Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1699, the 'Contessa, Princess de Polignac, Bardsley'

Violin: 40125

Original label

Back: One-piece

Top: of medium fine grain

Scroll: of small curl

Ribs: of wood similar to back

Varnish: Light reddish brown

Length of back: 36.3 cm

Upper bouts: 16 cm

Middle bouts: 11 cm

Lower bouts: 20.2 cm

There is 1 additional image in the archive which is not available publicly. Click here for more information.


"The Countess Polignac is different from most other Stradivari in that she is slimmer and slightly longer, making her even rarer and of greater value. 'Between 1690 and 1700, Antonio Stradivari was experimenting with a longer shape. He was such a genius that even when he tried out a different size, it still sounds like magic,' says Shaham. The quality of the sound is the thing. They're so beautifully made, the varnish, the glow, they're so beautiful to look at."

"The label reads 1699, but the last digit has been re-made."

Stradivarius-Guarnerius del Gesù: Catalogue descriptif de leurs instruments, Charles-Eugène Gand, Les Amis de la Musique, Spa, 1994


in 1871 Contessa Polignac
until 1920 Countess de Chabanne
until 1922 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1922 Fisher
in 1945 William Bardsley
from 1950 Mark Noble
until 1952 Rembert Wurlitzer Inc.
from 1952 J. Irwin Miller
- Denis East
from 1966 Rembert Wurlitzer Inc.
from 1989 Bernard Goldblatt
- Ben Heineman
- Current owner

Known players

Gil Shaham

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: Rembert Wurlitzer Inc., New York, NY (1952)
  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1945)

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.)


  • Bein & Fushi 1990 Calendar, Bein & Fushi, Inc, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1990 (illustrated)
  • Footlights
  • Giuseppe 'Filius Andreae' Guarneri
  • How Many Strads? (1999 edition), Doring, Bein & Fushi, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1999 (illustrated)
  • Stradivarius-Guarnerius del Gesù: Catalogue descriptif de leurs instruments (Facsimile of Gand's notes from 1870-91), Charles-Eugène Gand, Les Amis de la Musique, Spa, 1994
  • The Strad, November, 2004, London, 2004 (illustrated)
  • The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
  • W. E. Hill Business Records (1850 - 1990)


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