Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Strings and rings

We have just bought you "the most fabulous violin in the world," wired the parents of American heiress Huguette Clark, when she was a teenager in New York and they were visiting Paris in 1920. They brought home a Stradivarius violin – a Kreutzer Stradivari, named for its first-known owner, French violinist and teacher Rodolphe Kreutzer – and presumably she got some use and enjoyment out of it. Huguette died a recluse in 2011 and the instrument was found in the closet of one of her homes. It is now up for auction by Christie's and expected to fetch between $7.5 million and $10 million. Musical instruments specialist for the auction house Kerry Keane holds the violin and explains, "We did a dendrochronology of it. It matches four Stradivaris from 1730 to 1734 made from the same tree. That is a great find. It's like a fingerprint."

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