The 5 Most Expensive Violins in the World - Updated 2024

2022 has been a year full of high-profile auction sales. Let's take a look at some of the world's most expensive Violins to satisfy your curiosity!

It started with the first Guarneri 'del Gesù' to be auctioned in a decade fetching £3.5 million. Later in June Tarisio auctioned the 308 year-old 'Da Vinci' ex-Seidel Stradivari, achieving a  respectable, though not record-setting 15.5 million USD. A second Stradivari, 'The Hellier' was up for auction at Christie's, sadly not meeting the reserve price and remaining unsold.

Although most of the ultra-valuable violin sales are not publicly know, here is a list of some of the most expensive violins in the world, updated to reflect the latest public auction sales:

1. The Messiah Antonio Stradivari - $20 million

most expensive violin

The Messiah violin by Antonio Stradivarius is estimated to have a worth of $20 million and ranks among the most expensive violins in the world. Made in 1716, this historic instrument remains incredibly in almost perfect "like new" condition. It is a violin that has been played by many famous musicians including Nathan Milstein and Joseph Joachim. It is now part of an exhibition at Ashmoleum museum in Oxford and attracts visitors from all over the world for its excellent condition.

The 1693 "O'Neil" Antonio Stradivari

While not a part of this list, we are thrilled to have our first violin by Antonio Stradivari for sale as part of Heritage by MyLuthier. The 1683 "O'Neil" is a beautiful example of Stradivari's early work, with an impressive sound, reminiscent of his golden-period instruments.


2. The Lady Blunt Antonio Stradivari - 15.9 million

antonio stradivari

The Lady Blunt got its nickname from Lady Anne Blunt - the daughter of Lord Byron - who bought the instrument in 1822. She gave her name to the violin because she had been told that it was one of the finest instruments ever made. In fact, it was made by Antonio Stradivari around 1716.

In virtually perfect condition, the violin sold for a record price of $15.9 million at auction in New York City.

3. The Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesù - 15.8 million

vieuxtemps guarneri

The Vieuxtemps Guarneri violin was once owned by the famous 19th century French composer and renowned violinist Henri Vieuxtemps. It became one of the most sought-after instruments in the world in 2016 when it sold for $15.8 million. In 2017, the Guarneri violin was given to the acclaimed violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, who has been performing on this precious violin to this day. 

4. The 'Da Vinci' Ex-Seidel Antonio Stradivari - 15.3 million

most expensive violin auction

The most recent example on this list,  the 1714 ‘da Vinci, ex-Seidel’ Stradivari violin at auction in June 2022 for US $15.34m (£12.29m).

The instrument is named after its long time owner, the American violinist Toscha Seidel, who played on it for nearly 40 years.

Crafted in Italy by Antonio Stradivari in 1714, the “Da Vinci” ex-Seidel violin represents one of the rare examples of craftsmanship from the maestro‘s “golden period.” It has been 15 years since an instrument the golden period has been offered at auction. The violin is concert-ready, retaining its original parts and remains in pristine condition. 

5. Ex-Kochanski Guarneri del Gesù - $10 million

The Ex-Kochanski del Gesù is one of the most famous instruments ever produced by the Italian luthier Guarneri Del Gesù. It was crafted in 1715, and it was originally owned by the Polish virtuoso Paul Kochanski. In 2009, Christie's New York auctioned off the instrument for $10 million. It was bought by a German collector, who donated it to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Nowadays, the violin is kept in the museum's collection, where it is used by some of the finest musicians around the globe.

About the Author

MyLuthier was started by two friends while they were studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The idea was to provide musicians with exceptional instruments at a price they can afford. We travelled Europe in search for the best contemporary makers and we’re proud of our selection and the partnerships we’ve developed.

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