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Stradivari Viola Worth $45 Million Dollars

In March 2014, The New York Times article reported on what, at the time, was probably the most expensive musical instrument in the world—a Stradivari viola, whose asking price started at $45 million. "It is a staggering sum for a fiddle," the article stated. "Its $45 million base price is more than enough to have saved both New York City Opera, which has folded, and the San Diego Opera, which is also closing because of money woes. Violas are sometimes thought of as the unloved stepsisters of violins—rarely in the spotlight, played by fewer famous virtuosos, with less music composed specially for them."

So what makes this instrument, dubbed the "Macdonald viola," so valuable? Auction experts say its value is based on a variety of factors, but they point first and foremost to its maker— Antonio Stradivari. He made this viola during his very best period, which was between 1700 and 1720. While there are roughly 600 violins made by Antonio Stradivari, only around 10 of his violas are known to have survived intact. Secondly, it was also played by Peter Schidlof of the Amadeus Quartet, one of the famous violists of the 20th century played it for over 25 years.

The article added, "If the viola fetches anything near its asking price, it will dwarf previous sales records for musical instruments. The 'Lady Blunt' Stradivari violin set an auction record when it was sold in 2011 for $15.9 million. While some instruments may have been sold privately for more, none are believed to have gone for anything near the $45 million."

Preaching Angles: (1) Dignity; Human Worth—What ultimately gives human beings their dignity and worth? It's the fact that we have been created by an incredible maker—God the Father—and that we've been in the hands of an incredible artist—Jesus, God the Son.

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