Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Stradivarius 1716 Violin


  • “Booth”
  • “Booth”
  • “Booth”


The name of this violin derives from Mrs. Booth of England, who purchased it around 1855-1856 from Parisian dealer Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, to assemble a quartet of Stradivari instruments for the use of her children. This violin was exhibited by Mr. Otto Booth at the Loan Exhibition of Musical Instruments held at South Kensington in 1885 and was sold to the dealer George Hart of London in 1889 via W. E. Hill & Sons who acted as a curator of the violin at the exhibition. The violin was brought to the USA in around 1890 and became the property of Mr. Henry Osborne Havemeyer, a well-known collector. It was then sold to Mr. A. E. Russell in New York in 1930 via W. E. Hill & Sons and again in 1931 to the celebrated American violinist Mischa Mischakoff (1896-1981) through Rudolph Wurlitzer Co. In 1961, it became the property of the collector Mr. Henry Hottinger of New York who sold it to Rembert Wurlitzer, Inc. in 1965. Through J & A Beare Ltd., the violin was passed to Mr. Cho-Ming 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.


The back is made of two pieces of maple, marked by a handsome curl descending slightly from the joint. The sides are marked by a strong smaller curl, and that of the scroll is similar to the wood of the back. The table is in two pieces of spruce marked by medium-open grain. The varnish is orange-red in color.


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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