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Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 16:44 GMT
Stradivarius fetches auction fortune
Stradivarius
Going for a song: the violin sold for 388,500
A violin made by the Italian master Stradivari has been sold at auction for 388,500.

The rare instrument - one of only five recorded examples made by Stradivari in 1682 - went to an anonymous private buyer.

It had been expected to fetch between 350,000 and 450,000 and had belonged to a professional musician based in Europe.

"It's always a great pleasure to see a good Stradivari appear at auction," said Tim Ingles, head of musical instruments at Sotheby's.

"The model Stradivari was using at this time is similar to the violins of his golden period and, therefore, instruments from the 1680s have excellent sound quality."

Varnish

He said Stradivari's success had allowed him to buy the very best materials.

Some 600 of his violins, cellos, lutes, and guitars survive.

Experts believe the instruments obtain their unique resonance from an Stradivari's orange-brown varnish.

In April 1998 a Stradivari violin sold at Christie's in London for 947,500, the highest for a Stradivari at auction.

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30 Mar 98 | Sci/Tech
How to make a Stradivarius
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