Any vintage possession has a significant value. This is because due to its uniqueness, quality of build, and unavailability. This goes for things such as cars, comics, and even musical instruments. When it comes to musical instruments, violins manufactured in the past hold a lot of value at present. It is believed that the older the violin is, the more it becomes refined in the sound quality produced. Stradivarius violins are one of the oldest violins manufactured, which are worth millions today.
Stradivarius Violin History
Stradivarius violins were manufactured by a seasoned violin-maker, Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737). Born in Italy, he used to carry out his business from Cremona. He is believed to be a student of Nicolo Amati, a well-known violin maker in Italy. At about 1680, Antonio Stradivari started to make his own violins. However, initially the quality of the instruments were not as good as those manufactured between 1698 and 1720. The instruments produced by him were termed as Antonius Stradivarius violins or Stradivarius violins, because they had Latin slogans engraved. In all of his lifetime, Stradivarius produced around 1,200 instruments out of which just about 520 violins are believed to be present today.
The Stradivarius Violins
The manufacturing process of these best-sounding violins is not specifically documented and clearly understood. However, there are certain beliefs about the wood and glue used in the production process. It is believed that Stradivarius made the top using spruce, interior parts using willow, and the back and neck with maple wood. It is also considered that the woods were treated with certain minerals such as borax, potassium silicate, and sodium prior to being used as the instrument's body. This complicated hand manufacturing process contributed to a rich, fuller, and solid sound which is absent in today's violins.
Stradivarius Violin Owners
The Stradivarius violins available today, are either possessed by famous violinists or are displayed at museums. It is reported that two of these masterpieces are exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.; whereas three of them can be found at the US Library of Congress. The Agency of National Estates in Spain also holds two violins, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has three, and the University of South Dakota, SD has one. There are many other musicians who possess or have played these instruments at some point in their lifetime.
Stradivarius Violin Value
If you want to know the cost of a genuine Stradivarius violin that was recently sold. Well, in October 14, 2010; one of these valuable instruments was sold for $3,600,000 to Anne Akiko Meyers. On April 2, 2007, One Strad violin was sold to an unknown bidder for a price of $2,728,000. In May 16, 2006, one of this piece was sold in an auction for $3,544,000; whereas in April 2005 one Stradivarius violin was sold for $2,032,000 in New York. There have been many private sales of these precious instruments, which are believed to have exceeded the record limit for most expensive sale of any vintage musical instrument.
Stradivarius Violin Copy
Due to the huge demand and value of these vintage hand-built violins, there have been many Stradivarius violin copies which were produced in recent past decades. Some manufacturers have managed to produce exact copies of real Strad violins, with even the Latin words inscribed. Original violins came with labels that said "Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonenfis; Faciebat Anno 17XX(year)" with the last two numbers written by hand. Copies came with printed labels of this Latin phrase. In some countries it is legal to sell copies of these violins, unless they don't have words like 'replicas' or 'copies' inscribed.
Scholars and music instrument researchers have thoroughly studied the Stradivarius violin history, and yet have not come up with the exact technique that was used to make these rich-sounding instruments. Due to the tone quality and rarity of these violins, they are not easily available and can only be seen in museums or at high-profile auctions.