Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation

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Stradivarius

Stradivarius 1736 Violin

“Muntz”

  • “Muntz”
  • “Muntz”

Feature

The back is in two pieces of wood, marked by an irregular horizontal curl, and that of the sides is similar. The head is also marked by an irregular curl, but which is smaller. The table 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. Known as one of the violins made in the last years of Stradivari who died in 1737, 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. It has a first class reputation for its excellent condition and tonal quality.

History

This violin takes its name from a famous collector and amateur violin player, H. M. Muntz of Birmingham, England. One of the violins kept by Stradivari’s youngest son Paolo and sold to Count Cozio di Salabue in 1775, this instrument was in 1831 taken to Paris by Tarisio. Comte d’Amiens then owned it for thirty years, and in 1862 it was acquired by the Belgian collector Wilmotte. In 1874 Mr. H. M. Muntz of Birmingham, England, bought the violin from Gand et Bernardel of Paris, and from him it passed to Hills and Mr. Higgins. Recently, the violin has been owned by Dr. Talbot of Aachen, who exhibited it at Cremona in 1937, and via Jacques Francais of the United States, Dr. Ephraim Engleman (1911-2015) who was an American amateur violinist and collector, Steven Staryk, a well-known virtuoso who was Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony at one time, and the violinist and collector Mr. Howard Gottlieb. In July 1997, Nippon Music Foundation acquired this violin from Mr. Gottlieb through a luthier.

Certificate

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

Reference

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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