The world's most valuable violin? The Messiah Stradivarius

Susan Gardener 113 265 subscribers

I visited the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to see the Messiah Stradivarius - the only 'as new' Stradivarius violin in the world.

100 Comments

  • song?

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  • The violin from the first violin maker, Andrea Amati in the 1500s, should be the most valuable. It should definitely be worth more than this one made in 1716, regardless of condition..

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  • So how much is it?

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  • Beautiful instruments.

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  • Excellent

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  • This is a perfect example of something being too precious.

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  • I cried a little

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  • fucking british...

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  • To see a musical instrument in a museum is like seeing a bird in a cage: no matter how rare and beautiful, it's just SAD.

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  • better to burn out in use than sit on shelf

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  • Nice video

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  • The back of my viola looks lot like the back of the violin

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  • The Stradivarius has a fuller more mellow sound than its counterparts. The musician and the bow could make a difference as well.

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  • These instruments are supposed to be played and not hooked in somewhere!! .. i believe that the person who did those violins knew more you play them the better they get....

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  • So what is it worth?

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  • Actually, it is being played: currently playing a 90 year-long rest note.

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  • What is the piece title at the begining please?

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  • Looks pretty.... but probably sounds like SHIT. You can KEEP IT. Not interested.

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  • OK, I'm TOTALLY jealous!

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  • Instruments are meant to be played, or what's the point? This makes me so angry when I see them behind glass, never caressed, never adored, never loved - set them free!

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  • Is it out of tune? Who tunes it?

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  • Behold, the one of the graveyards of the musical instrument world! It is obscene, and reprehensible in the extreme, to take the work of great master luthiers and stuff it into glass cases instead of allowing the instruments to sing on stage as their makers intended! For shame!

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  • Too bad the soundtrack uses fake violins, really bad ones.

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  • Stupid as shit not to play it. They thrive on being played and can never develop their full sound if you don't. But this is England a bunch a dumbass socialists so what do you expect

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  • In some museums in Italy, master violinists come regularly to play the violins to keep them sounding at their best.

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  • what good is it if it isn't played...so sad

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  • It is an amazing collection of string instruments, which have gone silent. Their value is now only as pieces of art, not as their intended creation. Thankfully other instruments with the sound and workmanship, equal and perhaps surpassing their caged ancestors, exist and are being played today.

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  • I would like to have fun with this

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  • i can'n beleve that these amazing instuerments are not being played .

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  • the beauty of this instruments come from their sound, so it is sad that it is not played. These objects​ must be used. It is not a picture or a sculpture just to look at it.

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  • Thanks so much for introducing me to this museum.

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  • So what's the estimated dollar value? Put up a vid of the 'most expensive' violin and then not say what that value is. Stupid.

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  • Are these violins permanently at that museum? Or was just an event? I'm a violin player and would love to see theses violins.

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  • This isn't a museum, it's an instrument prison.

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  • I thought Anne Meyers had the most expensive one, the Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu. And yes, it is sad to see that exquisite violin behind a glass in a museum. With its sound dormant after so many years. Violins are made to be played.

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  • Thanks for letting us come to view without telling us the price!

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  • I hope they really have someone that comes sometime to play those instruments...it would be souless to keep them only exposed. I remember learing the fac that the mechanics museum in Bucharest turns on the machines once in a while, so they don't die forever.

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  • What's the ballpark figure in value for the Messiah in 2018 dollars? Say, for insurance replacement (though not possible). Just curious.

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  • This makes be very sad. All of these instruments need to be in the hands of the virtuosos who can play them. Only then can the world enjoy their real beauty.

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  • lol, the music

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  • Ong, what are they thinking perlman or the violinst should use these violins in great care not lock them up

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  • this violins don't velón in a museum they should be in the hands of a gifted violinist. by being in a museum humanity is rob of them. in a museum they are worthless.

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  • Paganini Cannon is worth more than the Messiah

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  • So sad that an instrument of this quality's only purpose is to be "shown off" in some smelly, dank old museum. Allow it to serve the purpose it was made for. Give it to a great musician and let it be heard.

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  • And the price? If you don't know the price, you are an idiot. Anybody can publish rubbish like that.

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  • Violins don't belong in a museum! They aren't Renoirs! They need to be in the hands of the world's best violinists and played!

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  • kind of disgusting that these rich people just buy these violins and just put them in display cases. The fact that a Strad would go 8 decades without being played is just shameful.

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  • Thanks for showing and bringing up the point about playing the instrument. I believe Stradivarius would be angry to discover his creations imprisoned as “safe queens.” 😢

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  • It's better if these beautifully crafted instruments are not played too often, so as to preserve them for future generations. If they are ever played, it should be strictly monitored. We don't want these creations of beauty being stolen and getting into the hands of criminals.

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  • I see those instruments and marvel and weep at the same time. To see such wondrous creations locked up in glass cells and not out in the world singing is heart-breaking. What would the Messiah sound like in the hands of Joshua Bell or Sarah Chang?

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  • It's been altered from its original configuration of manufacture, and changed. That's too bad, and immediately I would beg to differ on it being the most expensive one then. Rarity, Purity, Original Condition, and One of a Kind in existence including it being in unchanged and in unaltered form, are a demand for the highest amount of monies. There has to be some other that is as rare also, but pure. Well, that's my 25 cents in the well, D.M.

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  • Are these instruments kept strung to concert tension?

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  • 00:50...except the tailpiece isn't "as new". Oh, and the pegs aren't "as new". Oh, and don't forget the neck, lengthened, isn't "as new." What, exactly, does "as new" mean? Confused...

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  • I prefer the more humble Televarius ... with a Bigsby.

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  • I prefer the more humble Televarius ... with a Bigsby.

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  • A Strad needs playing. Give the violins to someone, get them fucking played!

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  • All I can think of is having Tommy Emmanual play that Stradavarius guitar.

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  • the chinese will pay for it even more...

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  • They have zero value unplayed. just a piece of wood...zzzzz..next

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  • You may be interested in the Dendrochronology of this violin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAPbsU0STIQ&feature=youtu.be

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  • Your forgetting the Lady Blunt, Its also considered "as new" condition".

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  • I can tell those violins don't like to be caged in a museum. They want to be played. Free the violins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Are you a gardener??

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  • If I had this violin, I'd play it, every day!

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  • Beautiful instruments. What a shame they can't be heard.

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  • You never told us the price.

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  • It's criminal that these instruments are locked up in glass display cases. These instruments were meant to be played. Such a shame.

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  • Poseo violín Stradivarius necesito saber más sobre autenticidad y presios y como puedo identificarlo y estar seguro de que es autentico

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  • They have to be preserved. Once a while some stupid musician falls down the stage and lands on his strad or stolen in the locker room - yes, both happened. And when they are gone, they are gone for good.

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  • They didnt have it when I was there!

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  • I wish someone would play it

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  • Better to risk letting these treasures out of the museum to be played than keep them locked away never to be heard.

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  • The violin is not played because the collection was given to the museum by WE Hill and Sons. One of the conditions of the gift was that this violin should not be played. It is the only Stradivari to retain almost all of it's varnish and gives us a pretty good idea of what a stradivari would have been like fresh from the shop. Funny thing is it is not perfect, there is a repair of a pitch pocket to the right (treble side) of the finger board. There is another instrument, "The Lady Blunt" that is a near twin. The Messiah serves as sort of a paragon or blue print for modern violin makers. There are about 600 Stradivari instruments that are being played by great players every day. The prices are astronomical now. "The Lady Blunt" sold for about $16,000,000.00 a few years ago.

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  • i would love to hear it be played!

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  • i would to hear it played -

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  • What is the actual worth of this violin? I'm very curious. It is not mentioned in the entire video.

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  • Why don't they sell it we want to hear it not see.

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  • A violin really should be played once in a while to maintain it's voice

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  • What a foolish idea to put such instruments in to glass cages... No body can have rights like this even owners such as that museum...  they are wonders of human being  they must be played and listened... as they were made for... They are not paintings... You are killing them...

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  • This violin was made in 1751, by Giuseppe Guarnerius del Gesu. Accurate historical accounts of the violin's true history belie the fantasies generated during the "Vuillaume" period of ownership; then carried further by the sons of William Ebsworth Hill, until this very day. "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again!" - Jean Delphin Alard

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  • Putting it in a glass case like that is a crime, like going to a zoo of taxidermy animals. They need somebody to play in an auditorium part of the museum regularly.

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  • I bet these instruments are better taken care of than the Queen when you have one of one you don't take chances with it.

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  • a fitting name..... praise to God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, for creating our ears ability to hear, forests to supply the wood, artisans to create these masterpieces, and artists to play them to their fullest.

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  • They ought to at least tighten the D-string--pretty sloppy!

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  • Oh my Lord Sugar these are all so beautiful I just love guitars any string instruments I've been playing all my life so I can really relate U are fantastic see U again soon dear...

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  • the music is annoying...but a good video

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  • Il Cannone is the most valuable violin, afaik.

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  • i'm gonna have to kinda disagree. while not flawless, my le pockface (ex colossus) is one of a kind.

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  • If there are no instruments preserved for future generations then no one will be able to hear them played in a couple of centuries.I've visited this instrument a couple of times to get ideas for my own making and it is very useful for people like me who make instruments to have access to master instruments. There must be hundreds of violin makers who have visited this instrument and make other violins that you can hear. It's not an animal and the glass is not a cage.

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  • Actually it's not 100% certain that this violin was made by Stradivari. Vuillaume was a master at copying Strads as were many other talented makers. He had the Messiah on display in his workshop and would never let anyone touch it or study it. He made several copies of this particular instrument ( 3~ I believe) I had the pleasure of meeting with the late ( wonderful) Herbert Goodkind in 1981 in his home in Larchmont NY. He was a wealth of knowledge . He was generous with his time, a humble and kind man and I will never forget his generosity. The famous painting of Stradivari that he had visioned and comissioned was hanging over his sofa ( a painting you see often when the subject of Stradivarius comes up), and a gorgeous 1890's Steinway in close proximity. He gave me a tour ( and I only went there to buy his Iconography which was impossible to find). We talked a lot about this violin and when he mentioned the "doubt" I did say, wouldn't they be able to tell by the sound? He said NO, because the violin had not be played enough. So basically, there is no way to say with absolute certainty that it was not an extremely well done copy by another maker. Many measurements have been made by famous houses, some say it is and some say it isn't. They have to do more ample testing but the museum will not allow it's main attraction to be touched no less found to NOT be made by the great Stradivarius! Wonderful vid!! Thanks so much for posting this. My next trip will be to the Ashmolean!!

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  • Any cellos in there?

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  • I just wonder why, amongst all the Stradivarius, this one has to be the most valuable...

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  • Lovely. I was really enjoying the music then saw who the composer/performer is. Had to go for a second listen. Beautiful!

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  • was one of the two on the right of the messiah the greffuhle?

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  • There's no way of knowing for sure, since none of these instruments will be sold in a public auction any time soon, but I expect many great violins, owned by the great composers and players, would sell for far more that The Messiah. I think the list would include: Paganini's favorite Guarneri violin, that he called Il Cannone, "The Cannon" ; The Guarneri, owned by “Ole Bull" : Heifetz's Guarneri, " The David" ; and Mozart's violin and viola.

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  • Great video but wow, the music was loud compared to the dialog.

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  • Crikey, the bridge isn't even setup right let alone that fact that these beautiful instruments have become worthless as they sit lifeless in a museum. I hate how the modern world destroys the value of beautiful things by valuing them superficially.

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  • 😳

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  • your a really fun and cool person. Love your videos! John Neyland Jr

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  • So sad they are not played !!

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