ca. 1700 Taft Stradivari violin

Instruments

ca. 1700 Taft Stradivari violin

This fine violin is a characteristic example of the early part of Antonio Stradivari's “Golden Period”. It is traditionally said to have been in the possession of Albert Caressa, Paris, who passed it to Rudolf Wurlitzer in Cincinnati, Ohio. Around 1915, Mr. Wurlitzer sold the violin to Mrs. Charles Phelps Taft, one of the founders of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and wife of the Cincinnati philanthropist Charles P. Taft, brother of William Howard Taft, 37th President and 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Mrs. Taft presented the violin to Emil Heermann, the concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, for his use. Following the death of Mr. Taft, the violin was sold to the private collector and amateur violinist Ernest Ruder of Cincinnati in 1940, where it remained until 1987, at which point it was sold by Jacques Français to another owner.

  • Anonymous loan
  • Acquired: 2003
  • Value: $5.5 million