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World's finest viola goes on sale in New York

Published on Mar 27, 2014 2:27 AM

NEW YORK (AFP) - The world's greatest viola, the "Macdonald" made by Antonio Stradivari in 1719, went on auction in New York Wednesday in a closed sale expected to fetch more than US$45 million (S$57 million).

Sotheby's says the exquisitely preserved and extremely rare instrument is one of only 10 complete Stradivari violas left in the world and the only one from the Italian master's prime.

"Antonio Stradivari is universally acknowledged as the greatest violin maker of all time," said Tim Ingles, director of Ingles and Hayday which is organising the sale with Sotheby's.

"Around 600 instruments by Stradivari survive today but only 10 complete violas. The finest of all the violas is generally considered to be the Macdonald of 1719," he added.

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