Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Stradivarius 1716 Violin


  • “Booth”
  • “Booth”
  • “Booth”


The back is made of two pieces of wood, marked by a handsome curl descending slightly from the joint. The wood of the sides is marked by a strong smaller curl, and that of the head is somewhat broader. The varnish is orange-gold in color where not worn, most of the violin is gold-brown in appearance. Having been used as a concert instrument worldwide, this instrument enjoys a very good reputation for excellent quality of tone and power. It is in a good state of preservation. A typical example of the Golden Period of Stradivari’s work.


The name of this violin derives from an English lady, Mrs. Booth, who purchased it around 1855 from Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1798-1875), the celebrated French maker and dealer, to assemble a quartet of Stradivari instruments for the use of her two sons who showed considerable talent. It was exhibited at the Loan Exhibition of Musical Instruments in South Kensington in 1885. On the death of Mrs. Booth, the violin was sold to the late George Hart of London in 1889 via W. E. Hill & Sons. Mr. H. O. Havemeyer, a well-known American collector owned the violin until 1930, when it was purchased by Mr. A. E. Russell in New York who sold it to Mischa Mischakoff (1896-1981), a celebrated American violinist, in 1931. In 1961, it then became the property of a collector Henry Hottinger in New York who sold it to Wurlitzer in 1965. Through J & A Beare Ltd., the violin was passed to Mr. C. M. Sin of Hong Kong, and in 1989 to Iona Brown (1941-2004), a violinist and conductor in England, who used it in many of her performances worldwide, until Nippon Music Foundation purchased it in January 1999 through a luthier.


Stradivarius 1716 Violin “Booth”

February 23, 1999 John & Arthur Beare, to Nippon Music Foundation
May 5, 1931 The Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., to Mischa Mischakoff
September 29, 1930 W. E. Hill & Sons, to Mr. A. E. Russell


Stradivarius 1716 Violin “Booth”

March 8, 1999 John & Arthur Beare, History letter to Nippon Music Foundation
October 7, 1998 Andrew Hill, Report to Nippon Music Foundation
October 6, 1930 William E. Hill & Sons, History letter to Mr. A. E. Russell

“Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari: 1644-1737” by H. K. Goodkind

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