After fierce bidding, Tarisio Auctions sold “The Molitor” Stradivarius dated 1697, to renowned concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers for a world-record price of $3,600,000. This price is the highest on record for any musical instrument sold at auction and is well over the pre-sale estimate of $2,000,000-$3,000,000.
“The Molitor” is believed to have been owned by Napoleon Bonaparte and takes its name from former owner Count Gabriel-Jean-Joseph Molitor, a General in Napoleon’s army. Other previous owners include the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the American violinist Elmar Oliveira who last played this exquisite violin in 1994. On October 23rd, this violin will be heard for the first time in 16 years.
Ms. Meyers raved about her first experience with the ex-Napoleon/Molitor violin, “It was love at first sound. Its power, feel, and range of color are extraordinary. I look forward to sharing this sound with the world. I greatly look forward to unveiling the ‘ex-Napoleon’ Strad at the season opening of the Pasadena Symphony in Ambassador Auditorium. This extraordinary violin has rarely been played in public for over 300 years! What better place to celebrate it’s beauty than this coming weekend.”
Jason Price, director of Tarisio commented: “It’s a rare opportunity when a Stradivarius of this quality comes for sale at auction. “The Molitor” is the perfect convergence of historically important provenance, impeccable condition and first class sound. We’re delighted that it sold to Anne Akiko Meyers, one of the world’s finest soloists.”
Tarisio is one of the world’s leading sources of fine and rare stringed instruments. It combines the excellent reputation and services of a traditional auction house with the efficiency and accessibility of online sales. Offering first-class expertise and guaranteed cataloging, it has earned the respect of musicians, collectors, restorers and dealers the world over.
On October 23rd, Maestro James DePreist, who has been described by The Chicago Sun Times as “One of the finest conductors this nation has produced” will lead the orchestra in performances of Brahms’ Symphony No.2 and Rossini’s Overture to La gazza ladra. Anne Akiko Meyers will perform Barber’s beloved Violin Concerto.