Why Stradivarius Violins Are Worth Millions

In 2011, a Stradivarius violin in pristine condition sold for $15.9 million. And then, in 2014, another Strad went up for auction with a minimum bid of $45 million. That auction failed, but it underscored a trend: The price and prestige of Stradivarius violins keep climbing, driven by the insatiable demand of investors and professional musicians.

But is a Stradivarius really worth that large sum of money? As this primer from Vox suggests, it depends who you ask. In a highly-publicized blind test, professional violinists couldn't tell the difference between multi-million dollar Strads and more modestly-priced modern violins. On the other hand, some elite violinists swear by the Stradivarius, claiming that the subtle superiority of the instrument only becomes apparent over time, when it's played over years, not days or months.

That debate will continue. And as it does, the Stradivarius will only get older--and, yes, more fetishized as an historical object that's considered priceless.

Related Content:

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Why Violins Have F-Holes: The Science & History of a Remarkable Renaissance Design

Musician Plays the Last Stradivarius Guitar in the World, the “Sabionari” Made in 1679

Watch Priceless 17-Century Stradivarius and Amati Violins Get Taken for a Test Drive by Professional Violinists

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  • Alan Rochester says:

    A 3d print of a Stradivarius would be interesting.

  • Muggle says:

    Only so many in the world …And the history and craft behind them imo opinion make them priceless…This is something a music lover and art lover would ever love to have for the Fasenation and The Vision o Cherish it’s beauty at a Home display …it’s for the People with larger allowances so to speak For Dream Things. This is a One of life’s Dream Things I grew up hearing about. .::::Wink::: #Luxury #fetishs

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