Front view of Guarneri del Gesù’s ‘Baltic’
(c) Tarisio New York

A 292-year-old Guarneri violin known as the ‘Baltic’ sold for $9.44 million (€ 8.88 million) at Tarisio, the global auction house. The final sale price smashed the previous auction record of $3.6 million for any Guarneri instrument and marked the third-highest price ever achieved for a musical instrument at auction.

The ‘Baltic’ was hand-made circa 1731 by master luthier Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, the scion of one of the three great violin-making families in Cremona, Italy whose stringed instruments are among the world’s most rare and prized musical instruments. Only about 150 Guarneri violins are known to exist, as compared to about 600 by Stradivari. Guarneri violins are prized by musicians for their deep and sonorous tone. Isaac Stern, Jascha Heifetz, and Itzhak Perlman are among the great artists who have performed on the world’s stages with Guarneri violins.

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