February 2, 2023

A ‘Leonardo da Vinci of violins’ goes up for auction in France

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written by ReutersParis, France

The nearly three-century-old instrument was hailed as a. Leonardo da Vinci The French house, which oversees the sale, said it could fetch up to 10 million euros ($ 10.6 million) when the violin goes up for auction next month.

Developed in 1736 by the venerable Italian Luthier Giuseppe Garnier, it is owned by the Vertuoso Regis Pasquier and its sound has captured the attention of concert halls around the world.

“There are a lot of violins, but it’s the equivalent of selling a Rembrandt, a Goya, or even a Leonardo da Vinci painting,” said Sophie Perrin of the Agates auction house near Paris.

Violins on display during a media preview at the Aguttes auction house.

Violins on display during a media preview at the Aguttes auction house. Credit: Benoit Tessier / Reuters

The maple-supporting device is one of about 150 made by Garnier, whose quality and longevity rival that of Antonio Stradivari but who was far less advanced than his compatriot and contemporaries.

Perrin said it was built at the height of Garnier’s career, bought more than 20 years ago by Pasquier, who gave him a concert the next day without rehearsing it. “It simply came to our notice then.

Since then he has played it at prominent venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York and Opera Garnier in Paris.

Related video: How does an art auction really work?

The violin will be put up for auction on June 3 after three days of viewing. Its base price is estimated at 4 to 4.5 million euros, but Perrin said it could sell for up to 10 million.

“Both of these things are very old but still very much alive and well,” he said. “And this little thing will continue to allow people to hear its extraordinary voice for years to come.”

Top Image Caption: Rare 1736 Violin is shown during a media preview at the Aguttes auction house before the violin auction on April 26, 2022 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, France.

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