The decorated Stradivari instruments of the Royal Palace of Madrid

December 18, 2013

The two violins, viola and cello of the Royal Palace of Madrid's decorated Stradivari set.
One of the two violins of the Royal Palace of Madrid's decorated Stradivari set.
One of the two violins of the Royal Palace of Madrid's decorated Stradivari set.
The viola of the Royal Palace of Madrid's decorated Stradivari set.
The cello of the Royal Palace of Madrid's decorated Stradivari set.

The Stradivaris of the Madrid Royal Palace are the only decorated instruments the maker is known to have made as a set, and includes his only known decorated cello. The quartet of instruments – two violins, a viola and cello – was originally a quintet but during the Napoleonic wars the two inlaid violas were lost when French troops looted the Royal Palace. The smaller viola was returned to the Patrimonio Nacional in 1951 but the tenor viola has never been recovered. 

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Photos © Patrimonio Nacional

 

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