Stewart Pollens' book
is now available!
See below for ordering
Stewart Pollens was recently interviewed about violins as investments by the
"In the News" for a link to this article.
Violin Advisor was
"The Talk of the Town"
- The New Yorker,
May 24, 2008
About Violin Advisor, LLC
In 1971 Stradivari's 1721 "Lady Blunt" violin sold at a
Sotheby's auction for a then record-shattering $200,000; in 2008 it was sold
through a dealer to the Nippon Music Foundation for $10M; and on June 20, 2011,
it once again set an auction record for a violin when it sold for nearly $16M. In 2003 the "Carrodus"
Guarneri was purchased for $4.5M, though four years later it was resold for $7M. In 2009
Guarneri violin sold for $10M, establishing a new record for that maker;
however, in 2013 the "Vieuxtemps" Guarneri sold for a figure
considerably in excess of $16M, setting a new record for a violin.
These prices reflect an upward trend that has been unaffected by the
recent "credit crunch," the 2008 stock market crash, and present
economic uncertainty. As in previous economic
downturns, violins have proven to be a safe haven for investors, though unlike some
high-end collectibles, violins are resistant to fads and changing
fashions--they have been a mainstay of Western culture for the past 500
years and will remain so.
Directed by Stewart Pollens,
one of the world’s leading musical instrument conservators and violin
authorities, Violin Advisor, LLC is an independent consulting firm that advises musicians,
collectors, institutions, and investors on the acquisition of fine stringed
instruments. We physically examine the
instruments that are being offered by the principal dealers, private sellers, and major
auction houses in order to assist our clients in avoiding fakes and
misattributed instruments, along with those having serious or undisclosed
condition problems or poor playing characteristics. In recent years, the market
has been inundated with fraudulent scientific reports and counterfeit
certificates. Violin Advisor, LLC evaluates all reports and documentation and
may conduct its own tests to determine age and authenticity.
We arrange direct
sales between sellers and buyers, thereby eliminating traditional
consignment agreements and commissions. We also offer the following services:
Instrument selection for
musicians, investors, collectors, and institutions
Condition and damage reports for
appraisals and insurance claims
Scientific dating and material
Technical documentation and
photography for certificates and publication
Investment enhancement through
public relations, publication, and loan of instruments to distinguished soloists, orchestras, and non-profit institutions such as
conservatories and museums
Advisor, LLC assists in the acquisition of investment-grade violins.
Enjoy solid growth plus the privileges of arts patronage."
Financial Times, May 20, 2008
Stewart Pollens' latest
book, Stradivari , is now available!
"Stewart Pollens provides here a
long-overdue and worthy updating of the Hills' seminal work of
1902." - The Strad
"...a meticulously detailed
examination of the legendary Antonio Stradivari's methods." - The
"This book is a pleasure to read,
either in whole or in part - as either a detective story of sorts
(Stradivari's lost varnish formulae, for example) or as a reference
work to be consulted by stringed instrument makers and restorers." -
Music Media Monthly
Cambridge University Press, ISBN
Cambridge University Press, Amazon.com,
Barnes and Noble, or your favorite source.
For over 200 years, Antonio
Stradivari has been universally regarded as the greatest
violin maker who ever lived, yet it is not widely known
that he made virtually every kind of bowed- and
plucked-string instrument popular in the Baroque period,
including lutes, viols, mandolins, guitars, and harps.
Stradivari provides a fascinating biography of
this legendary maker, based on newly discovered material
in church and civic archives, alongside technical
descriptions and analyses of many of the maker's
workshop materials preserved in the Museo Stradivariano
in Cremona, particularly as they relate to extant and
lost instruments, baroque stringing and instrument
adjustment, and early performance practice. There are
separate chapters for each type of instrument, allowing
the reader to easily locate information.
• Highly illustrated, the
book contains over 100 black and white photographs of
Stradivari's workshop materials, and colour photographs
of 16 important Stradivari instruments • Includes
fascinating biographical and historical information, and
a step-by-step account of how Stradivari made his
violins, making it appealing to enthusiasts as well as
academics • Chapters are divided by instrument types,
making it easy for the reader to locate information
article on the analysis of Stradivari's violin varnish in
the May 2009 issue of The Strad.
A more detailed
discussion is found in Pollens' latest book, Stradivari.
This research was
conducted in cooperation with the Department of Scientific Research
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and McCrone Associates.
©Violin Advisor LLC. Stewart Pollens 2011