other highlights of Christie's May 16 spring auction of fine musical instruments include American guitars such as one made last year by Wayne Henderson. Valued at $4,000 to $6,000, Keane said it was the twin of one Henderson made for British rock 'n' roller Eric Clapton.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060511/ts_ ... _violin_dc
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Thu May 11, 2006 9:20 pm

I seriously considered bidding on this one but since I don't play the fiddle I'm passing.
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jserraglio
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Post by jserraglio » Fri May 12, 2006 11:58 am

can you charge it?

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Fri May 12, 2006 12:52 pm

jserraglio wrote:can you charge it?
*****

Probably, on my AMEX Crimson Card.
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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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