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Antonio Stradivari 1704 VL Betts

On the rare occasion where one of Stradivari’s instruments is discovered in pristine condition, a rash of excitement typically spreads amongst players, collectors, dealers and luthiers alike. At the same time, however, the thrill is tempered somewhat by the thought of just how fragile these handicrafts are, and of how several masterpieces have doubtless been lost forever. Charles Reade expressed this feeling perfectly when he described the ‘Betts’ violin in his famous letter from 1878: ‘here is a Violin, a picture, and a miracle all in one; and big diamonds increase in number; but these spoils of time are limited for ever now, and, indeed, can only decrease by shipwreck, accident, and the tooth of time.’

Further Details

Antonio Stradivari Set 1, Volume 2, Page 240