An image of a violin, the 1700 Taft Stradivarius violin

1700 Taft Stradivarius violin

This fine violin is characteristic of the early part of Antonio Stradivari’s golden period—which lasted from about 1700 to 1725. This violin is said to have been in the possession of Albert Caressa, of 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 Cincinnati philanthropist Charles P. Taft (brother of William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States of America). Mrs. Taft presented the violin to Emil Heermann, the concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, for his use. Following the death of Mr. Taft, in 1940 the violin was sold to the private collector and amateur violinist Ernest Ruder, of Cincinnati, where it remained until 1987, at which point it was sold by Jacques Français to its current owner.

The instrument is a one piece back that displays strong figure descending from left to right. The ribs and scroll are of matching materials. The two piece top of narrow grain widens somewhat at the flanks. It displays hazeling at the upper left bout and has a varnish of orange red colour over amber.

Donor: Anonymous loan
Acquired: 2003

Listen to the ca. 1700 Taft Stradivarius violin


Past winners:

2003 - 2006 Jasper Wood (Toronto, Ontario)
2006 - 2009 Jessica Linnebach (Ottawa, Ontario)
2009 - 2012 Renée-Paule Gauthier (Ottawa, Ontario)
2012 - 2015 Nikki Chooi
2015 - 2018 Yolanda Bruno
2018 - 2022 Christopher Whitley

Instruments and current winners