One of the finest example of a Stradivarius violin is to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London on Thursday (June the 3rd).
GV EXT. Sotheby's salerooms in London.
MV Yehudi Menhuin and others in saleroom.
SV Violin handed to Menhuin (3 shots)
SV Yehudi Menhuin hands violin to Uto Ughi a young Italian violinist who plays violin (starts playing at 28ft).
SV Ughi hands violin back to Menhuin.
CU Menhuin plays violin.
Initials VS/22.57 VS/23.41
AVAILABLE ON BETA NX 226
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: One of the finest example of a Stradivarius violin is to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London on Thursday (June the 3rd). It's known as the Lady Blunt Violin and it's likely to bring a record price.
Sotheby's themselves refused to estimate the price it will fetch but other estimates range from GBP40,000 to GBP100,000 (96,000 dollars to 240,000 dollars). The auction record for a violin is GBP22,000 for a Stradivarius sold at Sotheby's in 1968. But others are believed to have changed hands privately for higher figures.
Stradivari was 77 when he made the Lady Blunt Violin in 1721 and it's been acclaimed as one of his best. It lay unused in an attic in Spain for 100 years and in 1864 it was sold for GBP260 (724 dollars) to Lady Blunt, grand-daughter of the English poet Lord Byron. She kept it for 30 years but didn't it often.
The value of the Lady Blunt Violin is that it has been played so little it has not yet reached its full tonal quality, whereas most other Stradavarius violins have been played a lot and are passed their best.
VISNEWS cameraman Bill McConville went to Sotheby's today (Tuesday, June the 1st) to film the violin which was on display there. One of the world's foremost violinists, Yehudi Menhuin, was there and played the violin. His verdict: it's superb.