‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius of 1721

April 28th, 2011

Confronted by the tragic events of the 11 March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear crisis, The Nippon Music Foundation has made an extraordinary offer to assist in the recovery efforts of their native Japan.

In a gesture of profound generosity they decided to sell what is considered the finest violin of their collection, the ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius of 1721, and have pledged the entire proceeds of the sale to The Nippon Foundation’s Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. 

On June 20, 2011, this violin was sold for a record setting $15.9 million to an anonymous bidder.


The ‘Lady Blunt’
A FINE AND IMPORTANT ITALIAN VIOLIN BY ANTONIO STRADIVARI, CREMONA, 1721

Labeled, “Antonius Stradivarius faciebat Cremonensis Anno 1721.”

Bearing its original neck, re-angled at the heal. Accompanied by its original bassbar and fingerboard and a presentation case from W.E. Hill & Sons. The ornamented pegs and tailpiece by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume. Inscribed “PG” to the inside of the pegbox. LOB 35.7 cm

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Certificates (View)

  • W.E. Hill (21 July 2008) to The Nippon Music Foundation from Andrew Hill
  • W.E. Hill & Sons, London (18 September 1959) to Samuel Bloomfield from Alfred Hill, with translation extract of a letter from Vuillaume to CHC Plowden
  • W.E. Hill & Sons, London (23 September 1959) to Samuel Bloomfield from Desmond Hill
  • W.E. Hill & Sons, London (23 January 1941) to Robert Bower from W.E. Hill & Sons
  • Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris (28, November 1864), certified by W.E. Hill & Sons “to be a true copy of the original,” photocopy only

Correspondence (View)

  • W.E. Hill (21 July 2008) to The Nippon Music Foundation from Andrew Hill
  • W.E. Hill & Sons, London (18 September 1959) to Samuel Bloomfield from Alfred Hill, with translation extract of a letter from Vuillaume to CHC Plowden
  • W.E. Hill & Sons, London (23 September 1959) to Samuel Bloomfield from Desmond Hill
  • W.E. Hill & Sons, London (23 January 1941) to Robert Bower from W.E. Hill & Sons
  • Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris (4 October 1864) to Charles H.C. Plowden, photocopy only


Literature

  • Beare, Charles, Antonio Stradivari: The Cremona Exhibition of 1987, 1993
  • Beare, Charles, Capolavori di Antonio Stradivari, 1987
  • Ingles, Tim, Sotheby’s, Four Centuries of Violin Making, 2006
  • Doring, Ernest, How Many Strads? Our Heritage from the Master, 1945
  • Doring, Ernest, Violins and Violinists, Sept/Oct 1950
  • Gallay, Jules; Les Instruments des Ecoles Italiennes, 1872
  • Gand, Charles Eugene, Stradivarius – Guarnerius del Gesù, 1870
  • Goodkind, Herbert K., The Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari, 1972
  • Henley, William, Antonio Stradivari and His Instruments, 1961
  • Hill, W.E. & Sons, Antonio Stradivari: His Life and Work (1644–1737), 1902
  • Jalovic, Karel, Italian Violin Makers, 1952
  • Lewin, Robert, The Strad, May 1971
  • Millant, Roger, Vuillaume: His Life and Work, 1972
  • Werro, Henry, ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius-Violine, 1721, 1943

Provenance

The Nippon Music Foundation, Japan
W.E. Hill
2008–Present
Private Owner
W.E. Hill
2000–2008
Robin Loh, Singapore
Sotheby’s
1971–2000
Sam Bloomfield, United States
W.E. Hill & Sons
1959–1971
Henry Werro, Switzerland
Robert A. Bower
1941–1959
W.E. Hill & Sons
Richard Bennett
192?–1941
Richard Bennett, England
W.E. Hill & Sons
1915–192?
J. E. Street, England
W.E. Hill & Sons
1901–1913
Baron Johann Knoop, England
W.E. Hill & Sons
1896–1900
Charles Edler, Germany
Edward Withers & Emil Hamma
1895–1896
Lady Anne Blunt, England
Jean Baptiste Vuillaume
1864–1895
Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, France
from Spain
?–1864

Public Viewings

London – 19 & 20 June
Westbury Hotel, 2nd Floor Gallery, Conduit Street, London
Sunday, 11am–7pm
Monday, 10am–5pm

Private Viewings

Tarisio is pleased to accept inquiries for private viewings in the following cities:
Boston • Chicago • Hong Kong • London • Los Angeles
New York • San Francisco • Seoul • Tokyo • Taipei • Zurich

U.S. air travel provided by


Bidding

Bidding is conducted online at tarisio.com. Bidding ends on 20 June 2011. Phone bidding is encouraged.
Special registration to bid on this lot is required 24 hours in advance.


Contact

Please contact Ethan Ladd at +1.800.814.4188 or eladd@tarisio.com to schedule a private viewing
and assistance with bidder registration. Prospective bidders only, please.