Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Stradivarius 1725 Violin


  • “Wilhelmj”
  • “Wilhelmj”
  • “Wilhelmj”


The back is in two pieces of wood, marked by a small, pronounced curl, slanting slightly from the joint. That of the sides is similar, whereas the head is plain. The table is marked by a medium, somewhat open grain. The varnish is a rich orange-red color, worn to gold. This instrument is a very handsome and typical example of Stradivari’s work, and it has a good reputation tonally.


This violin was named after the acclaimed German violinist August Wilhelmj (1845-1908) who owned and played it. His father who was a doctor of law and an amateur violinist purchased the violin in 1866 for his son. Among the many fine violins Wilhlemj owned, this Stradivari remained his favorite. It was in 1896, sometime after has ceased to play in public, when Wilhelmj decided to, as he said, “quit when at my best” and parted with the violin as young as in his early 50’s. He sold the violin to his pupil Mr. Hugo Kupferschmidet of Cincinnati, who retained possession until his death. Subsequently, Wurlitzer sold it to J.E. Greiner, an amateur of Baltimore, and to Maulsby Kimball. In 1944, it was acquired by Mr. Thomas L. Fawick, industrialist, inventor and art collector in the United States. From Mr. Fawick, it passed to Mr. Gage, who offered it to W. E. Hill & Sons in 1971. The firm sold it to a collector in the Far East, and it had been safely kept in Hong Kong until Nippon Music Foundation purchased the violin in June 2001 through a luthier.


Stradivarius 1725 Violin “Wilhelmj”

March 28, 1972 W. E. Hill & Sons
October 6, 1944 Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., to Mr. Thomas Fawick
June 3, 1921 W. E. Hill & Sons, to Maestro Wurlitzer


Stradivarius 1725 Violin “Wilhelmj”

April 17, 2000 Andrew Hill, Note to Nippon Music Foundation
April 12, 2000 Andrew Hill, Report to Nippon Music Foundation
June 3, 1921 W. M. EBSWORTH Hill, Letter to Mr. Wurlitzer

“Antonio Stradivari His Life of Work” by W. E. Hill (P69)
“Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari: 1644-1737” by H. K. Goodkind (P582, P583)
“How Many Strads?” by Doring (P260)

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