Sadly, most violins that say "Stradivarius" on the inside label are not actually the work of the 17-18th-century master violin maker, Antonio Stradivari, and are thus not worth millions of dollars.
Because if they were -- how many of us would be millionaires? A great many of us, including me! "Stradivarius" labels abound, yet few "real" Stradivari violins exist in the world: of the 1,000 some violins Stradivari made, an estimated 600 remain today, according to Toby Faber, who wrote the book, Stradivari's Genius.
Many violins acknowledge on the label that they are a "copy of" a Stradivarius, but many don't. For example, my obviously-German 19th c. violin, a family violin that I grew up playing, simply calls itself "Stradivarius."
Some violins with the label actually ARE Strads, but you would probably know if you had one, as they tend to carry their own historical documents. An entire website is devoted to archiving the provenance of the finest stringed instruments, including Stradivaris, and there are books that detail their measurements, down to a fraction of a millimeter.
I'm curious about how many of us have stringed instruments that say "Stradivarius" or "Stradivari" anywhere on the inside. How common is it? Please choose an answer below, and then tell us about your "Stradivarius" instrument or story!
You might also like:
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.