From the Archive: January 1900

Screen Shot 2019-11-29 at 15.57.16

An unsolved mystery from 1869: T.L. Phipson relates how a c.1709 Stradivari violin vanished without trace – and as far as we know, remains missing to this day

One fine afternoon in 1868, I was coming thorough Wardour Street and thought I would call in at George Hart’s for a few strings. On this occasion, there was a handsome, fair-haired, young man, barely twenty-four years of age, rather tall, and of very gentlemanly appearance, walking up and down the room, playing a series of scales and cadenzas on a fine toned violin. It struck me that he was a very good player, and I sat down for some time to listen to him. At last he finished playing and turning to Hart, said:— “Yes, I am quite contented, I have brought a blank cheque with me, and I will fill it up now.” “If you fill up your cheque for three hundred and four pounds, that will be all right,” said Hart…

Subscribe now to keep reading …

This article is available exclusively to subscribers – subscribe now

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Strad subscription

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. To access this content you need to be a subscriber.

As a subscriber you’ll receive:

  • Monthly issues* packed with news, interviews and features
  • Special supplements including Accessories, Degrees, Cremona and String Courses
  • A monthly digital edition and an archive of online issues going back to January 2010
  • Full access to all premium online content on thestrad.com
  • Two posters a year and the annual Strad Directory*

*To receive the posters, the Strad Directory and issues and supplements in print, you will need to take out a print + online package

 If you are not ready to subscribe, register now to enjoy a selection of free content (excludes premium subscriber-only articles)