This photograph courtesy of Tarisio shows the "da Vinci, Ex-Seidel" Stradivarius violin. AFP
A rare model of the "Stradivarius,", the most famous violin in the world, was sold at an auction in New York for $15.34 million, that is slightly less than the record price ($15.9 million) for such a rare music instruments.
The violin, made by master Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) in 1714, belonged for nearly 40 years to the talented Russian-American artist Toscha Seidel (1899-1962), who used it on the soundtrack for The Wizards of Oz (1939), one of the classic Hollywood movies.
"Seidel was also Albert Einstein's tutor, so this violin juxtaposed with the great physicist while they played quartets at Albert's house in Princeton, New Jersey," said Jason Price, founder and director of Tarizio House.
Seidel, who immigrated to the United States in the 1930s, and Albert Einstein, who fled the Nazi regime, participated in a concert in New York in 1933 in support of German scientists who had left their countries of origin.
Of the thousands of instruments made by the Cremona craftsman, about 600 are still registered today.
The violin was part of the Montesugu group in Japan. Dar Tarizio did not reveal the identity of the buyer.
The auction record dates back to 2011, when a Stradivarius violin called "Lady Planet" because it belonged to Lady Anne Blunt, granddaughter of poet Lord Byron, sold for $15.89 million in London.
In 2014, another version of the violin, with a suggested minimum selling price of $45 million, did not find a buyer at a Sotheby's auction.
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