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Three-century-old Violin Could Get $10 Million


A rare 1736 violin by Italian luthier Guarneri del Gesu is displayed during a media preview at Aguttes auction house ahead of the violin's auction in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, April 26, 2022. (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)
Three-century-old Violin Could Get $10 Million
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A nearly 300-year-old musical instrument called a violin could soon sell for more than $10 million.

The instrument was made by Italian violin maker Giuseppe Guarneri in 1736.

A French auction house compares the violin to a painting by Leonardo da Vinci - the famous Italian painter.

The violin is owned by Regis Pasquier. He has played the instrument in concert halls around the world. Pasquier received the first prize for violin from the French National Conservatory of Music when he was only 12 years old. He is known as one of the top violinists in the world.

Sophie Perrine is with the Aguttes auction house, near Paris, France. Perrine said, "There are many violins, but this one is like selling a Rembrandt, a Goya, or even a Leonardo da Vinci painting."

The instrument is one of about 150 made by Guarneri. He is often compared to another well-known Italian violin maker, Antonio Stradivari.

Pasquier bought the violin more than 20 years ago. He gave a concert the following day without even practicing on the instrument. Perrine noted, "For him, this instrument was perfect."

Pasquier has since played the instrument in places like Carnegie Hall in New York and the Opera Garnier in Paris. The violin will be up for sale on June 3 following a three-day viewing. Perrine said it could sell for up to $10 million.

A rare 1736 violin by Italian luthier Guarneri del Gesu is displayed during a media preview at Aguttes auction house ahead of the violin's auction in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, April 26, 2022. (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)
A rare 1736 violin by Italian luthier Guarneri del Gesu is displayed during a media preview at Aguttes auction house ahead of the violin's auction in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, April 26, 2022. (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

At that price, the violin would not even be the costliest in the world. In 2012, an unnamed buyer paid $16 million for a violin that was once owned by 19th-century violinist Henri Vieuxtemps. That violin is on loan to American violinist Anne Akiko Meyers for the rest of her life.

The most valuable violin is believed to be the Messiah Stradivarius. The violin is estimated to be worth $20 million. It can be seen at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.

Perrine said of the Guarneri violin, "It's both something very old but yet very current and alive.”

She added, “This little thing will continue allowing people to hear its exceptional sound for years to come.”

I’m Ashley Thompson.

Hai Do adapted this story from a Reuters report.

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Words in This Story

auction - n. a public sale at which things are sold to people who offer to pay the most

viewing - n. looking at something carefully

allow - v. permit, let

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