Controversial String Instrument Collector Herbert Axelrod Has Died

Controversial string instrument collector, entrepreneur and philanthropist Herbert Richard Axelrod has passed away in Switzerland - aged 89

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Herbert Axelrod Obituary Violin Dealer Cover

Controversial New York-based string instrument collector, entrepreneur, tropical fish expert and philanthropist Herbert Richard Axelrod has passed away in Switzerland – aged 89.

Axelrod rose to musical notoriety in 1998 after donating a full set of Stradivari string quartet instruments, controversially estimated at the time to be worth US $50 Million, to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

He later sparked further controversy after selling a large collection of 30 fine string instruments to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra – which were later determined by experts to be mislabeled, misrepresented and significantly overvalued.

Axelrod was jailed in 2005 on unrelated tax evasion charges.

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Rainey/The Star-Ledger

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