Any Stradivarius violin is likely to be valuable. But in the case of 1721 violin which is being offered by the Nippon Music Foundation, a record price is almost assumed.
The exceptionally well-preserved violin known as the Lady Blunt is coming up for auction in the summer, and it has a startling $10m price-tag to beat from 2008. But the Lady Blunt set a record price every time it was sold last century.
On this occasion it is being sold by the Nippon Music Foundation, with all the proceeds going to the Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. It will of course make an excellent investment.
Grand-daughter of Lord Byron, Lady Anne Blunt (1837- 1917) was a colourful member of the British artistocracy, distinguished not only for her stewardship of the pristine Stradivari violin that bears her name, but also for her important work in breeding Arabian horses.
A talented violinist, she was encouraged to acquire the violin from its then owner by her teacher Leopold Jansa.
The Lady Blunt violin impresses all that encounter it. "This extraordinary violin is in much the same condition as when it left its maker's hands, and it can be placed alongside the 'Messie' of 1716, that is in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford, England." claimed Andrew Hill of W.E. Hill, 2010, echoing a similar assessment made by W E Hill nearly 60 years earlier, during the Second World War.
Auctioneer Tarisio will conduct the sale in London on June 21.