A new record is set.
After a brief reunion with the Messiah at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the "Lady Blunt", a Stradivari violin that is named after Lady Anne Blunt, one of its previous owners, grand-daughter of English's poet Byron, is sold in an online auction for US$15,894,000, over four times the previous record set for a Stradivari violin.
Lord Menuhin plays the ‘Lady Blunt’ from Tarisio on Vimeo.
What strikes me most is not the price (everybody watching the auction is expecting a new record), but the fact that the new record is set not by Sotheby's, Christie's, Bonhams or Bromptons, but in an online auction. Well done Tarisio.
The rising online auction house is named after Luigi Tarisio, the "Violin Hunter" as he is called, who lived the most extraordinary life. There is an interesting book about him: The Violin Hunter: The Life Story of Luigi Tarisio by William Silverman, which, with many facts about the mysterious man though, reads like an adventure story. If you like violins and stories, you won't, I guarantee, put it down after reading the first few pages.