Vieuxtemps Guarneri

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The Vieuxtemps Guarneri is a violin built by the renowned Italian instrument maker Giuseppe Guarneri around 1741. One of the last built by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri, this Guarneri del Gesù instrument gained its name after being owned by the Belgian 19th century violinist Henri Vieuxtemps. The instrument was later used by Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman. Past owners of the instrument have included Sir Isaac Wolfson and Ian Stoutzker.[1]

The violin has been meticulously maintained and is considered to be in excellent condition, without cracks and never having required patching, rendering it an excellent example of various principles of standing waves in string instruments. The initial craftsmanship and its resulting sound as well as the well documented provenance and careful maintenance has led it to a steady increase in price over the years: it has often been viewed as an investment leaving some to criticize the overall trend of musical instruments gathering dust in a museum rather than being played as intended.[2] [3][4] In 2012, J&A Beares Ltd sold the instrument, in collaboration with Paolo Alberghini and Julie Reed Yeboah, for an undisclosed sum to an unnamed client. The undisclosed sum was reported to exceed that of the earlier world record price for the "Lady Blunt" violin. The purchaser subsequently provided lifetime use of the instrument to American violinist Anne Akiko Meyers for performance.[5][6] In a December 3, 2013 article The Economist reported that the purchase price of the "Vieuxtemps" violin exceeded $16m (£10.5m).[7]


  1. ^ Ed Pilkington (2010-07-05). "Asking price would make Vieuxtemps Guarneri the most expensive musical instrument ever". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  2. ^ Vivian Goodman (2010-12-06). "Played By Violinists, Bought By Billionaires". All Things Considered (National Public Radio). Retrieved 2013-02-02.
  3. ^ "$18 Million Violin Looking For A Home". National Public Radio. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  4. ^ Vivian Goodman (2010-12-06). "Played By Violinists, Bought By Billionaires". All Things Considered (National Public Radio). Retrieved 2013-02-02.
  5. ^ "Anne Akiko Meyers Receives Exclusive Use of 'Vieuxtemps' del Gesu" (Press release). Rebecca Davis Public Relations. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  6. ^ "The Soul Of The World's Most Expensive Violin". Morning Edition (National Public Radio). 2014-03-07. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
  7. ^ "A high-strung market: Expensive violins". Prospero blog. The Economist. December 2, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2014. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)