Violin hits the high notes
By Joseph Curtin, The Strad, January 1994
A world record auction price for a violin by a living maker was set on 2 November at Sotheby’s in London. The violin, by Michigan violin makers Joseph Curtin and Gregg T. Alf, reached a hammer price of £19,000 (£25,670 including buyers premium and taxes), bids having started at £10,000.
The violin, an exact copy of the ‘Booth’ Stradivari made in 1716, belonged to violinist Elmar Oliveira, who toured with it for two years and used it to record his CD of Joachim’s ‘Hungarian’ Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Oliveira released the ‘Booth’ replica to Sotheby’s after taking delivery of another Curtin & Alf violin, a copy of the ‘Lady Stretton’ Guarneri ‘del Gesu’ of 1726.
The ‘Booth’ replica was purchased by the 22-year-old Maltese soloist Carmine Lauri, who is soon to release his first CD.