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Penny Strad at Christies


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I played the opening of the Sibelius on it on Wednesday. Listeners said it sounded good but under my ear, it was quiet.

It was much more thrilling to play the same piece on a Carlo Bisiach that belonged to Albert Mel. The lower register of that sounded much more powerful.

Still, I'm surprised the Penny Strad struggled to make $1.1 million.


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I went to the preview, it's a beautiful violin, the table grain and the wokmenship were so fine. The scroll wasn't orginal and it had

numerous cracks on the table even a soundpost crack. The repair work was excellent of course. The penny as a wonderful tone

but I liked the Guad and Goffiller more.

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Interesting comments! I was surprised it didn't go for more. Do you think the lack of original scroll and repaired cracks/condition played a part in that? Or maybe the sound itself? I suppose one can presume this is an example of a "lower quality" Strad, if that's a fair definition!?

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Are there any Strads that don't have repaired cracks?

The replacement scroll is a big turn off but the recession has nothing to do with it. The institutional investors who buy art in this league are not concerned about the price of gas.

I think it's also worth recalling that Barbara Penny wasn't exactly a soloist and my feeling was that this instrument was more of an orchestral player than a soloist one.


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