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Stradivarius violin raises almost GBP 10m at auction

21st June 2011

A violin made by Antonio Stradivari almost 400 years ago has fetched nearly GBP 10 million at an auction to raise money for disaster relief in Japan.

Known as 'The Lady Blunt', due to the fact it was owned by Lord Byron's granddaughter Lady Anne Blunt for 30 years, the piece was created in 1721 and is one of only 600 instruments Stradivari made in his lifetime.

The violin was auctioned by the Nippon Music Foundation and raised GBP 9.8 million for its Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

Foundation president Kazuko Shiomi said the money raised from the sale will be put to immediate use.

'While this violin was very important to our collection; the needs of our fellow Japanese people after the March 11th tragedy have proven that we all need to help, in any way we can,' he added.

Tarisio, the London auction house which organised the sale, said the violin was 'the finest in its collection'.

Previous owners of the Lady Blunt, which fetched GBP 84,000 when it was last auctioned in 1971, include well-known collectors Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, Baron Johann Knoop and Sam Bloomfield.

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