In the August issue of The Strad, out now, I question the saleroom aura attached to fine instruments that are often past their play-by date. A notable case was the Lady Blunt that went last month for $14.2 million after half a century of disuse.
Why pay such fortunes? Is it prestige, investment, or perhaps something else?
Here’s a sample:
Why are people are prepared to pay record sums time after time for the Lady Blunt, which is practically unplayable after years of disuse, when 20,000 Euros would buy an instrument made last month in a German workshop with a blend of ancient craft and modern technology that ensure it sounds like Cremona, almost? The premium people pay for a Vieuxtemps or a Lady Blunt is less for high performance than for emotional transference…
Any further thoughts?