Tonal Bliss

Rare Stradivari violins remain the world’s most sought after musical instruments

Why You Need It

Antonio Stradivari learned his craft from the son of the man who invented the violin, Andrea Amati, and the protégé quickly surpassed his mentor. Stradivari’s innovations included the modern violin bridge, redesigning the instrument’s body to create a full, powerful sound, and developing a varnish that penetrates the wood and binds to the fibers for a pure, crisp tone. Stradivari built 1,100 instruments in his 70-year career, and approximately 650 remain, each treasured by musical bowmen the world over.

Why It’s Special

The Koeber Stradivarius, like all the master’s violins, was carved from red spruce trees found in one particular valley in the Italian Dolomites, near the city of Cremona. The wood was cut during a specific time in the lunar cycle, under specific weather conditions, at a specific time of the year. Cremona remains the world capital of violin making, with more than 150 shops building commissioned instruments in much the same way Stradivari did three centuries ago—no nails, no power tools. Stradivari crafted the Koeber in 1725 and the instrument has been in the hands of collectors for the past century. The Koeber is in exceptional condition and has been played by numerous international concert violinists.

What It Costs

The Koeber Stradivarius and other rare stringed instruments are available through Carpenter Fine Violins of New York City. Stradivari violins start at US$4 million and have sold for as much as US$15.9 million. For more information and to view Carpenter’s collection, visit

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