A Stradivari viola for sale may set a new world record as the highest prized instrument (not highest prized viola!). It is being sold at auction by Ingles and Hayday through Sotheby's.
The Strad magazine states they "are inviting bids ‘in excess of $45 million (£27 million)’ for the viola. If it were sold for such a price it would mark a world record for any musical instrument: the current auction record is held by the ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius violin of 1721, which was sold by the Nippon Music Foundation in June 2011 for £9.8m."
It was made in 1719, in what is considered Antonio Stradivari's golden period.
It's called the MacDonald, it is the best built and preserved of only ten existing violas by Stradivari, most of them are kept in museums.
The violist Peter Schidlof was one of the previous owners and played it for his recording of Walton Viola concerto, go there to hear it.
It will be offered via sealed bid, which means potential buyers will make their offers without knowing what other bidders are offering. The highest bidder gets the viola.
Unfortunately, nowadays it's very unlikely that a performer can afford to buy such wonderful instruments. In most cases they are bought by investors who then lend them to players. Well, it's not too bad, at least they can be heard.
So, if you are looking for a viola for sale and fancy a very good one or know someone who has some spare money to invest, have a look at Sotheby's website, there is a telephone number and an e-mail address for more information.
There is also a lot of interesting information about the viola, Stradivari, investing on musical instruments on Ingles Hayday's website.