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(Photo credit: Tarisio)

1714 "da Vinci, ex-Seidel" Stradivari Violin to be Auctioned by Tarisio


Once the prized possession of Russian-American violinist Toscha Seidel, this historical violin will be offered for sale in June 2022 through Tarisio, one of the world's leading international venues for fine instruments.

Tarisio will be exhibiting the 'da Vinci, ex-Seidel' Stradivari in London, Berlin, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and in New York City, where it will be available for private viewing through early June, and then presented in an auction on June 9, 2022. It has been more than 15 years since a violin from the esteemed Golden Period has been offered at auction.

The 1714 'da Vinci, ex-Seidel' Stradivari was acquired by Toscha Seidel in 1924 and was to remain in his possession till his death in 1962. The acquisition made the headlines in The New York Times, where Seidel said: “...we precisely suit each other, and I am convinced it is one of the finest examples of the famous violin maker.”

Seidel owned the violin for nearly 40 years, recording several early Hollywood film scores with it — including The Wizard of Oz's “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Intermezzo, and Melody for Three — in addition to performing with many of the world's major orchestras.

Toscha Seidel accompanied by Dame Myra Hess in c. 1920 (Photo courtesy: Tarisio)

When Seidel passed away in 1962, the instrument was then sold to Muriel Rubin, a violinist from Toronto who studied at the Eastman School of Music. More than a decade later, Rubin put the violin up for auction at Sotheby's, and as her son recalls, “it broke her heart to let it go.”

“Antonio Stradivari is the greatest violin maker of all time; it is our tremendous pleasure to present this instrument, whose exquisite voice still speaks to us through many classical recordings and film scores performed by the incomparable Toscha Seidel," said Carlos Tome, Tario's Director. "We can only imagine the thrill that this instrument has generated for countless musicians and audiences over the centuries. We are grateful to have the privilege of finding the next owner for this exceptional instrument, and to continue its living legacy."

One of Leopold Auer's most illustrious students next to Jascha Heifetz, Mischa Elman, and Nathan Milstein among others, Toscha Seidel's violin playing was paramount in shaping Hollywood's sound as we have come to love it. Adam Bauer, himself a "grand-student" of Seidel, wrote in a 2017 article in the American Scholar, that the legacy of Seidel transcended far beyond his career. “We largely associate love scenes or depictions of the less fortunate in films — or any scene evoking tears or strong emotions — with the sound of the violin is largely due to Seidel,” he said.

For more details about the ‘da Vinci, ex-Seidel’ Stradivari, visit here.


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