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'Stradivarius violin' revealed 68 years after being brought from Germany by a Soviet soldier

By The Siberian Times reporter
05 March 2013

A potentially invaluable Stradivarius violin has been disclosed as a family heirloom by a resident of Western Siberia.

'This violin has been passed down by my grandfather,' said the owner. 'It came from Germany'. Picture: The Siberian Times 

The seemingly rare musical instrument was liberated from Germany at the end of the war by the man's grandfather. The owner is now seeking a genuine expert to verify the violin - believed to have been made in 1727.

We have undertaken not to reveal the name of the owner but he hopes publicity via The Siberian Times can lead to a contact with an authority able to authenticate the instrument. 

The violin's journey to Siberia is a remarkable story dating from the Soviet invasion of Hitler's territory at the climax of World War Two. 

'This violin has been passed down by my grandfather,' said the owner. 'It came from Germany, and how he obtained it was, I guess, quite typical for that moment of the war. 

'My grandfather was called to patrol a city in Germany after the Soviet troops entered it.

'It was quite late in the evening, and he was walking cautiously around the streets. 

'Civilians were fleeing the city, and there was a moment when my grandfather and his patrol group noticed a man carefully stepping out of a very expensive and beautiful mansion with nothing but a small suitcase in his hands. 

'He was trying to leave unnoticed, and as soon as he was ordered to stop by the armed patrol, he tried to run - but was caught. 

'He had no documents on him and refused to explain how he got inside the house. 

'The chief of the patrol took the suitcase from the man, looked inside, shook his head in disbelief and said: 'It's just a violin!' 

'Then he passed it to my grandfather, saying - 'Take it, you like music.'

'Stradivarius violin' revealed in Siberia


'Stradivarius violin' revealed in Siberia


'Stradivarius violin' revealed in Siberia


'Stradivarius violin' revealed in Siberia


'Stradivarius violin' revealed in Siberia

The highest price for a Stradivarius was $3.54 million, but the value depends on the condition of the instrument and the period in which it was made. Pictures: The Siberian Times 

The owner - who also served in the Soviet forces - said that his grandfather described the street as well to do and surmised the house had belonged to a 'noble or rich' family. 

'Many years have passed since the violin was taken back home by my grandfather to Siberia at the end of the war in 1945. 

'He carried it across Europe and Russia and kept is safely in his flat. 

'On his death it passed to my father, who paid almost no attention to it - and then to me. 

'I'm not an expert, and all I really want now is to find a genuine authority who can confirm that it is really a Stradivarius. 

'Its quite hard to do it in where I currently live, and I don't have enough knowledge on who is a trustworthy expert in Moscow or St Petersburg - leaving aside abroad. 

'I would not trust to just give it anyway for an expertise without knowing that I am dealing with the top specialist whom I can safely leave the violin with. 

'I've had offers to sell it for some thousands of dollars, but I really now want to understand that it is, as I suspect, the real thing.'

'Stradivarius violin' revealed in Siberia 


'Stradivarius violin' revealed in Siberia

'I'm not an expert, and all I really want now is to find a genuine authority who can confirm that it is really a Stradivarius'. Picture: The Siberian Times 

Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644 and died on 18 December 1737. He was seen as  greatest craftsman of  string instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars, violas, and harps. Stradivari is generally considered the most significant and greatest artisan in this field. 

It is estimated that he made 1,000 to 1,100 instruments and that around 650 of these instruments survive. Estimates suggest this includes between 450 and 512 violins.

The highest price for a Stradivarius was $3.54 million, but the value depends on the condition of the instrument and the period in which it was made.  The golden period is seen as being from the early 1700s to 1720.

Internet sources say there is only a tiny chance that undiscovered Stardivarius violins still exist.

If you can help the owner please send your details and contacts here news@siberiantimes.com

Comments (16)

This looks interesting to me.
Paul, Switzerland
06/03/2013 17:32
1
7
12

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