Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Violin set to fetch up to £150,000

Leila Josefowicz used a 260-year-old violin that is set to be auctioned

A 260-year-old violin used as a concert instrument by acclaimed soloist Leila Josefowicz is set to fetch up to £150,000 at auction.

The violin, believed to be by leading 18th Century Italian maker Michele Angelo Bergonzi, helped launch Josefowicz to international prominence.

Former child prodigy and Chanel catwalk model Josefowicz, 35, has been feted as one of the leading American violinists of her generation, and has appeared with many of the world's top orchestras.

The violin, which has been Josefowicz's only instrument since 2001 and dates from around 1750, is estimated to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000 on October 29.

It is being auctioned by London-based Ingles and Hayday, founded by Tim Ingles and Paul Hayday who have overseen some of the most successful musical instrument auctions.

In 1999, they sold the collection of the late legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin, a sale which achieved 16 world record prices in 100 lots.

Mr Ingles is expecting widespread interest in the Bergonzi violin, which he said helped make Josefowicz's career and launch her as an international star.

He said: "When Leila started playing this violin, she was very young, so it has been very important in establishing her musical persona.

"But the most important thing about it is that it is a great-sounding violin. I have had a few people come along to try it out, and they say, 'Wow'.

"That will be the key to making the auction a success, because this violin has made her career and helped her become an international star."

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