Rare Violin Fetches $16M at Auction

Price was more than four times the record for a Stradivarius

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011  |  Updated 6:39 AM PDT
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Rare Violin Fetches $16M at Auction

AP

In this photo taken in 2008 and released by Nippon Music Foundation, "Lady Blunt," a 1721 Stradivarius violin, is shown in Tokyo. The Japanese music foundation has sold a renowned Stradivarius violin for US$16 million at a London auction to raise money for tsunami disaster relief. The nonprofit foundation said Tuesday, June 21, 2011, the proceeds from selling the nearly 300-year-old violin will go to relief projects in northern Japan where the deadly earthquake and tsunami hit on March 11. (AP Photo/Nippon Music Foundation, S. Yokoyama) MANDATORY CREDIT

A nearly 300-year-old fiddle once owned by Lord Byron's granddaughter sold for $16 million at an auction toraise money for disaster relief in Japan.

The price was more than four times the previous record for a Stradivarius. It was put up for sale by the Nippon Music Foundation, which owns some of the world's finest Stradivari and Guarneri instruments, according to the BBC.

"While this violin was very important to our collection, the needs of our fellow Japanese people after the March 11th tragedy have proven that we all need to help, in any way we can," said Foundation president Kazuko Shiomi.  "The donation will be put to immediate use on the ground in Japan."

The violin is one of 600 made by Italian Antonio Stradivari still in existence.

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