Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Stradivarius 1735 Violin


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


This violin was taken to France by an Italian dealer and collector Luigi Tarisio in 1836, who sold it to Pierre and Hippolyte Silvestre, dealers of Lyon. They in turn sold it to Comte de Chaponay, an amateur and possessor of a fine collection of instruments. In the 1870s it was brought to England by H. B. Merton, then passed to Mr. William Pickerling followed by Mr. Clements. He in turn sold it to W. E. Hill & Sons, who subsequently sold it to the violinist Arthur Hartmann (1881-1956) of Copenhagen in 1901 and again to Madame Joseph Samazeuilh de Bordeaux in 1903, hence the name of the violin “Samazeuilh”. In 1923, it came in the possession of the virtuoso 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 Pitcairn, a lawyer in the USA, but the violin returned to Europe in 1981 when Max Möller, a dealer in the Netherlands, purchased it at an auction in New York. From 1983, the violin was in the same private possession in Switzerland. In August 2017, Nippon Music Foundation acquired this violin with a substantial contribution from Mr. and Mrs. Okamoto of Japan and support from The Nippon Foundation.


The back is in two pieces of maple with faint broad curl. The sides are of medium curl and the scroll is of plainer maple. The table is in two pieces of spruce with grains of fine width that broaden gradually towards the flanks. The varnish is of a deep red color on a golden ground.


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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