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 statement.
The instrument was a present from her parents, copper magnate
and politician William A. Clark and his wife Anna, to the
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
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