Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1713, the 'Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria'


Violin: 41979

Labeled, "Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis/Faciebat Anno 1713."

Back: One-piece marked by a strong fairly even medium figure

Top: of medium grain, widening towards the flanks

Ribs: of broader figure

Varnish: Light red-brown

Length of back: 35.7 cm

Upper bouts: 16.75 cm

Middle bouts: 11.35 cm

Lower bouts: 20.5 cm


Notes:

"In 1950, Albert Berr, of Bad Wiesee, Germany, published a booklet about the violin. Only 50 copies were printed. At one point, the top had been replaced by the Gagliano family, but Machold recovered the original top and returned the instrument to its original form. "

Axelrod Stringed Instrument Collection, Herbert Axelrod, Evelyn & Herbert Axelrod Stringed Instrument Collection


"Expert X questioned the scroll and top. Appraised at $300,000 to $400,000. . . . Crane not sure what it is; called it a wreck."

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Report of the Trustee Review Panel concerning the Golden Age Collection, December 16, 2004


"A booklet about this instrument was published by Albert Berr of Bad Wiesee, Germany in 1950. According to the Hamma certificate, the table of this instrument was probably replaced by von Ranftler of Munich, though Axelrod indicates that Dietmar Machold's father, Heinz-Joachim Machold, acquired the original table and reinstalled it (Herbert Axelrod, Evelyn & Herbert Axelrod Stringed Instrument Collection [no location or date of publication], p. 60).

Associated with this instrument is a certificate written by Chardon & Fils in 1929. This certificate indicates that in 1851 the maker Anton Sitt of Prague constructed the back, ribs, and scroll for a table that they believed Stradivari had made as a replacement for an Amati violin. However, the Chardon & Fils certificate indicates that the back made by Sitt was of two pieces, whereas the back of the Ex-Prince Ludwig Ferdinand is of one piece. Furthermore, the top of the Ex-Prince Ludwig Ferdinand is not in the style of Amati. Thus, the Chardon & Fils certificate must not belong with this instrument.

Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria was an ardent amateur violinist.

The back of this instrument is heavily damaged. There is a crack running from the bottom, just left of center, up to the lower right corner. There are also multiple cracks descending from the top."

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Collection brochure from Violin Advisor, LLC

Provenance

in 1929 Daniel Hermann
until 1949 Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Bavaria
until 2003 Dr Herbert R. Axelrod
2003 - 2007 New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
from 2007 Current owner

Known players

Brennan Sweet

Certificates & Documents

  • Insurance valuation: Machold Rare Violins, Ltd, Vienna (2002) Values the instrument at $1.9 million.
  • Certificate: Machold Rare Violins, Ltd, Vienna (2002) "This instrument is original in all of its parts."
  • Certificate: Hamma & Co., Stuttgart (1961) “We guarantee that this violin labeled 'Antonius Stradiuarius – Cremona 1713' is a genuine work of this master. The instrument is original in all of its parts, except for the top. The top is of a later date, probably crafted by Ranftler of Munich. The varnish has been retouched. There have repairs done to the instrument but the sound is outstanding.”

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.)

References

  • Evelyn & Herbert Axelrod Stringed Instrument Collection, Herbert Axelrod (illustrated)
  • New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
  • New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Collection brochure from Violin Advisor, LLC, April, 2007
  • New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Report of the Trustee Review Panel concerning the Golden Age Collection, December 16, 2004
  • NJSO sounds fine without conductor, 10-30-2004

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