The Violins Considered the Best In Existence Up to Now

Back to Blog
They are masterfully built violins that are the finest in existence. They are instruments full of secrets that they hide not only in their wood but also in their bodies and in the hands of artisans who made the best violins in existence.
The violin fascinates and inspires musicians as they lead their bows across the strings, but also audiences, who are spellbound by the sounds. A good stringed instrument will have excellent quality in its sound and appearance from the very beginning of its making. The maker’s choice of material is important; depending on what kind of wood they pick, the results will be different.
Although every violin is unique, some are more special than others; those rare instruments inspire even greater playing from their owners.

So many great instruments are available nowadays, those that outstand and are tagged as the best ones in existence are usually from Stradivari or Guarneri. Yes, their names and reputations add a lot to the value, but we cannot deny the expertise of these master makers. After all, the making and knowledge builds the best instruments.

The craftsmanship is the big secret here. 

The maker of a handmade violin spends more time creating it than those working at large-scale production facilities. Just as in any other profession, the maker must study, attend violin-making school, practice for years in a workshop, and receive mentorship, among other things, to finally come up with their work of art.

Each material and piece is carefully chosen by the luthier. The wood in the instrument is chosen according to its resonant qualities. Every time a bow touches a string, the entire instrument vibrates. As you play more and more concerts with your symphony, your violin will “open up” and give you a crystal-clear sound.

When you first hear a handmade violin, you may wonder how it will sound. Each detail of the handmade violin is clearly visible and beautiful in its own way. Some of the violins considered the best in existence nowadays are handmade by Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesú.

The Dolphin Stradivari

The Stradivari’s violin of 1714,”Dolphin”, also known as the “Hart” Stradivari, is one of the most valuable violins ever made. It is estimated at 4 million euros and is owned by the Nippon Music Foundation. Currently, it is played by the violinist Akiko Suwanei. George Hart named it the “Dolphin” in the 19th century because its back reminded him of a dolphin’s shape and shimmering color. To maintain this kind of violin, special care must be taken and only products specifically intended for high quality instruments should be used.

The Lord Wilton Guarneri del Gesù

The Lord Wilton has been played by virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin. The King Joseph Guarneri del Gesù 1737 has been played by Itzhak Perlman, among others.

Constructed with a free execution, this model highlights Guarneri’s extravagant style of his last years, a period full of expressiveness, featuring deeply worked edges and pinched corners. Even at this time, he seemed to be still experimenting with outlines, similar to other examples from this period, such as ‘Il Cannone’ and ‘Alard’.

The ex-Carrodus Guarneri del Gesù

The violin by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu “ex-Carrodus” was built in 1741 in Cremona. The “Carrodus” was named after the English violinist John Carrodus in whose possession it was for many years. It is believed that this violin also once belonged to the great Paganini. In 1953, it was even involved in a car accident in which violinist Ossy Renardy died; however, the instrument was undamaged.

The soundholes are unique, asymmetrical, and more elongated, typically of Guarneri’s late work. Its arching shows a bit of the Brescian school influence, and it’s fuller than others from the same year. The scroll’s bold and robust appearance, just like Il Cannone, imprints ‘del Gesù’s’ expressive work, which is highly admired by Luiz. It is one piece of quarter-cut maple grabs anyone’s attention.

The Lady Blunt Stradivari

A violin made in 1721 by Antonio Stradivari named the “Lady Blunt” sold at auction for 11.6 million euros. The proceeds were donated to victims of the earthquake in Japan. The violin is named after Lady Anne Blunt, granddaughter of Lord Byron, who owned it for 30 years. Its current owner is unknown. This instrument’s special feature is that it is in perfect condition despite its age.