Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1734, the 'Ames, Totenberg'

Violin: 40545

Bearing its original label.

Back: One-piece, with the flames running vertically

Varnish: Rich red

Length of back: 35.8 cm

Upper bouts: 16.8 cm

Middle bouts: 11.3 cm

Lower bouts: 20.9 cm

There are 3 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


Dated 1730.

Stradivarius-Guarnerius del Gesù: Catalogue descriptif de leurs instruments, Charles-Eugène Gand, Stradivarius-Guarnerius del Gesù: Catalogue descriptif de leurs instruments (Facsimile of Gand's notes from 1870-91), Spa

"For forty years, he owned the 'Ames' Strad, an exceptionally fine 1734 example of the master's art. The 'Ames' was stolen from the director's office at Longy in 1981 following a recital Totenberg played to honour the retiring Wolfe Wolfinsohn."

Legacy of Experience, James Forrest, The Strad, July, 1987, London

Recovered in 2015. It is believed that the violin was stolen by Phillip Johnson and hidden from public view for over 35 years.

A Rarity Reclaimed: Stolen Stradivarius Recovered After 35 Years

"...Rare Violins In Consortium, a way for wealthy patrons of the arts to acquire string instruments and then lend them out to promising young musicians for years at a time [...] My father's violin will go first to 18-year-old Nathan Meltzer..."

The Tale Of The Stolen Totenberg Stradivarius Ends With A New Legacy, Nina Totenberg, NPR article, October 9, 2018


until 1870 Baron de Tremont
1870-1879 Charles Hermann
in 1879 Gand & Bernardel, Freres
1879-1885 Caspar Gottlieb Meier
in 1885 Sold by George Hart
from 1885 George Ames
1886-1893 George Acland
in 1893 Sold by W. E. Hill & Sons
in 1893 Sold by Puttick & Simpson
from 1893 Pickering Phipps
until 1905 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1905 Baron von Donop
Sold by Hamma & Co.
until 1916 Ernst Kessler
... ...
1924-1925 Emil Herrmann, New York
from 1925 Leslie W. Brown
1941-1980 Roman Totenberg
1980-2015 Reported stolen
2015-2018 Totenberg Family
from 2018 Rare Violins In Consortium, New York

Known players

Irving Lashinsky, Nathan Meltzer, Roman Totenberg

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1936)
  • Certificate: Ernst Kessler, Berlin (1916)
  • Certificate: Rembert Wurlitzer Inc., New York, NY

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.)


  • A Rarity Reclaimed: Stolen Stradivarius Recovered After 35 Years
  • Antonio Stradivari and His Instruments, 1961
  • Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1902
  • How Many Strads? (1999 edition), Doring, Bein & Fushi, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1999 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, July, 1987, James Forrest, London
  • Rare Violins in the Possession of Emil Herrmann: 1926-7, Emil Herrmann, Berlin (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
  • The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Box 43 (illustrated)
  • The Stradivari Memorial (1977), William Dana Orcutt, Da Capo Press, New York (illustrated)
  • Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, NY (illustrated)
  • The Violin: Its Famous Makers and their Imitators, George Hart, Dulau & Co., London (illustrated)


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