The set of decorated Stradivari instruments housed at the Royal Palace of Madrid made news recently when they received their first public performance, by the Quiroga Quartet from Spain (see link below). The stringed instruments have an eccentric history, shrouded in mystery and conflicting views. Stradivari made them for the Spanish Court in the last decade of the 17th century, but they never reached their destination in his lifetime. What happened to them after Stradivari's death is the subject of this article from The Strad, December 1993, written by Edward Sainati.

Click on the PDFs to read the story.


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View our online gallery for a closer look at the decorated Stradivari set. 

The 1694 'Decorado' cello is featured in The Strad Calendar 2014: Decorated Instruments. Click here to find out more.