Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Stradivarius 1736 Violin


  • “Muntz”
  • “Muntz”


This violin takes its name from a famous collector and amateur violin player Mr. H. M. Muntz of Birmingham, England. This was one of the violins kept by Stradivari’s youngest son Paolo and was sold to Count Cozio di Salabue in 1775. Luigi Tarisio acquired the violin in 1827 and sold it to the elder Gand, dealer of Paris, in 1831. In the following year a French amateur Comte d’Amiens acquired and kept the violin for thirty years. In 1862, it was sold through Gand et Bernardel to the well-known collector Mr. Charles Wilmotte of Antwerp. Mr. H. M. Muntz of Birmingham, England, bought the violin from Gand et Bernardel in 1872. It passed to W. E. Hill & Sons in 1886, and then to the Earl of Wilton, before the Hill firm again sold it to Mr. Alfred Sassoon in 1889. The violin passed to Mr. Higgins after the death of Mr. Sassoon. R. A. Bauer acquired the violin from the heirs of the late Higgins, from whom Dr. Georg Talbot of Aachen purchased it and exhibited it at Cremona in 1937. It passed to Dr. Ephraim P. Engleman (1911-2015) who was an American amateur violinist and collector, then to Steven Staryk, a well-known virtuoso and concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and then the violinist and collector Howard Gottlieb. Nippon Music Foundation acquired this violin in July 1997.


The back is in two pieces of maple, marked by an irregular medium horizontal curl, and that of the sides and scroll is similar. The table in two pieces of spruce is marked by medium grain, opening towards the flanks, particularly on the bass side. The varnish of a transparent orange-gold color still covers most of the instrument. The sound-holes are not square across the table, which is fairly typical of many of the later examples. The label attached to this instrument bears an Italian inscription, “d’anni 92 (92 years old)”, handwritten by Stradivari himself.


Stradivarius 1736 Violin “Muntz”

November 21, 1972 Hamma & Co. (Walter Hamma), to Jacques Francais
October 24, 1972 Jacques Francais, to Howard Gottlieb
September 28, 1972 Jacques Francais, to Howard Gottlieb (copy)
April 8, 1969 Rembert Wurlitzer Inc. to Steven Staryk (copy)
February 6, 1950 Hamma & Co. Stuttgart


Stradivarius 1736 Violin “Muntz”

June 9, 1997 Andrew Hill, Report to Nippon Music Foundation
December 21, 1994 Bein & Fushi Inc., Report to Nippon Music Foundation
January 23, 1875 Letter from H. M. Muntz

“Antonio Stradivari: The Cremona Exhibition of 1987” by Charles Beare (P294)
“How Many Strads?” by Doring (P335, P336)

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