Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1725, the 'Duke of Cambridge, Bott, Spohr'
Labeled, "Antonius Stradiuarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 172..."
Back: in one piece of quarter cut maple with medium narrow flame descending slightly from the bass side.
Top: in two pieces of spruce with variable, medium width grain broadening slightly at the edges.
Ribs: and head of maple with medium width flame.
Varnish: of an orange-brown color.
Length of back: 35.6 cm
Upper bouts: 16.7 cm
Middle bouts: 11.3 cm
Lower bouts: 20.6 cm
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Notes:This instrument was stolen from Bott in 1894, quashing all hopes of a comfortable retirement for him and his wife. Bott died a year later, and a violin dealer named Flechter was accused of having stolen the instrument and served 3 months of a 12-month sentence, though the instrument had not yet been found. Several years later, in 1900, the instrument was found in the possession of a family named Springer. It turned out that the instrument had been originally stolen by an unknown party and immediately sold to a pawn shop for $4. It then passed through several hands, none of which recognized it as a work of the master. Finally in July, 1902, 8 years after Bott's death, Flechter was exonerated and the instrument was restored to Mrs. Bott.
Flechter was convicted largely because of the testimony of August Gemunder, who claimed that a violin being sold by Flechter was the ex-Bott, when in fact it was just a cheap Strad copy.
"During the trial of Mr. Fletcher, many of his business competitors, displayed an animosity, which was, to say the least, reprehensible, and there seemed, in the light of present events, as if there was an organized effort to convict him at all costs."
Observations, The Violin Times, September, 1900, London
|until 1850||Duke of Cambridge|
|in 1850||Sold by Puttick & Simpson|
|1850 - 1872||Moritz Hauptmann|
|1872 - 1894||Jean Joseph Bott|
|1900 - 1903||Matilde Bott|
|in 1903||Sold by Lyon & Healy|
|from 1903||Archibald Mitchell|
|in 1909||Sold by Lyon & Healy|
|until 1911||Roderick White|
|from 1911||Lyon & Healy|
|until 1917||John McCormack|
|from 1917||Lyon & Healy|
|in 1925||M. Zamustin|
|from 1926||Erich Lachmann|
|until 1939||Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.|
|from 1939||Erich Lachmann|
|from 1985||New York Philharmonic|
Camilla Wicks, Glenn Dicterow, Jean Joseph Bott, Joseph White, Ruth Breton
- An Encyclopedia of the Violin (1925), Alberto Bachman, The Library Press Limited, London
- Antonius Stradivarius (Volumes I-IV), Jost Thöne, Jan Röhrmann, Alessandra Barabaschi, Jost Thöne Verlag, Cologne, 2010 (illustrated)
- Camilla's Chocie
- Flexible Leadership
- How Many Strads? (1999 edition), Doring, Bein & Fushi, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1999 (illustrated)
- Violins & Violinists, January, 1942, Ernest N. Doring, William Lewis & Son, Chicago (illustrated)
- Lyon & Healy 1913 Catalog
- The Violin Times, September, 1900, edited by E. Polanski, London
- Lyon & Healy Rare Old Violins (1909), Lyon & Healy, Chicago (illustrated)
- The Lost Stradivarius
- Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, NY (illustrated)