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Wow!!! Fantastic photos! And the instrument is in mint condition, notice chamfer in the scroll is still blackned, the neck is original and the letters PG can be seen in the soundbox!!!

Yes, It has been one of those instruments that is so much talked about and so hard to see illustrated (online at least) in any kind of detail.

I can now see the reason for the hype!

l24222fb.jpg

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Wow!!! Fantastic photos! And the instrument is in mint condition, notice chamfer in the scroll is still blackned, the neck is original and the letters PG can be seen in the soundbox!!!

Where do you see the letters PG and what do they mean? Excuse my ignorance. :) Also about the black on the scroll chamfer is that usual on Cremona violins? If I want to do that on my own scroll is that just black paint? is it applied after the varnish? or under the varnish?

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Mike, go to the link, than "take a photo tour". You will see one photo of the pegbox, the strings were taken apart so that you can see the letters "PG", indicating that the instrument was built with the "PG" form, still in Cremona's museum.

Stradivari started to blacken the chamfers of the scroll in some part of his career, but since the chamfers are subjected to wear, the black tint can only be observed in very few instruments that are exceptionally well preserved. I think it was applied after the colourless varnish was given, possibly the varnish was scraped and the chamfer blackned, being covered by subsequent coats of varnish, Sacconi discusses that in his book, if I am not wrong.

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Where do you see the letters PG and what do they mean? Excuse my ignorance. :) Also about the black on the scroll chamfer is that usual on Cremona violins? If I want to do that on my own scroll is that just black paint? is it applied after the varnish? or under the varnish?

See Christopher Reuning's contribution:

"Inside the pegbox, at the base of the mortise, is the makers inscription P G which indicates the violin was built on the P G form. In the past, this inscription has been thought to be the initials of Paolo Stradivari but more recent scholars have demonstrated otherwise. The handwriting and letter form of the P G in the pegbox of the Lady Blunt exactly match the inscription on the P G Stradivari form exhibited in the Museo Stradivariano in Cremona. The PG (MS21) along with the G (MS49) were the largest two violin forms Stradivari used during his mature years. The violins built on these forms are universally considered the most desirable."

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Ah! You were too quick for me, Guy, Manfio!

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Stunningly beautiful! I think it is safe to assume that the Lady Blunt will break the $3.6m auction record set by the Molitor in the October 2010 Tarisio sale. Note the public viewing dates: New York today and tomorrow, Boston this Saturday & Sunday, and London June 19 & 20. If you will be near these cities, make an effort to see it!

Public Viewings

New York – 25-29 April

Tarisio, 244–250 W. 54th St. 11th Floor, New York, NY

Monday-Thursday, 11am–5pm, Friday 11am-2pm

Boston – 30 April & 1 May

Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Arlington St., Boston, MA

Saturday 12pm–7pm, Sunday 10am–3pm

London – 19 & 20 June

Westbury Hotel, 2nd Floor Gallery, Conduit Street, London

Sunday 11am–7pm, Monday, 10am–5pm

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Yes, I think it is not being playing, it is in "museum condition".

Wow, what a beauty!

Has anybody played it?

The history has no players attached.

Lady Blunt was an exceptional lady according to Wikipedia

Anne Isabella Noel Blunt, née King-Noel, 15th Baroness Wentworth (22 September 1837 – 15 December 1917), known for most of her life as Lady Anne Blunt, was co-founder, with her husband the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, of the Crabbet Arabian Stud.

Lady Anne was a daughter of William King, 1st Earl of Lovelace and Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, said by some to be the world's first computer programmer. Her maternal grandparents were the poet Lord Byron and Annabella Byron, 11th Baroness Wentworth. In childhood, she was known as "Annabella," after the grandmother for whom she was named.

She was fluent in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Arabic, a skilled violinist and a gifted artist who studied drawing with John Ruskin. She also had a lifelong love of horses, dating from childhood, and was an accomplished equestrienne. Her interest in the Arabian horse, combined with Wilfrid's interest in Middle Eastern politics, led to their mutual interest in saving the Arabian breed and thus their many journeys.

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[quote name='MANFIO' timestamp='1303989059' post='497985

And the instrument is in mint condition,

In the Autumn (Fall) of 1987, I was taking my „Meisterprüfung“ (masters exam) in Innsbruck and was privileged to be able to drive down to Cremona every weekend to visit the „Capolavori Di Antonio Stradivari“ at the Palazzo Comunale in Cremona. The “Lady Blunt” was No.35 of 45 exhibited Stradivari instruments. I was dismayed to notice that the Lady Blunt had (at the time) a fairly dirty, dodgy looking sound post crack in the belly, a discovery that led to an evening long polemic about people buying violins to keep in a bank vault from my father, making me wish I hadn’t pointed it out too him. I have especially cleaned and polished the screen of my computer to check out the area behind the bridge on the E string side and conclude that someone has made a pretty good job of tidying it up. I think, however sadly, that “mint condition” is unfortunately not the appropriate expression. Those who cast doubt on the “Messie” might like to get there magnifying glasses out here too.

I wonder who might buy it? I don’t think any Austrian Banks have much appetite at the moment.

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As much as I would love to hear it (and often), I should think its best contribution to humanity would be to be left as-is. Can you imagine the sickening feeling you would get even getting a tiny scratch on it from a wayward fingernail? :unsure:

In my opinion, it is too bad the Lady was even modernized, but at least V. kept the original fingerboard and bass bar for posterity. I'm seriously contemplating running over to Boston to see it this weekend.

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As much as I would love to hear it (and often), I should think its best contribution to humanity would be to be left as-is. Can you imagine the sickening feeling you would get even getting a tiny scratch on it from a wayward fingernail? :unsure:

In my opinion, it is too bad the Lady was even modernized, but at least V. kept the original fingerboard and bass bar for posterity. I'm seriously contemplating running over to Boston to see it this weekend.

No worries, my friend. A violin "in museum condition" has a value far beyond the financial resources of any player, and thus it will end up in the "collection" of another museum (cf. "the Messiah"). I too am disappointed the violin will never be heard, but part of its "priceless" value is because of its condition, and any instrument that is played is going to suffer the slings and arrows of time. Hard to imagine that Perlman's violin, or Zukerman's will suffer financial depreciation, but then there you are. At a time when the Rosand del Gesu sells for $10 million the (financial) sky is the limit.

Some people believe a violin that is not played will deteriorate, and that's probably the reason that Heifetz's violin is sometimes loaned out to the San Francisco Symphony. Besides, remember that if the Lady Blunt were to be played today, outside a museum "hall", it would have to be modernised to the point it would become less of a "museum piece", and hence of lesser interest to luthiers, monographists, and all sorts of reputed "experts."

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If it were restored to the original setup wouldn't it be the ONLY baroque strad?

You might want to checkout these links.

Medici, Tuscan Tenor

Violin, 1693 Made by Antonio Stradivari at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you have a membership to www.theluthierslibrary.com then you will see the 1693 Stradivari there.

Clicking on 'Login as Guest' will give you an idea of what the site has too offer. The curtate cycloid files for the arching are cool, as are the laser pics for the arching.

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