An instrument that can be verified as made by Antonio Stradivari could fetch millions of dollars at any auction in the world. Stradivarius violins are now rare. There are only 600 instruments made, and a label with the Latin inscription Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno [date] is a valuable commodity indeed.
What makes the Strad, as they are called affectionately, unique?
A masterful legacy
Genuine Strads are distinguished by their wood, varnish and design. An experienced eye could separate a copy from the real deal. The conceptual model that Stradivari based his instruments on has been the standard for violin makers for more than 250 years.
Only about 650 of the more than a thousand instruments Antonio Stradivari made in Cremona, Italy survives to this day. If you see a Stradivarius label being sold at a typical shop, it is highly unlikely it is the real deal.
Every surviving Strad is worth a lot of money, and are either in the hands of seasoned players, in vaults, private collections, and museums. Yet, even inexpensive copies made after 1891 which are made in Germany, Czechoslovakia are considered an essential find since they are modeled upon the design of a master.
Why does it sound so good?
If you are planning to take violin lessons here in Lehi, you should purchase an instrument that you can be proud to showcase at a recital. The design of an instrument and the craftsmanship invested in creating is final form are the main determinants of how well it would sound.
The violins made by Stradivarius in the 17th and 18th centuries are said to be of superior sound compared to others. Scientists have been endeavoring for years to learn why this is so. Some studies are trying to account for the influence of the wood used.
Or how environmental factors affecting the wood contributed to the sound quality. Recent studies are analyzing the wood chemistry and the age of the wood. Some studies examined the possible influence of the varnish used at that time.
An interesting proposition tying Strad violins to the Halo Effect is on the table as well. The Halo Effect is a bias from the field of psychology. It describes the influence of the overall perception of how a person rates its elements or components.
In one study, blind testing reveals violinists preferred the sound of new instruments over the older ones made by Stradivari and another renowned maker Guarneri in terms of sound quality.
The value of a genuine Strad
Nevertheless, a Stradivarius Violin remains one of the most priced and coveted musical instruments of its kind in the world. How much does it cost at this day and age? It is believed the value of a Stradivarius has tripled in the past three decades.
Reliable violin dealers of any member of the American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, Inc. can be approached to make an appraisal of such an instrument.
Owning a Stradivarius may be a status symbol, but it is also a tribute to the contribution of a master craftsman – a rare and genuine gift to the world.