A new world auction record for a musical instrument was set at Sotheby's auction rooms in London on Wednesday (November 8) when a British dealer paid GBP 145,000 (230,000 U.
SCU Guarneri violin sold by Yehudi Menuin
CU Stradivarius cello sold for GBP 145,000 ZOOM OUT TO Crowd looking at it
SV Man examining violin with other violins hanging from wall and arrayed on bench
CU Sotheby's musical instruments expert Charles Wells speaking in English about Menuhin violin TILT DOWN TO Wells' hands
CU Romanian violinist Eugene Sarbu playing the violin
WELLS: "Well, it's in a marvellous state of preservation when you consider its age. It was made in 1739 which is later on in his (Guarneri's) life. He died in 1744. And his violins seemed to get better towards the end of his life, os it's of an excellent period And, although I'm not a violinist, I am told by players who have played it that it had a marvellous tone".
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Background: A new world auction record for a musical instrument was set at Sotheby's auction rooms in London on Wednesday (November 8) when a British dealer paid GBP 145,000 (230,000 U.S. Dollars) for a Stradivarius cello. The instrument was made in Cremona, Italy by Antonio Stradivari during his golden period in 1710. Among other items in the two day sale, described by Sotheby's as one of the most important ever of musical instruments, were three rare violins owned by the London-based maestro Yehudi Menuhin.
SYNOPSIS: One of the Menuhin violins, made by Joseph Guarneri del Jesu of Cremona in 1739 was sold for one hundred and twelve thousand pounds (224,000 U.S. Dollars). It was bought by London dealer Peter Biddulph.
It was also Biddulph who paid the record price for this magnificent cello, a Stradivarius and among the rarest in existence. It was sent by the estate of Irving Tushinsky a Los angeles businessmen and amateur cellist. Prior to this sale, the world record price for a musical instrument sold at auction was GBP 115,000 (230,000 U.S. Dollars) for a Guarneri violin sold in auction in 1977. Sotheby's expert charles Wells describes the Menuhin Guarneri.
Brilliant twenty-eight-year-old Romanian violinist Eugene Sarbu samples that tone. Many soloists prefer the best Guarneri to Stradivarius violins because many Stradivari were collectors' pieces, rather than working instruments.