Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1708, the 'Huggins'

Violin: 40053

Bearing its original label.

Back: One-piece

Varnish: Dark orange-red; plentiful

Length of back: 35.4 cm

Upper bouts: 16.8 cm

Middle bouts: 11.2 cm

Lower bouts: 20.7 cm

There are 2 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


Its name is taken from the ownership by Sir William Huggins, a well-known English astronomer in the 1880s. This violin is slated to the Grand prize winner of the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Belgium every four years.

Nippon Music Foundation Instruments: Huggins Stradivari

Sir William Huggins possesses the fellow to this violin, made in 1708. No direct traces of Amati influence are apparent either externally or in the tone; the different arching, absence of hollowing, lightness of the edges, all denote a structure in which tone has become the paramount consideration.

Antonio Stradivarius: His Life & Work, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), London

Cho-Liang Lin: "But I wanted a violin that was closer in quality to a Stradivari called the ‘Soil’ which had been loaned to me for a year before I bought the Dushkin. I had the image in mind that I would get something like the ‘Soil’ and when I tried the Huggins, it reminded me of the Soil. It’s from the same year—1708—and it has a very similar back, with an almost identical varnish. It’s a very ravishing-looking violin. The sound was the problem. The 1708 Huggins Strad had been sitting in a bank vault for 30-odd years before I got it. It took a while for that violin to sound good, but it only developed so much and wouldn’t go further. I tried different adjustments like a new bridge, a new sound post, and working on the angle of the neck, but it never quite satisfied my expectations. In the meantime, I played concerts and recordings but never felt quite comfortable with it."

Strings Magazine


in 1850 Sold by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume
until 1880 Carl Zack
1880-1882 W. E. Hill & Sons
... ...
from 1882 and in 1902 Sir William Huggins
Sold by W. E. Hill & Sons
Richard Bennett
until 1919 W. E. Hill & Sons
1919-1924 Felix E. Kahn
in 1924 Sold by Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.
from 1924 Gustavo Herten
until 1928 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1928 Zlatko Balokovic
until 1931 Emil Herrmann, New York
from 1931 Carl Petschek
1990-1991 Cho-Liang Lin
from 1995 Nippon Music Foundation

Known players

Baiba Skride, Cho-Liang Lin, Ray Chen

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: Emil Herrmann, New York, New York, NY (1931)
  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1928)

Cozio holds copies of many certificates and other documents, some of which are available to view on request. Please contact us if you wish to view a particular document. (Note that we do not always have permission to share documents.)


  • Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1902
  • ArtsJournal: Daily Arts News
  • How Many Strads? (1999 edition), Doring, Bein & Fushi, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1999 (illustrated)
  • Nippon Music Foundation Instruments: Huggins Stradivari
  • Strings Magazine, September 2012
  • The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (illustrated)
  • Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, NY (illustrated)


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