Violin by Antonio Stradivari, 1683 "O'Neil"

Violin by Antonio Stradivari, 1683 "O'Neil"

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    Antonio Stradivari

    Length of back: 355 mm
    Upper bouts: 165 mm
    Middle bouts: 113 mm
    Lower bouts: 204 mm

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    This instrument bears the prestigious certification of J&A Beare, the world's foremost authority in fine stringed instruments.

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    Ariel Lang

    Violinist & Co-Founder
    +44 330 133 4225

    For any questions regarding this instrument, please reach out to our dedicated specialist. Expert guidance and personal viewing arrangements are just a call or email away, ensuring a seamless experience tailored to your interest in the Heritage Collection.

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    About this Instrument

    About this Bow

    We are very pleased to present the 1683 "O'Neil" Stradivarius violin, a remarkable instrument with a rich history and unique provenance that spans over centuries. Formerly known as the 'Lioness', due to a distinctive lion painting on its back, this violin's journey reflects the care that was taken in preserving its exceptional quality and sound.

    Crafted in 1683, the "O'Neil" Stradivarius has a back made from a single piece of slab-cut maple, featuring horizontally running flames of medium width, complemented by more pronounced sides. The spruce table, with grains of medium width that become slightly finer towards the centre, is finished with a signature Cremonese golden and brown varnish.

    This date of this violin is a very interesting one. The instrument is clearly inspired by Amati, with whom Stradivari studied but he is definitely developing his distinctive style by this point. The arching is already somewhat flattened (although still higher than later golden period instruments) compared to his earlier 1670s models. The sound exhibits qualities of his later instruments, being immensely focused and precise. The top end has effortless power and the sound seems to expand the higher up one plays.
    The whole instrument has beautiful resonance and everything is designed to allow the instrument to sing to its full potential. The power and projection is typical of Stradivari's instruments, as is the lyricism and sweetness that one can achieve in instruments of this calibre.

    Acquired and later sold by J. & A. Beare to an American violinist around 1980, the "O'Neil" Stradivarius remains a symbol of violin making excellence and historical significance, offering a unique connection to the past and an inspiring presence in the world of classical music.

    About Antonio Stradivari

    Antonio Stradivari, a name synonymous with unparalleled excellence in violin making, has left an indelible mark on the world of classical music. Born in 1644 in Cremona, Italy, Stradivari's career spanned over seven decades, during which he crafted instruments that have become the gold standard against which all others are measured. His dedication to perfection and innovative craftsmanship led to the creation of violins, cellos, and other stringed instruments that possess unmatched sound quality and aesthetic beauty.

    Stradivari's instruments, known for their powerful tone and rich expressiveness, were the product of meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of acoustics. Each Stradivarius instrument is a masterpiece, showcasing the use of exquisite materials, from the finest spruce and maple to his signature varnish, which remains a mystery to this day. The legacy of Stradivari's work extends far beyond his lifetime, with his violins still sought after by the world's foremost musicians for their clarity, depth, and dynamic range. Beyond his technical prowess, Stradivari was an innovator, constantly refining his designs to enhance the playability and sound projection of his instruments. Today, his creations are not only treasured for their musical qualities but also revered as objects of art, commanding admiration and high value at auctions and among collectors.

    Antonio Stradivari's contribution to music and craftsmanship has cemented his status as a legendary figure, whose instruments continue to inspire and elevate the performance of musicians around the globe. His legacy endures, bridging the gap between the past and the present, and ensuring that the beauty of his work resonates for generations to come.

    Stradivarius Violins as Long Term Investments

    Instruments by the legendary luthier Antonio Stradivari, represent not only the pinnacle of musical instrument craftsmanship but also a highly sought-after category of alternative investments. The allure of these instruments, extends beyond their outstanding sound quality and historical significance to their remarkable potential for financial appreciation.

    Market Rarity and Demand: The limited number of Stradivari violins still in existence—estimated to be around 650 of the original 1,000—coupled with their revered status among musicians and collectors, creates a market characterised by high demand and limited supply. This scarcity has historically driven the prices of Stradivari violins to record highs, making them an attractive asset for investors seeking to diversify their portfolios.

    Record-Breaking Auction Sales: Stradivari violins have consistently fetched millions of dollars at auctions, with several notable sales breaking previous records. These high-profile transactions not only underscore the instruments' investment value but also highlight the growing interest among wealthy individuals and institutions in owning a piece of musical history. The increasing visibility of such sales has further fuelled the market, attracting new investors.

    Long-Term Appreciation: Stradivari violins have demonstrated remarkable long-term appreciation, outperforming many traditional investments over similar periods. Their value has steadily increased over time, driven by their historical significance, exceptional craftsmanship, and the finite number available. This trend is expected to continue as more investors recognise the potential of these instruments as a hedge against inflation and market volatility.

    Cultural and Historical Value: Beyond their financial value, Stradivari violins are prized for their cultural and historical significance. Ownership of a Stradivarius offers the investor a connection to the golden age of violin making and a tangible link to one of history's most celebrated artisans. This aspect of Stradivari violin investment appeals to those who value the intersection of art, history, and finance.

    Considerations for Investors: While the investment appeal of Stradivari violins is clear, potential investors should consider several factors. The market for these instruments is niche, requiring specialised knowledge to navigate successfully. Authenticity, provenance, and condition play critical roles in determining an instrument's value, necessitating expert appraisal and due diligence. Furthermore, the illiquid nature of the market means that Stradivari violins are best suited to long-term investment strategies.

    In conclusion, Stradivari violins offer a unique combination of musical, historical, and financial value, making them an attractive option for sophisticated investors. Their scarcity, coupled with increasing global interest, suggests that Stradivari violins will continue to be a compelling investment choice, capable of delivering both emotional and financial returns.

    Heritage by MyLuthier

    A curated selection of fine antique violins, violas, cellos and bows for discerning musicians and investors. We feature rare violins, violas, and cellos, representing both historical significance and unparalleled craftsmanship. Each instrument is in exceptional condition, and has been authenticated by world-leading authorities, backed by the latest in scientific analysis techniques.

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    Exquisite and historically significant string instruments including violins, violas, and cellos, embodying exceptional craftsmanship.
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    Invest in Excellence
    Every instrument in the Heritage Collection is a very fine example of the maker's work and carefully selected for its exceptional condition and verified provenance.
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