Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1727, the 'Davidoff-Morini'

Violin: 40119

Back: Two-piece

Reported stolen on Oct 18, 1995


"Two violins by Stradivari have been stolen in New York City in the last decade: one, valued at $3.5 million, was taken from the apartment of a hospitalized 91-year-old woman, Erica Morini, in 1996; the other, valued at $1.75 million, was stolen from a Rolls Royce parked on a Manhattan street in 1994.

The violin that belonged to Ms. Morini, who died a short time after the theft, was made in 1727 and bought for her by her father, a Viennese music teacher, more than 80 years ago. It has not been recovered. The fate of the other instrument was unknown last night."

An Upper West Side Mystery: The Vanished Stradivarius, William K. Rashbaum, The New York Times

"In November 1994, someone swiped the Davidoff Strad, built in 1727 and valued at $4 million, from the Fifth Ave. apartment of Erica Morini in the last days of the violin virtuoso's life. Her relatives concealed the theft from her."

"She died at age 91 cradling a copy of her precious Stradivarius, which had been a gift from her father when she was just 21."

A Fiddle Found, David Krajicek, The Daily News

"The 'Davidov' Stradivari violin, owned by Erica Morini, was stolen just before her death from her Manhattan home. However, it seems that this was no break-in by casual looters, but a planned theft by a small circle of those who had access to the apartment and to the key of the wardrobe in which she kept the instrument. When a friend went to check on the violin, all she found was an empty case, with no trace of forced entry or exit to the flat. Last valued at $3.5m/£2.2m, the 'Davidov' may well provide a lucrative private deal for the thief. But any new owner will have to keep it well hidden from violin eperts for many years if they wish to remain anonymous.

Opinions vary on the date of the 'Davidov'; while it is labeled 1724, experts including Simone Sacconi have put a later date of 1727 on it. Morini's father purchased it around 1923 for his daughter from Paris dealers Maucotel & Deschamp, and Morini used it as her concert instrument throughout her life."

Morini's 'Davidov' Strad vanishes, The Strad, January, 1996, London


- General Davidoff
until 1924 Silvestre & Maucotel
1924 - 1995 Erica Morini
from 1995 Reported stolen

Known players

Erica Morini


  • 36 Famous Italian Violins, Alex Wasinski, Herman Gordon, New York, 1975 (illustrated)
  • The Daily News, David Krajicek
  • The New York Times, William K. Rashbaum
  • Correspondence with Herbert Anderson, December, 2008
  • How Many Strads?, Ernest N. Doring, William Lewis & Son, Chicago, 1945
  • The Strad, January, 1996, London, 1996
  • The Strad, January, 1996, London, 1996 (illustrated)
  • Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, New York, 1972 (illustrated)


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