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Stradivarius viola could sell for $56m, becoming the most expensive instrument

Published on Apr 16, 2014 10:02 AM
Violist David Aaron Carpenter plays the 'Macdonald' Viola by Antonio Stradivari, made in 1719, during a presentation at Sotheby's auction house in Paris on April 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - A rare Stradivarius viola valued at US$45 million (S$56 million) could become the most expensive musical instrument ever sold when it is auctioned later this year.

Auction house Sotheby's has invited sealed bids to be received by June 26 for the nearly 300-year-old instrument made by Italian master craftsman Antonio Stradivari in 1719.

Musical instrument expert Tim Ingles described the sale of the instrument, one of only 10 Stradivarius violas still in existence, as a "once in a lifetime" event.

Known as the Macdonald viola in a reference to a previous owner - Baron Macdonald who purchased it circa 1820 - it is said to be in perfect condition and has never been restored.

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