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Stradivarius violin sells at $16 million record price

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011 - 02:03

June 21 - Rare Stradivari violin sets new record at charity auction sale. Kathi Urban reports.

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A rare Stradivarius violin that once belonged to the granddaughter of English poet Lord Byron sold for a record $15.9 million at auction on Monday. The "Lady Blunt" was offered for sale by The Nippon Music Foundation, owners of some of the world's finest Stradivari instruments. Proceeds from the sale will go to aid Japan after the recent earthquake and tsunami. The historic violin was bought by an anonymous bidder for around four times the previous auction record for a Stradivari violin, according to Jason Price, director at auction house Tarisio. SOUNDBITE: Jason Price, Director Tarision, saying (English): "The bidding opened at £6,000.000 -- which was already a record, but it was roughly equivalent to what the Nippon Foundation had paid for the violin four years ago. So the bidding opened there, and then it was pretty quickly, pretty swiftly developing -- we knew right off the back that it was going to have tonnes of interest in. There were bidders waiting in the wings who actually didn't get in a place to bid, cause it went up too fast above what they were looking to spend. In the end there were two and it went to -- the most desired, he who desired it the most." The "Lady Blunt" is one of around 600 instruments by the famed Italian maker Antonio Stradivari still in existence, and one of the best preserved examples. The last time this violin was sold publicly was in 1971 at Sotheyby's. It fetched a then-record of 84,000 pounds sterling. SOUNDBITE: Jason Price, Director Tarision, saying (English): "What makes this violin so important is that it has for most of its three hundred years been so carefully preserved that it has really escaped all of the bad things that can happen to violins: woodworm, cracks, accidental damage. It has been very gently played at a couple -- in some moments of its existence. But for the most part it's been preserved. And what's great about that is that this allows us to see what a Strativari looked like in 1725." In its near three hundred year history the "Lady Blunt" has travelled several continents and countries, from France and England to America and more recently Asia. Its next destination is yet to become known. Kathi Urban, Reuters.

Stradivarius violin sells at $16 million record price

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011 - 02:03

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