Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Stradivarius viola could fetch $45m

'The Macdonald' was acquired in 1964 by the late Peter Schidlof of the Amadeus Quartet (AP/Sotheby's)
'The Macdonald' was acquired in 1964 by the late Peter Schidlof of the Amadeus Quartet (AP/Sotheby's)

A rare 1719 Stradivarius viola is expected to sell for more than 45 million US dollars (£27 million) in a private sale by Sotheby's.

The auction house says that price would be a record for a musical instrument sold privately or at auction.

The instrument is one of two violas by Antonio Stradivari still in private hands.

Only 10 Stradivari violas are known to have survived. This one is called "the Macdonald" after the 3rd Baron Macdonald, Godfrey Bosville, who purchased it in the 1820s.

The late Peter Schidlof of the Amadeus Quartet acquired it in 1964. His estate is now selling it.

Potential buyers can submit sealed bids up until some time in June.

The auction record for a musical instrument is the 1721 "Lady Blunt" Stradivarius violin. It sold in an online auction for 15.9 million dollars (£9.5 million) in 2011.

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