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:

What Makes the Stradi­var­ius Spe­cial? It Was Designed to Sound Like a Female Sopra­no Voice, With Notes Sound­ing Like Vow­els, Says Researcher

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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Comments (9)
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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

  • Ivan says:

    The Mona Lisa does­n’t sing any bet­ter than I do. The sound of a vio­lin is only a small part of the equa­tion. Just say­ing.

  • Angie Morgan says:

    I believe i have a Stradi­var­ius vio­lin and look­ing to sell but not sure where to start.

  • Tracey says:

    Hi my Mom has a Stradi­var­ius vio­lin that was her Dad’s and my Dad had bought it off of of her Dad when his Arthri­tis was to bad. It has it orig­i­nal case, but has no strings. It has all the paper work indide the vio­lin that it was made in 1716 with a num­ber on it. It has the orig­i­nal bow. We were wond­ing what it is worth. Thank you Tracey

  • Lydia says:

    I have Anto­nius Stradi­var­ius cre­mo­nen­fis faciebat anno 17 Want­i­ng to get an esti­mate of val­ue. Bow and case. Can you help me?

  • Franz says:

    I have the same one, won­der­ing if you had it appraised.also have an old­er one.

  • Ben says:

    I have stradi­var­ius vio­lin so how much I can sell it

  • Namal Fonseka says:

    I have a stradi­vs­rius vio­lin and want to sell it. How do i get about it?

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