Music can certainly soothe you and playing the violin is one of the most relaxing past times as well. But, violins have been associated with luxury as well. Some of the world’s oldest and most reputed violins are also the most costly musical instruments in the world. Violins are made of certain different types of wood which give each of these instruments a particular and distinctive sound. Electric violins are also available nowadays. But the most expensive violins are the wooden ones.
The most expensive violins in the world include Guarneri, Amati, Stradivari, Gasparo de Salo and Maggini. Some of these violins have been owned by famous performers and musicians as well. One common feature of all these violins is that they are ancient yet classic.
World’s Most Expensive Violins
Lady Tennant Stradivarius
This violin is a creation of the famous Italian master Antonio Stradivari during what is known as his “Golden” period when he was most productive. This violin was created in the year 1699. It sold for over 2 million dollars at an auction by Christie’s in New York. The violin is named after its first owner Charles Lafont as well as subsequent owner Sir Charles Tennant who gifted this violin to his spouse in the early 1900s.
Another very expensive violin is the Vieuxtemps Guarneri. This violin has been played by famous musicians such as Yehudi Menuhin, Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman. Named after Henri Vieuxtemps and Guiseppe Guarneri, this violin was made in 1741 by Guarneri. Previous owners of this violin include Sir Issac Wolfson. The violin was auctioned for a base price of $18 million, but it has been disclosed that the actual price for which it was purchased was far higher. This violin has been sold to an unnamed buyer.
Lady Blunt Stradivarius
This violin is another masterpiece by Stradivari. It was auctioned for an astounding price of $16 million. This exquisite violin is named after its first owner who was Lady Anne Blunt who was the grandchild of Lord Byron. This violin was sold at an online auction and it made headlines owing to the astounding nature of the price it was sold for. This is one of the best preserved violins of its time.
This violin was made by Stradivari as well. Created in the year 1697, it was said to have been once owned by famous French General, Napoleon Bonaparte. Famous violinists who have performed using this instrument include Ethel Stark and Jascha Brodsky. The Molitor Stradivarius has acquired the reputation of being a priceless instrument because of the unique quality of music that it produces. It was sold at an auction at Sotheby’s for approximately $3.6 million.
This violin is also a creation of Italian violin maker Stardivari. It is referred to as the Hammer because the first known owner of this violin was Swedish collector Christian Hammer. This antique violin was made during Stardiviri’s “Golden” period as well. It was sold to an anonymous buyer at the value of US$3.544 million.
This violin was made by Guarneri in 1735. This instrument has been named after Mary Isabel Portman who was the daughter of a
British nobleman. Fritz Kreisler and Adele Anthony are some of the well known violinists who have had the pleasure of playing this violin. This violin costs an astounding $10 million. It is owned by Karen and Clement Arrison from Cleveland. They also own many other expensive violins and they are members of the Stardivari Society of Chicago, US.
The Carrodus violin made by Guarneri is named so because one of its owners was none other than the famous violinist John Tiplady Carrodus who was well known in the nineteenth century. This violin is currently owned by Richard Tognetti of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. This violin has also been used during a performance by violin virtuoso Paganini. The Carrodus violin is priced at over $10 million and it is one of the costliest violins in the world.
When popular violinist Yehudi Menuhin is asked which violin is most preferred by him, he says it is none other than the Lord Wilton violin made by Guarneri de Gesu in 1742. It is named after Seymour John Grey Egerton who was the fourth earl of Wilton. This violin has also been used for a performance by Croatian virtuoso Balokovic. The last time this violin was auctioned, it fetched over $ 6 million. This antique violin is very valuable and experts estimate that if it were to be auctioned nowadays, it would cost over $10 million. This violin was crafted in Cremona, Italy. David Fulton, who is a well known violin collector, is the current owner of this musical masterpiece.
This violin has been given its name because two of its famous previous owners were Seymour Solomon who owned Vanguard Records and Dorothy Mary Murray Lambert who was an acclaimed violinist from UK. This violin was made by Stardivari during what is referred to as his “Mature” period when he produced some of the finest musical instruments in the world. Created by Stardivari in 1729, this violin was played by musician Ruth Palmer at a Christie’s auction where it was sold for a staggering $2.728 million in the year 2007.
Guarneri del Gesu was the creator of this fine violin. He was one of the biggest rivals of Stardivari. This violin was his crowning masterpiece. This violin derives its name from Belgian composer Henri Vieuxtemps who was a performer at the court of Russian
monarch Tsar Alexander II. Yehudi Menuhin, Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman are some of the acclaimed violinists who have performed using this instrument. Created in 1741, the Ex-Vieuxtemps violin is known for its exquisite craftsmanship and wonderful music. Before Guarneri died in 1744, he created this violin which is now considered one of its kind in the world. It was during the year 2008 that this violin was bought for approximately $3.9 million. Experts suggest that its current value could be around $18 million.