One of the two best-preserved Stradivarius violins in existence, the Lady Blunt would reportedly be auctioned to raise money to help Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims. A rare Stradivarius violin had fetched $10 million at its last sale in 2008, and a similar result is expected at the June auction.
The 1721 Stradivarius Violin is currently owned by The Nippon Music Foundation, custodians of some of the world’s finest instruments. It will be sold on behalf of the Nippon Music Foundation of Japan, and all proceeds from the sale will benefit the foundation’s Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
Auctioneers Tarisio said they would sell the instrument, named after one of its owners, Lady Anne Blunt, the granddaughter of the poet Lord Byron, online on 20 June. Jason Price, Director of Tarisio, says: The Lady Blunt is the crown jewel of the Nippon Music Foundation’s collection. In the world of stringed instruments, this violin is indeed one of the great masterpieces, the equivalent of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Michelangelo’s David. We are honored to present this historically significant violin for such an important and urgent cause.
Tarisio is one of the world’s leading sources of fine and rare stringed instruments. Launched in 1999, it now sells over 2,000 violins, violas, cellos, and bows each year.
Christopher Reuning, of Reuning and Son Violins in Boston, which sells and certifies instruments, said it is very rare that a Stradivarius of such quality comes up for sale. It still shows the tool-marks and brushstrokes of Stradivari. The Lady Blunt is perhaps the best-preserved Stradivarius to be offered for sale in the past century, Reuning added.
According to Japan’s latest police figures, 14,704 people have lost their lives during the March 11 tsunami, and around 10,969 still remain missing. [Tarisio]