1696 Strad: Stolen. Recovered. At Auction December 18

The world-famous Stradivari violin that was stolen from London’s Euston Station in 2010 and recovered three years later, will be sold by Tarisio in a special auction ending on 18 December.

At the time of theft the violin belonged to the international soloist Min-Jin Kym. After extensive media coverage, the story of the theft received worldwide attention and sympathy. Fortunately the violin was recovered safely in the same condition in which it went missing.

Ms Kym has since acquired another Stradivari violin, but she recalls fondly the part of her career she spent with this instrument: “This violin was a faithful friend for many years and I was devastated by its loss. Its recovery is an absolute relief and I am eager to hear the violin onstage once more. I wish its next owner all the best of luck and success.”

The ‘ex-Kym’ is a fine example of Stradivari’s work from the mid 1690s. Although built during the decade when Stradivari experimented with the ‘long pattern’, this violin is of normal measurements with a back length of 35.5 cm.

Stylistically it recalls most notably the ‘Baron Knoop’ of 1698 and the ‘Molitor’ of 1697. The wood of the back is almost certainly the same magnificently flamed maple as that used for the ‘Archinto’ viola also of 1696 and the ‘Baron Knoop’. The head is contemporary to the body and also of Italian work but is not original to the instrument. The violin is sold with a certificate from J. & A. Beare Ltd dating from 2000.

Bidding starts at £1 million. A portion of the proceeds and sales commission will benefit the authorities who were instrumental in recovering the violin.

View the story in The Guardian, 22 October 2013

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