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Violins

While experts debate the origin of the violin, it was most likely derived from an Arabic instrument called the rabab which dates to the 9th century A.D. This instrument was made from a gourd with a long neck. It had two silk strings which were attached to an endpin and strung to pegs that were used to tune the strings in fifths. The rabab was held in a person's lap and played with a bow. After the Crusades, similar instruments appeared in Europe, including the rebec in Spain and the vielle in France.

The violin as we know it originated in Italy in the 1500s. Andrea Amati of Cremona is the first known documented violin maker. The oldest-surviving violin, dating to 1560, is one of Amati's instruments. Antonio Stradivari, the most famous violin maker in history, was an apprentice of Amati's son, Nicolo. Stradivari made more than 1,000 instruments during the later 1600s and 1700s, most of which were considered the highest-quality instruments made. Today, Stradivarius violins are the most valuable – and the most counterfeited -- instruments on the market.

Other famous makers of antique violins who were contemporaries of Stradivari include Jacob Stainer, the first important violin maker outside of Italy, and Matthias Klotz, a German violin maker who studied with both Nicolo Amati and Jacob Stainer. Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu, member of the violin-making Guarneri family of Venice, is considered to be second only to Stradivari in the quality of his instruments.


Quick Facts

  • Many people buy antique violins as investments. Because of this, the antique violin market is filled with forgeries. Collectors should research individual instruments before purchasing
  • The Vieuxtemps Guarnerius violin made by Joseph Guarnerius del Gesu in 1741 was sold in 2014 for a world record price of $16 million
  • The most valuable violin in the world is the Messiah Stradivarius crafted by Antonio Stradivari in 1716. It has never been played, so it is in like-new condition. Its current value is $20 million

Recommended Items at Auction

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Antonius Stradivarius, Cremonenfis Faciebat Anno 17 Violin
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Antonius Stradivarius, Cremonenfis Faciebat Anno 17 Violin
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $75- $150
$8507 Bids
Vintage Violin With Original Hard Case
Mar 02, 10:00 AM MST
Vintage Violin With Original Hard Case
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
ZWEI VIOLINEN MIT GESCHNITZTEN LÖWENKÖPFEN Böhmen/Sachsen, 19./20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
ZWEI VIOLINEN MIT GESCHNITZTEN LÖWENKÖPFEN Böhmen/Sachsen, 19./20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €160- €320
€1601 Bid
VIOLINE MIT GESCHNITZTEN BÄRTIGEN MÄNNERKOPF Vermutlich Böhmen oder Tschechien, Anfang 20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
VIOLINE MIT GESCHNITZTEN BÄRTIGEN MÄNNERKOPF Vermutlich Böhmen oder Tschechien, Anfang 20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €90- €180
€901 Bid
Coming soon
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Coming soon
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
VIOLINE NACH MATTHIAS ALBAN Böhmen/Sachsen, Anfang 20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
VIOLINE NACH MATTHIAS ALBAN Böhmen/Sachsen, Anfang 20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €180- €360
€1801 Bid
5-Cent Mills Violano-Virtuoso Music Player
Mar 09, 9:00 AM PST
5-Cent Mills Violano-Virtuoso Music Player
by Abell Auction
Est: $10,000- $15,000
$5,0001 Bid
Violin 4/4, 19th century,
Mar 15, 12:00 PM CET
Violin 4/4, 19th century,
by Antikauktion Krefeld
Est: €150- €0
€1501 Bid
VIOLIN
Mar 05, 10:00 AM GMT
VIOLIN
by Sheppards
Est: €300- €500
€1800 Bids
VIOLABOGEN F.G. PFRETZSCHNER Markneukirchen, um 1920
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
VIOLABOGEN F.G. PFRETZSCHNER Markneukirchen, um 1920
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €260- €520
€2600 Bids
CELLOBOGEN NACH FRANCOIS XAVIER TOURTE Böhmen, Anfang 20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
CELLOBOGEN NACH FRANCOIS XAVIER TOURTE Böhmen, Anfang 20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €260- €520
€2600 Bids
VIOLINE NACH ANTONIO UND HIERONYMUS AMATI Wohl Sachsen/Böhmen, Anfang 20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
VIOLINE NACH ANTONIO UND HIERONYMUS AMATI Wohl Sachsen/Böhmen, Anfang 20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €500- €1,000
€5000 Bids
VIOLINE Wohl Italien, 19. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
VIOLINE Wohl Italien, 19. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €900- €1,800
€9000 Bids
VIOLINE Deutsch, Mitte 19. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
VIOLINE Deutsch, Mitte 19. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €800- €1,600
€8000 Bids
VIOLINE NACH JEAN BAPTISTE VUILLAUME Mirecourt, 19./20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
VIOLINE NACH JEAN BAPTISTE VUILLAUME Mirecourt, 19./20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €2,600- €5,200
€2,6000 Bids
3/4 VIOLINE NACH CARL LOUIS MEISEL Böhmen/Sachsen 19./20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
3/4 VIOLINE NACH CARL LOUIS MEISEL Böhmen/Sachsen 19./20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €200- €400
€2000 Bids
3/4 VIOLINE NACH ANTONIO STRADIVARI UND 3/4 VIOLINBOGEN Böhmen, 19./20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
3/4 VIOLINE NACH ANTONIO STRADIVARI UND 3/4 VIOLINBOGEN Böhmen, 19./20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €200- €400
€2000 Bids
3/4 VIOLINE WOHL EVASIO EMILIO GUERRA Turin, 1922
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
3/4 VIOLINE WOHL EVASIO EMILIO GUERRA Turin, 1922
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €1,200- €2,400
€1,2000 Bids
3/4 VIOLINE Wohl Deutsch, 19./20. Jh
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
3/4 VIOLINE Wohl Deutsch, 19./20. Jh
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €280- €560
€2800 Bids
1/2 VIOLINE Deutsch, Anfang 20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
1/2 VIOLINE Deutsch, Anfang 20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €500- €1,000
€5000 Bids
VIOLINE OSKAR JÄGER UND VIOLINBOGEN Markneukirchen, 1941
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
VIOLINE OSKAR JÄGER UND VIOLINBOGEN Markneukirchen, 1941
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €600- €1,200
€6000 Bids
ZWEI 7/8 VIOLINEN NACH CARLO TONONI Wohl Italien, 19./20. Jh.
Mar 08, 10:00 AM CET
ZWEI 7/8 VIOLINEN NACH CARLO TONONI Wohl Italien, 19./20. Jh.
by Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf
Est: €390- €780
€3900 Bids
Jerome Thibouville Lamy Violin, Mirecourt, ca. 1880, with Friedrich Zach Signed Bow
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
Jerome Thibouville Lamy Violin, Mirecourt, ca. 1880, with Friedrich Zach Signed Bow
by Neue Auctions
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5000 Bids
Skylark Brand Violin
Mar 02, 9:00 AM MST
Skylark Brand Violin
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $50- $75
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Violins


Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf

Hargesheimer Kunstauktionen Düsseldorf

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Piguet Hôtel des Ventes | Genève

Kendzia

Kendzia

zeitGenossen Antiquitäten - Kunst - Design

zeitGenossen Antiquitäten - Kunst - Design