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GMM22

Known losses of Stradivari/Del Gesu violins.

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I believe that at least one instrument by these makers was destroyed in a World War 2 air attack on Stuttgart, Germany, which destroyed the business premises of Hamma & Company.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Brad_Dorsey

I believe that at least one instrument by these makers was destroyed in a World War 2 air attack on Stuttgart, Germany, which destroyed the business premises of Hamma & Company.

I think that I've heard a story that they were rebuilt.

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What blows my mind is that, according to Wikipedia (yeah, I know) a

genuine Strad was DISCOVERED in 2006.

Is this really true?

If so, how exactly was provenance authenticated?  (or was it,

you know, found by the head authenticator's nephew or

something?)

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You also gotta' love the story behind the General Kyd Strad cello,

quote:

"On April 27, 2004, the instrument was stolen out of the house of a

cello instructor, found in a garbage container by a family in the

city, and was to be converted into a CD shelf until its insured

value became known. Three weeks later, it was returned. "

You can't make this stuff up.

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"If so, how exactly was provenance authenticated?"

I think no provenance is necessary. Either it is a Strad or it isn't, and experts can tell if it is by examining it. Who might have owned it in the past, while interesting, is irrelevant to its authenticity.

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As I recall there was recently a small cello found by Biddulph and sold at Sothebys as a Strad, but I don't remember if this happened in 2006 or not. Perhaps this is what they're referring to as the 2006 find?

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Instruments do sort of pop up like that on a regular basis. Often the people who have them are long-term wealthy families who've had them forever and knew they were good, but didn't quite know what they had. Sometimes the instruments were even known, with a history, but had "disappeared" from public view for decades. The ex-Shrine to Music Museum has, for instance, a 500 year old lute that's one of a set that are the earliest surviving all-ivory lutes. They apparently came out of a "closet" in one of the Astor family's many estates a couple of decades ago. I once sold a del Gesu that had been previously hiding as "some sort of nice Cremonese violin", complete with a fake Stradivari label (!! everyone was sure it wasn't one, anyway) for quite a while. At a French conference about Vuillaume a decade or so ago a man brought his Vuillaume to be confirmed, and it turned out to be a Strad. There are a lot of stories like this, but notice that none of these violins came out of chicken coops, and all were recognized as something good by owners who'd paid a lot for them.

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