The Lady Tennant Stradivarius violin is an antique masterpiece. Made in 1699 in Italy by Antonio Stradivari, this violin has had a history of being played by famous violinists. Stradivarius violins in general, made by the Stradivari family around the time the Lady Tennant Stradivarius was made, are the most famous type of violins. The Stradivarius name is associated with quality and, you guessed it, an expensive price tag.
The Stradivarius Brand
Like other Stradivarius violins, the Lady Tennant features a rich tone. Unlike some other Stradivarius instruments, the Lady Tennant is simply decorated. There were a very limited number of Stradivarius violins made, and an even smaller number that still exist today. One of these is the Lady Tennant, which is named after (and primarily known for) one of its famous owners.
The Lady Tennant Stradivarius has been owned by the famous nineteenth century virtuoso violinist Charles Philippe Lafont, a rival of Nicolò Paganini, and after his death the violin was purchased in 1839 by W. E. Hill & Sons, a violin dealer in London. W. E. Hill & Sons sold the violin to Sir Charles Clow Tennant, who gave the violin to his wife, Lady Tennant, as a gift because she was an amateur violinist. She became the violin’s namesake.
More recently, the Lady Tennant Stradivarius sold for US$2,032,000 at Christie’s auction in New York on April 22, 2005. This amount of money is the highest amount that a musical instrument has ever been sold for at an Xiang Gaoauction. The violin was purchased by an anonymous collector and subsequently loaned to violinist Yang Liu following the auction. After Yang Liu, the Lady Tennant Stradivarius was loaned to Xiang Gao in 2007 and the Belgian violinist Yossif Ivanov in 2009. These loans were brokered by the Stradivari Society.