A rare violin which had been stolen from its owner has recently sold at auction for over £1 million. The thieves tried to sell the Stradivarius for £100, but the violin was recovered by police and returned to its owner.
The Stradivarius violin was produced in 1696 and belonged to Min-Jin Kym, a violinist. In a café at London’s Euston Station three years ago, thieves took the violin and two bows, which were also valuable. The musical instrument was located in central England, found undamaged at a house.
The thieves were jailed in 2011, with one of the culprits being sentenced to four years in prison. However, although the instrument was returned to its owner, a new violin had been purchased.
The Stradivarius was sold at Tarisio Auction House. The final selling price for the instrument was £1,385,000, which includes a buyer’s premium. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the British Transport Police, which helped in the search for the missing 300-year-old instrument. It is believed that there are no more than 600 similar violins in existence.
Although a collector may find items like old instruments at auction, they may be found at a lower selling price at antiques dealers. Items like antique chests – which are suitable for the safe storage of instruments – can be found in Preston without a buyer’s premium being added.
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