'World's most expensive instrument,' the Vieuxtemps Guarneri, is priced $18m

Bein & Fushi of Chicago is selling a violin described by experts as 'the most expensive musical instrument ever.

Made in 1741 by Guarneri del Gesù (1698-1744), the finest violin maker of the Amati line, the so-called 'Mona Lisa of Violins' has an asking price of $18m (£12m).

Among concert performers, connoisseurs and collectors, Guarneri's works are regarded as the pinnacle of crafted violins. His instruments are often referred to as Josephs or del Gesùs.

The violin for sale, the Vieuxtemps Guarneri, is one of the last violins to be built by the master before his death in October 1744.

Naturally for an instrument of its calibre, the 269-year-old violin has been played in concert halls all over the world by some of the greatest virtuosi.

It was named after Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881) who both performed and composed solo pieces with the instrument back in the 19th century.

Centuries later, if the violin achieves Bein & Fushi's $18m price tag it will officially be the most valuable instrument on Earth.

In an interview with the New York Times, the seller Geoffrey Fushi - a renowned dealer among violin aficionados - noted that, over the last half-century, the price of gold has increased 2,500% and the Dow has gone up 1,400%...

The price of rare Italian violins, on the other hand, has soared by 26,000%.

To give you a better idea of what makes an $18m violin, in the above video Michail Kazinik plays a 1741 violin made by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Antonio Guarneri.


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