the story of The lady blunt strad, 1721
The Lady Blunt, is an historically important violin, made in Antonio Stradivari’s workshop in the Piazza San Domenico, Cremona. The violin, which has appeared at auction twice in its life, fetching world record prices on both occasions, is celebrating its tercentenary this year. Made in 1721, it is just about one of the last violins from Stradivari’s ‘Golden Period’.
Like the Messiah, which can today be viewed at The Ashmoleum Museum in Oxford, the Lady Blunt violin is in almost mint condition, appearing much as it did when it left the collection of the world-renowned Parisian violin maker and dealer Jean Baptiste Vuillaume in 1864.
Vuillaume had restored the violin after acquiring it in Spain, where it had languished, forgotten in an attic for 100 years. It was then sold to Lady Anne Blunt, granddaughter of Lord Byron. She owned the violin for 30 years before selling it to WE Hill and Son of London, who sold it on to the famous collector Baron Johann Knoop in 1896. The violin passed through Hills’ shop two more times in the early 20th century, before being bought by Richard Bennett, another important collector. Upon his death in 1930, the violin was purchased by Henry Werro of Switzerland. In 1959 it came to London again before going to the collector Sam Bloomfield.
In 1971 Yehudi Menuhin gave a rare performance on the violin, at the time it was put into auction at Sotheby’s, where it sold to Robin Loh of Singapore for what was at the time a world record price of £85,500. To us this now seems a mere snip! In 2008 The Nippon Foundation purchased the violin but sold it again in 2011 through the Tarisio auction house for £9.8m, with the proceeds nobly going to the victims of the tsunami.
As part of the tercentenary celebrations, The Sound Post Ltd commissioned the well-known violin maker Xue Ping HU of Beijing to make ten replica copies of the Lady Blunt which are being sold as Single Limited Edition pieces, with a certificate of authenticity. Stamford Strings is privileged and excited to have obtained the Number One violin of the Ten, which we are proud to present for sale! This instrument is truly one of a kind and is a pleasure to play. Not only is it beautifully and expertly made but it has a spectacular tone, depth of sound, and uniquely compelling voice.
We are excited and privileged to be offering for sal No. 1 of only 10 Limited Edition copies of The Lady Blunt, commissioned by The Sound Post Ltd to celebrate the original instrument's tercentenary year.
Contact us immediately for more details about this one-off instrument.
PS. We have included below a cute drawing of the instrument with it's approximate 1971 sale value taken from a little book we have called 'Antiques and Their Values: Musical Instruments' which was discovered at an Antiques Fair here in Stamford a few years ago