Made at the height of the master's golden period, the "Wirth" of 1713 is an exceptionally handsome and robust example. Its grand model, strikingly figured maple, and dazzling red-orange varnish all come together to form the ideal of a Stradivari violin.
The "Wirth" has been played by a number of fine violinists, the first known being the Italian violinist Nicolò Mori (b. 1793, d. 1839) who was a pupil of Viotti. After Mori's death in London, the violin passed to John Hart, the early English violin dealer. In 1869 the noted collector Louis D'Egville purchased the instrument. A Dutch violinist by the name of Jan de Graan acquired the violin shortly thereafter. After his death the violin came into the possession Professor Emmanuel Wirth whose name has since been attached to the violin. Wirth was an associate and follower of Joachim. In the earlier part of the twentieth century violinist and collector Max Adler, a member of the well-known Chicago family, purchased the violin in Berlin and kept it for many years and it later passed to another member of the family. Stradivari frequently made instruments in pairs as part of his working routine. The "Wirth" is made on the same form and from the same materials as the 1713 "Gibson, Huberman" Stradivari which was recently acquired by Josh Bell. Both instruments have the same type of brilliant red varnish.
The tone of the "Wirth" possesses all the qualities that any discriminating violinist could desire. It has richness, brilliance, sonority, and incredible carrying power.
"Many of Stradivari's instruments can be identified in groups or even pairs, so strong is the similarity of wood, style, and model, and it is obvious that there were generally several instruments under construction in the workshop at any one time. In the case of the Wirth, the close connection to another celebrated violin, the 'Huberman', is obvious. Both were made in the same year, and it could be imagined even the same month. The wood for these two instruments clearly came from the same log, and with the flame arrange in the less common upward inclination."
Antonio Stradivari - Catalogue of the 2008 Exhibit in Montpelier, Peter Biddulph, Frédéric Chaudière & John Dilworth, Antonio Stradivari - Catalogue of the 2008 Exhibit in Montpelier, Montpelier