Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1716, the 'Colossus'

Violin: 40066

Labeled, "Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis / Faciebat Anno 1716."

Back: Two-piece of medium curl

Top: of even medium grain

Scroll: of wood similar to back

Ribs: matching back

Varnish: Red-brown over a golden ground

Length of back: 35.8 cm

Reported stolen on Nov 3, 1998


"Luigi Alberto Bianchi had his companion of 11 years, his remarkable Stradivari Colossus violin, stolen in Rome, Italy on November 3, 1998 .

This unique violin is known as "Colossus" because of its slightly bigger than normal size.

It was made by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy in 1716.

It previously belonged to Giovanni Battista Viotti, Baillot, and to Jacques Thibaud who sold it in 1920.

It was bought in 1987 in London at Christie's."

Prestige website

"An unseemly name for a fine violin, whether bestowed for large tonal powers or its grand proportions!"

How Many Strads?, Doring, Bein & Fushi, Doring, Bein & Fushi, How Many Strads? (1999 edition), Chicago


Giovanni Battista Viotti
Pierre Baillot
until 1920 Jacques Thibaud
c. 1922-1929 Lyon & Healy
from 1929 and in 1934 L. Ernest Walker, Jr.
until 1987 Dr. Simon A Carfagno
in 1987 Sold by Christie's
1987-1998 Luigi Alberto Bianchi
from 1998 Reported stolen

Known players

Giovanni Battista Viotti, Jacques Thibaud, Luigi Alberto Bianchi, Pierre Baillot

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: Emil Laurent (1921)
  • Certificate: Caressa & Français, Paris (1905)
  • Certificate: Silvestre & Maucotel, Paris (1901)
  • Certificate: Lyon & Healy, Chicago, IL

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.)


  • Christie's Important Musical Instruments Auction Catalog, April 29, 1987, London, Christie's, Christie's, London (illustrated)
  • How Many Strads? (1999 edition), Doring, Bein & Fushi, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1999 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, October, 1989, Tully Potter, London, October 1989
  • The Strad, December, 1987, John Dilworth, London (illustrated)
  • Prestige website
  • Lyon & Healy Catalog of Rare Old Violins, 1922, Lyon & Healy, Chicago (illustrated)
  • Lyon & Healy Rare Old Violins, Violas & Violoncellos (1929), Lyon & Healy, Chicago (illustrated)
  • 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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