Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Stradivarius 1735 Violin


  • “Samazeuilh”
  • “Samazeuilh”
  • “Samazeuilh”


The back is in two pieces of faint broad curl. The sides are of medium curl. The head is still very crisp, apart from some wear at the back of the scroll. The table in two pieces of spruce with grains of fine width is broadening gradually towards the flanks. There is a great deal of thick red-brown varnish, worn to gold. The violin has an inscription on its label recording Stradivari’s age of ninety-one years. It is one of the existing representative examples of the last period of Stradivari.


This violin was taken from Italy to France by Luigi Tarisio in 1836, who sold it to Pierre and Hippolyte Silvestre of Lyons. They in turn sold it to the Comte de Chaponay, an amateur and possessor of a very fine collection of instruments. At the end of the 19th century, the violin was offered through H. C. Silvestre of Paris, and passed to W. E. Hill & Sons, who sold it in 1901 to the violinist Arthur Hartmann (1881-1956). By 1909, it had been acquired by a member of the French Samazeuilh family, hence the name of the violin “Samazeuilh”. In 1923 it came in the possession of the virtuoso Mr. Mischa Elman (1891-1967), who in a letter written in 1926 considered it “one of the best Stradivarius instruments for tone quality…” Later it was owned by Mr. Raymond Pitcain, a lawyer in the USA, but returned to Europe in 1981 when the late Max Möller, a luthier in Holland, purchased it at auction in New York. Since 1983, the violin was in the same private possession in Switzerland. In August 2017, Nippon Music Foundation acquired this violin through a luthier with a substantial contribution from Mr. and Mrs. Okamoto in Japan and support from The Nippon Foundation.


Stradivarius 1735 Violin “Samazeuilh”

August 11, 2017 Roland Baumgartner, to Nippon Music Foundation
June 15, 1923 Albert Caressa Succ, to Mischa Elman


Stradivarius 1735 Violin “Samazeuilh”

July 5, 2017 Andrew Hill, Report to Nippon Music Foundation
December 29, 1926 Letter from Mischa Elman
May 8, 1903 W. E. Hill & Sons, Letter to Mr. J. Samazeuilh

“Antonio Stradivari: The Cremona Exhibition of 1987” by Charles Beare P288-P293

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