The cello played by the late Bernard Greenhouse of the Beaux Arts Trio was a 1707 Stradivarius.
Much rarer than the Master’s violins, it is one of about 60 surviving Strad cellos, and known as the “Paganini, Countess of Stainlein”. Of its particular ‘Forma B’ type Strad, there are exactly 20 in existence. They do not come up often for sale.
But at the request of Bernard’s family, his Strad will not be auctioned off in an overheated room like a superannuated Fabergé egg to a pack of Russian oligarchs. Instead, the firm of Reuning & Son are accepting sealed bids from prospective purchasers until December 1 and will finalise the sale in January.