The “Hellier” Stradivarius “is the finest inlaid violin ever made by … Stradivari and one of the finest Stradivarius instruments in existence,” said auction house Christie’s, which offers the instrument as the finest lot of its “The exceptional sale” of July 7 “.
Engraved with ivory diamonds and finished with gold varnish, the violin has a price estimate of 6 to 9 million pounds ($7.54 to 11.31 million).
Stradivari kept the instrument for 55 years, selling it in 1734 for 40 pounds to Samuel Hellier of Wombourne, England.
“I expect a lot of interest in such an instrument because it is so rare that it comes out of a museum,” Florian Leonhard, violin expert and consultant at Christie, told Reuters.
“When can you touch a violin like this and own it? It’s incredible.
Stradivari violins are known for their exquisite craftsmanship. They cost between $8 million and $20 million, according to Leonhard.
“Of the approximately 1,100 instruments Stradivari made during his career, only about a dozen are embellished with decorations, and this specimen is considered by curators at the Smithsonian to be the best-preserved example,” Christie’s said in a statement. communicated.
Violinist Braimah Kanneh-Mason played the instrument at a preview and described it as “magnificent”.
“These types of fiddles are often compared to sports cars, you have to learn to drive them first, but once you learn how to maneuver it’s incredibly rewarding,” he said.
($1 = 0.7960 pounds)