NEW YORK May 22 A Stradivarius violin forgotten
in a closet for decades and formerly owned by a reclusive U.S.
heiress to a copper fortune could sell for as much as $10
million in a sealed bid auction next month, according to
If the 1731 violin, known as "The Kreutzer" after the French
concert violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer who once owned it, reaches
the top end of its pre-sale estimate it would be one of most
expensive musical instruments ever sold.
The violin is one of the highlights of the sale from the
estate of Huguette Clark, a reclusive, eccentric heiress who
owned sprawling Manhattan apartments and palatial homes but
chose to spend her final decades living in a New York hospital
where she died in 2011 at the age of 104.
After she died, the violin was found in a closet, where it
had been for 25 years.
The highest price paid for a Stradivarius violin is $16
million. A rare viola made by the Italian artisan Antonio
Stradivari in 1719 that will be sold by Sotheby's in a sealed
bid auction in June is valued at $45 million.
"Kreutzer owned and played his namesake Stradivari from
about 1795 until his death in 1831," Christie's said in a
The instrument was a present from her parents, copper
magnate and politician William A. Clark and his wife Anna, to
the then-teenaged Huguette.
The violin will be sold in a special auction with bidding
starting on June 6 and will coincide with the New York sale of
more than 350 lots from the Clark estate on June 18.
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Mary Milliken and