One of the world’s most incredible instruments was auctioned yesterday for a jaw-dropping (and record-breaking) $15.9 million, all of which will go to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fun.
The violin, known as the “Lady Blunt” Stradivarius, was made in 1721 and is one of the two best-preserved instruments by 18th century luthier Antonio Stradivari. Because the winner of the auction has chosen to remain anonymous, it is uncertain whether the violin’s new home will be in a museum or the hands of a player. While such an artifact would be a worthy addition to a museum’s collection, it would be quite a shame for such an incredible instrument to gather dust.
The Lady Blunt was donated by the not-for-profit Nippon Music Foundation, an organization which lends instruments from its collection of Stradivari violins to both renowned professional musicians and promising young musicians. The auction was run by Tarisio, a 3rd-party rare instrument auction website.
Nippon Music Foundation’s President, Kazuko Shiomi, acknowledged that the Lady Blunt was an important part of the Foundation’s collection, but that “the needs of our fellow Japanese people after the March 11 tragedy have proven that we all need to help… The donation will be put to immediate use.”