BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Monday, 10 November, 2003, 14:46 GMT
Rare Stradivarius fails to sell
The instrument was made during Stradivari's golden period
A violin by the 17th century Italian master maker Antonio Stradivari valued at about 600,000 has failed to sell.

The violin, made in 1700, did not meet its reserve price during a sale of fine musical instruments at Bonhams, London.

Despite what auctioneers said was a heaving sale room on Monday, the instrument remained unsold.

Meanwhile on Tuesday Sotheby's is to auction a Stradivarius from 1716 which could fetch 800,000, and a cello dating from 1736.

The Bonham's violin is believed to be The Petri violin, named after Professor Henri Willem Petri, a famous Dutch violinist who once owned the instrument.

It has remained in the same family for three generations, and arrived at Bonhams from a family collection in Europe.

It is a striking example of Stradivari's work at the debut of his golden period
Philip Scott, Bonhams
The instrument was completed by Stradivari in his 56th year - 22 years after the birth of Vivaldi and long before the birth of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and many other important composers for the violin.

Although he did not realise it at the time, Stradivari's instruments would go on to adapt beautifully to the new world of repertoire, orchestration and technique.

Philip Scott, head of Bonhams' musical instrument department, described it as a "glorious" instrument - believed to be one of only 650 that exist in the world today.

"It is a striking example of Stradivari's work at the debut of his golden period," said Mr Scott.

The same sale contained an archive of the great Italian violinist and composer Niccolo Paganini.

The lots, offered by an anonymous seller, included portraits, letters, manuscripts and personal mementoes including a rare concert playbill, silver snuff-box and a an oil painting of Paganini by John Whittle.

Paganini earned himself the reputation as Italy's finest violinist, although some people were afraid of his incredible musical gift and nicknamed him Hexesohn, or witch's brat.

The world record price for a Stradivarius violin is 947,500.

Rare violin fetches 608,750
13 Nov 02  |  Music


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific