Rare Stradivari viola is expected to shatter world record

Rare Stradivari viola is expected to shatter world record

You are listening to the sound of perhaps one of the finest musical instruments ever made.

This viola was crafted by the legendary Italian artisan Antonio Stradivari in 1719, and is the first to be on the market in 50 years, according to Sotheby's Tim Ingles.

Tim Ingles, Director of Ingles & Hayday, Musical Instrument Consultants to Sotheby's, said, "It's made by the greatest violin maker of all time. It is one of only ten violas. It is the best of all violas, arguably the finest Strad in the world."

The immaculately preserved instrument, known as the "MacDonald" was made during what is considered to be Stradivari's Golden Period, between 1700-1720.

For the past 300 years legendary musicians have cherished Stradivaris for their rich, deep sounds, says American violist David Aaron Carter.

Violist David Aaron Carpenter said: "This instrument is kind of the pinnacle of human achievement in terms of craftsmanship and in terms of the history that's associated with this particular instrument."

And such pedigree comes with a price tag - at least US$45 million (S$57 million), as that is the minimum bid for its upcoming sealed sale.

It is expected to easily top the current world record auction price of US$15.9 million dollars for a musical instrument, set in 2011 for the 'Lady Blunt' Stradivari violin of 1721.

The winning bid of this masterpiece will be announced on June 25th.

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