Stradivarius Violins

Stradivarius factory made Czechoslovakian copy



  A Stradivarius  or  just  Stradi = various?  

Let's take a look at the myth




 The most common misnomer of a musical note we encountered on the British Roadshow tours of Canada, was the inclination of the greater Canadian public to have at the top of their wish list, absolute belief in the fact that the label inside their Stradivarius violin means that the violin was made 'personally' by the great man on the right > back in the 1700's -

An Italian chap called Antonius Stradivari !

 He was an craftsman of immense skill and is arguably the greatest luthier violin maker of all time.

Stradivarius Label

Standard Stradivarius printed label which appears in all his violin copies. Antonius Stradivarius Cremonen fis faciebat anno 1746

 Antonio Stradivari in his workshop


Antonio Stradivari in his workshop; Artist- Edgar Bundy - British1862-1922:




 It is common knowledge that the leading auctioneers Christies hold the world record price realized for any musical instrument, when they sold this violin in London called the Hammer, built by Stradivari in 1707 for a whopping  $3,544,000 that's MILLION dollars back in 2006. The previous record price paid at a public auction for a Stradivarius violin was US $2,032,000 for the Lady Tennant was also at Christie's in New York in April 2005.


^ The Hammer Stradivarius violin, (above) measures 36cm and bears a label inside: Dating from 1707, it was made during Stradivari's 'golden' period.

 The Stardivari Hammer violin was so called as it was once owned by a Swedish collector called Christian Hammer who is the first recorded owner. Latterly it found its way the United States and into the ownership of a music teacher, Bernard Sinsheimer, but in 1992, it was acquired by a Japanese oil company.


With that sort of figure on your mind, the majority of people we met with a violin tucked under their arm, were convinced that their priceless Staradivarius instrument was one of the long lost Stradivarius violins and has been forgotten, left unseen for centuries.

But what we actually do see is one of these in the green baize cloth case and this puppy is a different breed altogether!



 Now that little label ' Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis / Faciebat Anno 1707' has a lot to answer for, as it is about the biggest confuser of common logic and builder of high hopes and dreams that there is.

Maybe the best way to help you understand the truth is with a simple analogy.


Modern Stradivarius label


The heart stopper.

A modern Stradivarius label from inside a violin made in Germany


                           Stradivarius factory made Czechoslovakian copy:                          





The Stradivari Myth Analogy:  

This is a photograph of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.


 And below, this is a photograph of an Elvis Presley impersonator.

This one, just like a real Stradivarius, is worth millions



And this one isn't.


 The Elvis impersonator plies his trade and is successful at it because Elvis Presley was the King of rock and roll.

Of Presley impersonators, there have been, will be and still are, thousands of lookalike's. Just like Stradivarius violin reproductions are just lookalikes.    

And the only time you know how good either are is when they sing ! 


Comparison number 2


The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, is arguably the most famous painting in the world.

Value ?   It's Priceless.

Why? Because it is 'unique' and it is also Leonardo's original.


The 'Mona Geisha' by Yokohama von da Vinci.


Price - less!

Why: Because it isn't a da Vinci !








Now you've got it.



 Tens of thousands of violins were made throughout the 19th century in factories and workshops throughout Europe, all bearing a label that said Stradivari.  These were not made as fakes, or designed to deceive, they were just a simple recognition of type.

And it is to the McKinley Trade Act that we turn to, to thank its creators for their demands. That the country of origin, of any product to be exported to the USA, must carry the name and country of origin.

This gives us very clear and accurate dating information.

See the McKinley Trade Act Page:




Stardivari workshop, Images of Stradivari: Images of Stradivari,
Image of Stradivari

The Stradivari House and roof top workshop in Cremona.  Now demolished and a park.



Portrait, 1681- Campi pinx. Cremona.

Engraving by Fred Hillemacher,c 1886


Images of Stradivari

Antonio Stradivari examining an instrument, in a Romantic 19th - century print


 It is the Stradivarius design that is referred to on all labels which appear on the  inside of violins made in the fashion and style of Stradivarius. It is a credit to the original designer and not proof positive that the violin was made in Cremona, Italy by the great man in the 1700's.

So there in a nut shell is your myth.


 The Stradivarius violin design itself, masterminded and perfected by Antonio Stradivari was believed to be so perfect, that he incorporated advanced geometry and mathematics into his violin building and prepared unique woods, with secret chemical techniques, including minerals such as potassium silicate, sodium, potassium borate and Bianca.

It is to this creative technology we look and in which it is believed to be the secret behind the distinctive mellow tones. Many experts believe that Stradivari used such secret methods which both enhanced the quality of the wood he used and thus the sound it created and itt is this special feature along with the fact that no two violins sound exactly alike which makes his violins so unique.

From  his success as a violin maker, his instruments became world famous with only the best musicians, the most noted personalities and wealthiest of collectors in ownership of the prized instruments.

 For over 300 years now, luthiers, small violin makers and factories have used its design, proportion, scale and likeness to produce instruments for a broad market place the world over. Some with success, others with little or none at all.


 Of type, brilliant Stradivarius variants have been made by innumerable luthiers throughout history and in a number of countries including Italy, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Germany, France, England and Bohemia. But so too, the have factories turned out violins for the general public, made inexpensively in Europe and available for music shops and department stores across the world from beginners sizes to three quarter and concert instruments.

The difficulty is in assessing whether you have a simple factory made violin or something more special.

 For certain, as Stradivari only ever made a small number of instruments and only 650 are known to survive to date, the chances are around  minus zero that you will have one of those you dream about. But if your violin doesn't have "made in Germany", "made in Czechoslovakia" or "made in France" printed or stamped on it , usually on the Stradivarius label inside and beneath the f shaped sound hole, or has the word copi or copy or the name of a country in the language of that country, you may have a small shop made violin of age worth some research.


It is true to say that given the vast number of violin makers who came after Stradivari, you may just be lucky and have quite a special violin after all.


David Freeman © 2008

The Freemanart Consultancy




A Stradivari violin known as the "Molitor", thought originally to belong to Napoleon Bonaparte, has sold on line at auction for a record $3.6 million.


Stradivarius Violins are known today by nicknames which we call Sobriquets.

Stradivari violins are usually named after their current owner, their initial owner or someone famous who owned it.

The list is compiled by when the violin was built and by its year:

Only half of all Stradivarius output of violins are believed to have survived.

Bach Stradivarius - 1666 Dushkin Stradivarius 1701 Lady Ley Stradivarius 1713
Dubois  Stradivarius 1667 Markees  Stradivarius 1701 Wirt  Stradivarius 1713
Arnyi Stradivarius  1667 Irish  Stradivarius 1702 Dolphin; Delfino  Stradivarius 1714
Captain Saville Stradivarius 1667 Conte de Fontana; ex-Oistrakh  Stradivarius 1701 Soil  Stradivarius 1714
Amatese Stradivarius  1668 Lukens; Edler Voicu  Stradivarius 1702 ex-Berou; ex-Thibaud  Stradivarius 1714
Oistrakh Stradivarius 1671 King Maximilian Joseph Stradivarius 1702 Le Maurien  Stradivarius 1714
Sellière Stradivarius 1672 Lyall  Stradivarius 1702 Leonora Jackson  Stradivarius 1714
Spanish Stradivarius 1678 Lord Newlands Stradivarius 1702 Massart  Stradivarius 1714
Hellier Stradivarius 1679 La Rouse Boughton Stradivarius 1703 Sinsheimer; General Kyd; Perlman  Stradivarius 1714
Paganini - Desaint Stradivari 1680 Antonio Stradivari  1703 Smith-Quersin  Stradivarius 1714
Rin Kei Mei  Stradivarius 1680 Allegretti  Stradivarius 1703 Alard-Baron Knoop  Stradivarius 1715
Reynier - Comte de Chesnais Stradivarius 1681 Alsager  Stradivarius 1703 Baron Knoop; ex-Bevan  Stradivarius 1715
Fleming Stradivarius 1681 Lady Harmsworth Stradivarius 1703 ex-Bazzini  Stradivarius 1715
Bucher Stradivarius 1683 Emiliani  Stradivarius 1703 Cremonese; ex-Harold; Joseph Joachim   1715
Cipriani Potter Stradivarius 1683 ex-Foulis Stradivarius 1703 Duke of Cambridge; ex-Pierre Rode  Stradivarius 1715
Cobbett; ex-Holloway  Stradivarius 1683 Betts Stradivarius 1704 Joachim  Stradivarius 1715
Croall Stradivarius 1684   Sleeping Beauty Stradivarius 1704 Lipinski  Stradivarius 1715
ex-Elphinstone Stradivarius 1684  ex-Marsick; ex-Oistrakh Stradivarius 1705 ex-Marsick  Stradivarius 1715
ex-Arma Senkrah  Stradivarius 1685  ex-Tadolini  Stradivarius 1706 Titian  Stradivarius 1715
ex-Castelbarco  Stradivarius   1685  ex-Brüstlein  Stradivarius 1707 Le Provigny  Stradivarius 1716
Goddard  Stradivarius   1686 La Cathédrale Stradivarius 1707 Cessole  Stradivarius 1716
Ole Bull  Stradivarius    1687 Hammer  Stradivarius 1707 Berthier  Stradivarius 1716
Mercur-Avery Stradivarius 1687 Le Davidoff  Stradivarius 1708 Booth  Stradivarius 1716
Auer Stradivarius 1689 Le Tua  Stradivarius 1708 Colossus  Stradivarius 1716
Arditi Stradivarius 1689 Burstein; Bagshawe  Stradivarius 1708 Duranti  Stradivarius 1716
Baumgartner Stradivarius 1689 Huggins  Stradivarius 1708 Monasterio  Stradivarius 1716
Spanish I Stradivarius 1689 Ruby  Stradivarius 1708 Provigny  Stradivarius 1716
Spanish II  Stradivarius 1689 Strauss  Stradivarius 1708 Messiah-Salabue  Stradivarius 1716
Bingham  Stradivarius 1690 Greffuhle  Stradivarius 1709 ex-Windsor-Weinstein; Fite  Stradivarius 1716
Bennett  Stradivarius 1692 Berlin Hochschule Stradivarius 1709 Baron Wittgenstein  Stradivarius 1716
Falmouth Stradivarius 1692 Hammerle; ex-Adler  Stradivarius 1709 Gariel  Stradivarius 1717
Gould Stradivarius 1692 Ernst  Stradivarius 1709 ex-Wieniawski  Stradivarius 1717
Harrison Stradivarius   1693 Engleman  Stradivarius 1709 Kochanski  Stradivarius 1717
Baillot-Pommerau Stradivarius 1694 King Maximilian; Unico  Stradivarius 1709 Sasserno  Stradivarius 1717
Rutson  Stradivarius 1694 Viotti; ex-Bruce  Stradivarius 1709 Viotti; ex-Rosé  Stradivarius 1718
Fetzer Stradivarius 1695 Marie Hall  Stradivarius 1709 Chanot-Chardon  Stradivarius 1718
Molitor  Stradivarius 1697 ex-Kempner  Stradivarius 1709 Firebird; ex-Saint Exupéry  Stradivarius 1718
Edvin Marton  Stradivarius 1697 Camposelice  Stradivarius 1710 Marquis de Riviere  Stradivarius 1718
Cabriac Stradivarius  1698 Lord Dunn-Raven  Stradivarius 1710 San Lorenzo  Stradivarius 1718
Baron Knoop  Stradivarius 1698 ex-Roederer  Stradivarius 1710 ex-Count Vieri  Stradivarius 1718
Joachim  Stradivarius 1698 ex-Vieuxtemps  Stradivarius 1710 Lauterbach  Stradivarius 1719
Duc de Camposelice Stradivarius 1699 Davis Stradivarius 1710 Madrileño  Stradivarius 1720
Lady Tennant; Lafont  Stradivarius  1699 The Lady Inchiquin  Stradivarius 1711 von Beckerath  Stradivarius 1720
Longuet  Stradivarius 1699 Earl of Plymouth; Kreisler  Stradivarius 1711 Sinsheimer; Iselin  Stradivarius 1721
Countess Polignac Stradivarius 1699 Liegnitz  Stradivarius 1711 Lady Blunt   Stradivarius 1721
Castelbarco Stradivarius 1699 Le Brun  Stradivarius 1712 Jean-Marie Leclair   Stradivarius 1721
Kustendyke Stradivarius 1699 Karpilowsky  Stradivarius 1712 Red Mendelssohn  Stradivarius 1721
Crespi Stradivarius 1699 Schreiber  Stradivarius 1713 The Macmillan  Stradivarius 1721
The Penny Stradivarius 1700 Antonio Stradivarius 1713 Artot  Stradivarius 1722
Dragonett Stradivarius 1700 Boissier  Stradivarius 1713 Jupiter; ex-Goding  Stradivarius 1722
Jupiter Stradivarius 1700 Daniel  Stradivarius 1713 Laub-Petschnikoff  Stradivarius 1722
Taft; ex-Emil Heermann  Stradivarius 1700 Gibson; ex-Huberman  Stradivarius 1713 Elman  Stradivarius 1722
    Cádiz  Stradivarius 1722

1723 Continued:

Jules Falk Stradivarius 1723 A. J. Fletcher; Red Cross Knight  Stradivarius 1728 Des Rosiers  Stradivarius 1733
Earl Spencer  Stradivarius 1723 Artot-Alard   Stradivarius 1728 Huberman; Kreisler  Stradivarius 1733
Le Sarasate  Stradivarius 1724 Dragonetti; Milanollo  Stradivarius 1728 Khevenhüller  Stradivarius 1733
Brancaccio  Stradivarius 1725 Perkins  Stradivarius 1728 Rode  Stradivarius 1733
Chaconne  Stradivarius 1725 Benny  Stradivarius 1729 Ames  Stradivarius 1734
Leonardo da Vinci  Stradivarius 1725 Solomon, ex-Lambert  Stradivarius 1729 Baron Feilitzsch; Heermann  Stradivarius 1734
Wilhelmj  Stradivarius 1725 Innes  Stradivarius 1729 Habeneck  Stradivarius 1734
Greville; Kreisler; Adams  Stradivarius 1726 Guarneri  Stradivarius 1729 Herkules; Ysaÿe; ex-Szeryng; King David  1734
Baron Deurbroucq  Stradivarius 1727 Recamier  Stradivarius 1729 Lord Amherst of Hackney  Stradivarius 1734
Barrere  Stradivarius 1727 Royal Spanish  Stradivarius 1730 Lamoureux; ex-Zimbalist  Stradivarius 1735
Davidoff-Morini  Stradivarius 1727 Lady Jeanne  Stradivarius 1731 Muntz  Stradivarius 1736
General Dupont  Stradivarius 1727 Garcin  Stradivarius 1731 ex-Roussy  Stradivarius 1736
Holroyd  Stradivarius 1727 Heifetz-Piel  Stradivarius 1731 Yale Stradivari - Stradivarius 1736
Kreutzer  Stradivarius 1727 Baillot  Stradivarius 1732 Comte d'Amaille Stradivarius 7

Reynier or Le Reynier; Hart; ex-Francescatti 

Stradivarius  of 1727

Duke of Alcantara  Stradivarius 1732 Lord Norton  Stradivarius 1737
Paganini-Comte Cozio di Salabue  Stradivarius 1727 Herkules  Stradivarius 1732  
Halphen  Stradivarius 1727 Red Diamond Stradivarius 1732  





















Key: Antonio Stradivari, Antonio Stradivari in his workshop, Stradivari, painting, Stradivari violin, Stradivari violins, Antonio Stradivarius, Antonio Stradivarius in his workshop, Stradivarius, painting, Stradivarius violin, Stradivarius violins, Italian, Italian craftsman, luthier, violin maker, violin, Stradivarius Label, world record price, lost Stradivarius, instruments,

Antonius Stradivarius Cremonen fis faciebat anno 1746, Stradivarius factory made, Czechoslovakian, copy, Hammer Stradivarius violin, Hammer Stradivarius, Hammer, Lady Tennant, Lady Tennant violin, Lady Tennant Stradivarius, Lady Tennant Stradivarius violin, Stradivari's golden period, Christian Hammer, Bernard Sinsheimer, McKinley Trade Act,

Image of Stradivari, luthiers, luthier, violin makers, Cremona Italy, potassium silicate, sodium, potassium borate, Bianca, made in Germany, made in Czechoslovakia ,made in France, Stradivarius made in Germany, Stradivarius made in Czechoslovakia, Stradivarius made in France, Roadhsow, Canada, Canadian, tour, myth,