Christie's auction house has begun accepting sealed bids for a precious Stradivarius violin that had been hidden in the closet of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark for roughly twenty-five years. Christie's estimates its worth is between 7.5 and 10 million dollars.
Kerry Keane, head musical instrument specialist at Christie's, told NBC News:
"There is a spectacular telegram that her parents sent her in Paris in 1920 that told her...when they were sailing and when they would be arriving in New York, and that her mother had just bought her, quote unquote, the most fabulous violin in the world."
The violin is supposedly so valuable because of where it came from. It was made by Antonio in 1731, whose 600 remaining violins are highly coveted by collectors, and was given to her by her parents, who were American royalty during the Gilded Age.
The violin was found in Clark's apartment in a closet, where it had been gathering dust. Huguette Clark herself is an interesting selling point for the violin. As Reuters notes, she was a "reclusive, eccentric heiress who owned sprawling Manhattan apartments and palatial homes but chose to spend her final decades living in a New York hospital where she died in 2011 at the age of 104."
The highest paid price for a Stradivarius was $16 million in 2011 in a charity sale for Japan disaster relief with the Nippon Foundation's Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
[Image via Reuters]