Rare Stradivari Viola Expected To Fetch $45 Million at Auction

There may be new record holder in the musical world! A rare viola crafted by an Italian artisan named Antonia Stradivari is hitting the auction block this spring and is expected to sell for an astounding $45 million.

Dating back to 1719, the “MacDonald” Viola is the first of its kind to be on the market in 50 years, according to Sotheby’s. There are currently only two privately owned Stradivari violas currently in existence, with the other safely guarded at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

“Stradivari is the greatest violin maker of all time,” Tim Ingles, director of the London-based fine instruments auction house Ingles & Hayday, told Reuters. “The amazing thing about violas is that there is such a small number of them in existence—only 10 complete violas today, so there is a huge rarity factor.”

Though music collectors may enjoy the thrill of a live auction, officials decided that because of the caliber and status of the viola, it was best to offer a sealed bid sale with a minimum bid of $45 million. The winner bidder will be announced on June 25.

photo credit: AFP