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(Huffington Post)   Priceless Stradivarius violin left on a train returned by a good samaritan with no strings attached   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 55
    More: Spiffy, Stradivarius violins, lost and found, eye surgery, Puccini, room and board, Central Washington University, military funeral, Westboro Baptist Church  
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5486 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Aug 2012 at 12:00 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-02 09:58:03 AM  
A well-perserved Stradivarius sold for an astounding $15.9 million at an auction in 2011, while another of its kind sold for a cool $3.5 million in 2006.

Well then, this one probably isn't so "priceless" then is it?

/everything has a price
//you want a toe? I can get you a toe.
 
2012-08-02 10:20:18 AM  
Rather than seeking attention or publicity, the good samaritan chose to bow out.
 
2012-08-02 12:03:43 PM  
i did not read the article, but i certainly hope the good samaritan was properly compensated via monetary reward
 
2012-08-02 12:04:19 PM  
Does a few months ever go by without a story about some idiot leaving one of these things in a bus, train or cab?
 
2012-08-02 12:06:01 PM  

Linoleum_Blownapart: Rather than seeking attention or publicity, the good samaritan chose to bow out.


Almost as good as subby. 8/10
I'm just glad the owner did'nt take a waxng on this. 1/10
 
2012-08-02 12:07:14 PM  
Again?
 
2012-08-02 12:07:30 PM  
I would not be a good samaritan.

Also @ tags... what does wbc have to do with this story? :|
 
2012-08-02 12:08:01 PM  

sweet-daddy-2: Linoleum_Blownapart: Rather than seeking attention or publicity, the good samaritan chose to bow out.

Almost as good as subby. 8/10
I'm just glad the owner did'nt take a waxng on this. 1/10


Duly noted.
 
2012-08-02 12:08:41 PM  

teylix: I would not be a good samaritan.

Also @ tags... what does wbc have to do with this story? :|


They're in a lot of stories about small violins.
 
2012-08-02 12:08:57 PM  
So, I'm guessing this will be the last time he's every allowed to borrow anything from anybody.
 
2012-08-02 12:09:26 PM  
If you're carrying a Stradivarius and forget it somewhere. You should be flogged, have it taken away and given a Violin from the toy isle at wal-mart. How farking stupid can you possibly be?
 
2012-08-02 12:10:24 PM  

henryhill: Does a few months ever go by without a story about some idiot leaving one of these things in a bus, train or cab?


No shiat, are classical musicians prone to early onset alzheimers or something?
 
2012-08-02 12:10:55 PM  
The expensive antiques are prized for their unparalleled musical quality. A well-perserved Stradivarius sold for an astounding $15.9 million at an auction in 2011, while another of its kind sold for a cool $3.5 million in 2006.

i2.cdn.turner.com

I will offer you $100,000 for it, and that's as high as I'll go. It's a great piece, but it takes up a lot of real estate in my store. I have a lot of overhead, and because of the bad economy, it's tough finding the right buyer. It could sit in my store for months. Stop playing with it, Chumlee!
 
2012-08-02 12:13:42 PM  
Do you realize how hard it is to fence a stolen Strad? They might not have serial numbers but every little detail has been logged by some insurance company somewhere just in case. Might as well return it to it's owner.
 
2012-08-02 12:14:14 PM  
When my son started 6th grade here in Atlanta, he wanted to join the orchestra. I didn't like the idea because the orchestra is full of Chinese girls and I didn't want my son's first experience coming at him sideways. Anyway, he begged and pleaded, so finally we went out to the music store in Buckhead. I couldn't believe how much they wanted for these little guitars, much less the bow, which was upwards of $5000 itself. I wanted him to have the best, though, considering I travel a lot, so I bought him one of these Stradivarius fiddles. I've bought vacation homes for less. Anyway, junior loses interest in about three weeks and now the thing just lays there in the toy chest. I'm going to throw it out unless one of you want it.
 
2012-08-02 12:14:27 PM  
That'll varnish your reputation. Lacquer? Damned near killed 'er. Catgut yer tongue? Where's that confounded bridge?
 
2012-08-02 12:15:23 PM  

abhorrent1: If you're carrying a Stradivarius and forget it somewhere. You should be flogged, have it taken away and given a Violin from the toy isle at wal-mart. How farking stupid can you possibly be?


He was in a hurry because he had to be at the gym in 26 minutes...
 
2012-08-02 12:15:48 PM  
He took the strings off? THAT FIEND
 
2012-08-02 12:20:51 PM  
Listen, I was travelling by bus with a group of folks where one of the guys had an old Gibson worth a few hundred thousand. That man would have taken a bullet before you got to it. This thing was beyond being watched. It was like desperation maxed out with compulsion. Every 12 seconds the guy was making sure it was there for the entire trip. I can't even imagine how something like this violin wasn't being held super close, especially since he borrowed it.

This guy is a moron.
 
2012-08-02 12:21:04 PM  

abhorrent1: If you're carrying a Stradivarius and forget it somewhere. You should be flogged, have it taken away and given a Violin from the toy isle at wal-mart. How farking stupid can you possibly be?


And the actual idiot owner loaned it to his idiot friend.
 
2012-08-02 12:23:45 PM  
You would think with today's technology that we could create a violin of equal to or greater quality than the Stradivarius.

Also we could remember to stop losing the shiat.
 
2012-08-02 12:23:50 PM  
The unnamed musician had borrowed the priceless instrument from a friend and accidentally left it on the train

Good thing for him it was priceless, some violins cost thousands of dollars to replace.
 
2012-08-02 12:29:48 PM  

Rufus Lee King: spentmiles: When my son started 6th grade here in Atlanta, he wanted to join the orchestra. I didn't like the idea because the orchestra is full of Chinese girls and I didn't want my son's first experience coming at him sideways. Anyway, he begged and pleaded, so finally we went out to the music store in Buckhead. I couldn't believe how much they wanted for these little guitars, much less the bow, which was upwards of $5000 itself. I wanted him to have the best, though, considering I travel a lot, so I bought him one of these Stradivarius fiddles. I've bought vacation homes for less. Anyway, junior loses interest in about three weeks and now the thing just lays there in the toy chest. I'm going to throw it out unless one of you want it.

I'd take you up on that, except I don't want to touch anything that's ever been in Buckhead.

"Go ahead....I dare you....."

cache.jezebel.com
 
2012-08-02 12:30:58 PM  

Rufus Lee King: I'd take you up on that, except I don't want to touch anything that's ever been in Buckhead.


Glad I've been to Buckhead...
 
2012-08-02 12:31:09 PM  

PYROY: The unnamed musician had borrowed the priceless instrument from a friend and accidentally left it on the train

Good thing for him it was priceless, some violins cost thousands of dollars to replace.


He left a borrowed Stradivarius on a train?

Must have been an awkward phone call.
 
2012-08-02 12:35:21 PM  
I found one of those for a woman named Agatha, out near Bethesda. She plays on one of the local radio stations down there by the capitol.
 
2012-08-02 12:42:33 PM  

henryhill: Does a few months ever go by without a story about some idiot leaving one of these things in a bus, train or cab?


This. I'm sure they can't all be true...
 
2012-08-02 12:43:58 PM  

spentmiles: When my son started 6th grade here in Atlanta, he wanted to join the orchestra. I didn't like the idea because the orchestra is full of Chinese girls and I didn't want my son's first experience coming at him sideways. Anyway, he begged and pleaded, so finally we went out to the music store in Buckhead. I couldn't believe how much they wanted for these little guitars, much less the bow, which was upwards of $5000 itself. I wanted him to have the best, though, considering I travel a lot, so I bought him one of these Stradivarius fiddles. I've bought vacation homes for less. Anyway, junior loses interest in about three weeks and now the thing just lays there in the toy chest. I'm going to throw it out unless one of you want it.


Hook it up. I live in Brookhaven.
 
2012-08-02 12:44:48 PM  

hervatski: You would think with today's technology that we could create a violin of equal to or greater quality than the Stradivarius.


I've long suspected that we can and that we do. I think that this is more like the way that wine experts will subconsciously boost the ratings of more expensive wines. I think that the Strad's reputation probably wouldn't stand up to a round of blind (er, deaf?) tests.
 
2012-08-02 12:45:42 PM  

KaiserRoll: He took the strings off? THAT FIEND


It's actually a very bad thing to take all the strings off a violin.

/Seriously.
 
2012-08-02 12:48:51 PM  
Stradi-who-vius?

/b-sharps
 
2012-08-02 12:52:06 PM  

spentmiles: When my son started 6th grade here in Atlanta, he wanted to join the orchestra. I didn't like the idea because the orchestra is full of Chinese girls and I didn't want my son's first experience coming at him sideways. Anyway, he begged and pleaded, so finally we went out to the music store in Buckhead. I couldn't believe how much they wanted for these little guitars, much less the bow, which was upwards of $5000 itself. I wanted him to have the best, though, considering I travel a lot, so I bought him one of these Stradivarius fiddles. I've bought vacation homes for less. Anyway, junior loses interest in about three weeks and now the thing just lays there in the toy chest. I'm going to throw it out unless one of you want it.


Hmm... Tell me more about these Chinese girls.
 
2012-08-02 12:52:21 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: hervatski: You would think with today's technology that we could create a violin of equal to or greater quality than the Stradivarius.

I've long suspected that we can and that we do. I think that this is more like the way that wine experts will subconsciously boost the ratings of more expensive wines. I think that the Strad's reputation probably wouldn't stand up to a round of blind (er, deaf?) tests.


Luthiers actually have techniques to "antique" the varnish on violins (and violas, cellos, etc.) because a new-looking violin isn't as attractive to buyers as an antiqued one of the same quality. Quite a lot of the market is based on visual perception, rather than the actual sound.
 
2012-08-02 12:56:34 PM  

duffblue: I found one of those for a woman named Agatha, out near Bethesda. She plays on one of the local radio stations down there by the capitol.


Locked in a Vault != left on a train
 
2012-08-02 01:02:03 PM  

abhorrent1: If you're carrying a Stradivarius and forget it somewhere. You should be flogged, have it taken away and given a Violin from the toy isle at wal-mart. How farking stupid can you possibly be?


Pro Violinist here. I did it twice (not Strads, but valuable):

1. Left one at a Chinese restaurant in Charleston SC. I owned it, worth about $20K
2. Left one at a bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Didn't own it, worth about $200K

In both cases, I was hitting on chicks. I was young (20s). I was oh so horny. For #1, I realized about 6 minutes later, walked back and got it. For #2 I realized 1/2 hour later, walked back and it was still there and I got it. #2 was a bit scary I would admit, I would have has some splainin' to do as to why I took a 200K fiddle into a dive bar at 2 am in the Quarter.

/I was unsuccessful picking up the girl in #1. Was successful for #2. Why yes, she turned out to be rather crazy.
 
2012-08-02 01:09:35 PM  
What is it about a Stradivarius that causes its owners to leave them everywhere. Happens at least once a quarter.

/On the next Warehouse 13...
 
2012-08-02 01:11:36 PM  
I simply can't wait for when this happens again... and again... and again...
 
2012-08-02 01:12:33 PM  
This story is so absurd I wouldn't be surprised to find out it was all an insurance scam attempt. First off, who just loans out a Stradivarius? Friend, family, conjoined twin... don't care! Musicians tend to get more possessive of their instruments as they grow in talent; I would assume someone who owns a Strad is pretty darn talented and thus makes sweet, sweet stringed love to it on a nightly basis. Secondly, if you did pry it from his hands long enough to borrow it, wouldn't you know exactly what you were carrying? Handcuffing it to your wrist would not be irrational. You can't just run down to Wal-Mart and buy a suitable replacement -- this is a prized piece of functioning art.

So, good job to the person who turned it in (although I bet they had no idea what they had in their hands), but if I was the insurance agent for this instrument, I'd be cancelling the policy before the next little "oopsie" took place.
 
2012-08-02 01:15:31 PM  
Otto Oberkugen found inconsolable.
 
2012-08-02 01:22:56 PM  

SirEattonHogg: I simply can't wait for when this happens again... and again... and again...


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-08-02 01:27:00 PM  
i.imgur.com

Approves of the good samaritan
 
2012-08-02 01:28:22 PM  
I'm listening to the violin solo from Scheherazade right now, so I'm getting a kick out of this thread.
 
2012-08-02 01:39:13 PM  
So nobody's pointed out that all the real Stradvari's are accounted for and if some random nobody borrowed one from a friend it's either the stolen one or a fake?

There's about 600 real Stradivarius violins in the world, but there's about six million fakes, complete with the Stradivarius makers mark inside. Some of them are pretty nice violins, made of the same materials and in the same process, but they're generally worth a few grand, not a few million.
 
2012-08-02 01:39:47 PM  

spentmiles: When my son started 6th grade here in Atlanta, he wanted to join the orchestra. I didn't like the idea because the orchestra is full of Chinese girls and I didn't want my son's first experience coming at him sideways. Anyway, he begged and pleaded, so finally we went out to the music store in Buckhead. I couldn't believe how much they wanted for these little guitars, much less the bow, which was upwards of $5000 itself. I wanted him to have the best, though, considering I travel a lot, so I bought him one of these Stradivarius fiddles. I've bought vacation homes for less. Anyway, junior loses interest in about three weeks and now the thing just lays there in the toy chest. I'm going to throw it out unless one of you want it.


scratch.mit.edu
 
2012-08-02 01:49:35 PM  
That's OK give the fiddler a dram
 
2012-08-02 02:02:34 PM  

Some 'Splainin' To Do: I've long suspected that we can and that we do. I think that this is more like the way that wine experts will subconsciously boost the ratings of more expensive wines. I think that the Strad's reputation probably wouldn't stand up to a round of blind (er, deaf?) tests.


I'm positive it wouldn't stand up to deaf tests. :-)

More seriously, I did see an article about them actually doing this and it seems like your suspicious is at least rather well-grounded.
 
2012-08-02 02:28:00 PM  

Nightenstaff: This story is so absurd I wouldn't be surprised to find out it was all an insurance scam attempt. First off, who just loans out a Stradivarius? Friend, family, conjoined twin... don't care! Musicians tend to get more possessive of their instruments as they grow in talent; I would assume someone who owns a Strad is pretty darn talented and thus makes sweet, sweet stringed love to it on a nightly basis. Secondly, if you did pry it from his hands long enough to borrow it, wouldn't you know exactly what you were carrying? Handcuffing it to your wrist would not be irrational. You can't just run down to Wal-Mart and buy a suitable replacement -- this is a prized piece of functioning art.

So, good job to the person who turned it in (although I bet they had no idea what they had in their hands), but if I was the insurance agent for this instrument, I'd be cancelling the policy before the next little "oopsie" took place.


If a violinist is playing a Strad, there's a great chance it was loaned to them. Rich people buy them for investments and loan them for the prestige. Strads have names: "The Smith Strad", etc. The rich person renames the instrument, so that the program will say "Joe is playing on "The Smith Strad". There's a society in Chicago, The Stradivari Soiciety, that loans out lots of them to promising youngsters.

There's no excuse here. At the same time, it's easier to do than one thinks: it usually happens when someone puts the instrument in a strange place but in a familiar environment: under a table at a restaurant, for example. It's something you do all the time sans instrument, so you're accustomed to just walking out like always. The same goes with travel. It's not like someone leaves a concert without the instrument. It's always something dumb like a restaurant or a taxi, familiar things people do all the time.
 
2012-08-02 03:25:28 PM  
I lost a son that way.
 
2012-08-02 03:47:22 PM  

joeflood: What is it about a Stradivarius that causes its owners to leave them everywhere. Happens at least once a quarter.


Other instruments get left behind more often. But "violin left behind" is a trope that tickles the mind of the mass culture in several ways. So it gets reported more often.

/Google hits for:

"guitar left on OR in" 420,000
"bass left on OR in" 180,000
"keyboard left on OR in" 39,000
"violin left on OR in" 38,700
"viola left on OR in" 20,300
"saxophone left on OR in" 8,790
"flute left on OR in" 8,500
"trombone left on OR in" 6,180
"cello left on OR in" 4,030
"banjo left on OR in" 3,880
"trumpet left on OR in" 1,890
"tuba left on OR in" 792
"clarinet left on OR in" 461
"drum set left on OR in" 9
"oboe left on OR in" 8
"french horn left on OR in" 4
 
2012-08-02 04:11:49 PM  

Musikslayer: abhorrent1: If you're carrying a Stradivarius and forget it somewhere. You should be flogged, have it taken away and given a Violin from the toy isle at wal-mart. How farking stupid can you possibly be?

Pro Violinist here. I did it twice (not Strads, but valuable):

1. Left one at a Chinese restaurant in Charleston SC. I owned it, worth about $20K
2. Left one at a bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Didn't own it, worth about $200K

In both cases, I was hitting on chicks. I was young (20s). I was oh so horny. For #1, I realized about 6 minutes later, walked back and got it. For #2 I realized 1/2 hour later, walked back and it was still there and I got it. #2 was a bit scary I would admit, I would have has some splainin' to do as to why I took a 200K fiddle into a dive bar at 2 am in the Quarter.

/I was unsuccessful picking up the girl in #1. Was successful for #2. Why yes, she turned out to be rather crazy.


I used to work for a well-known concert artist and had contact with many, many classical musicians.l. I am never surprised when these stories hit the news. I loved all of them, but they are easily distracted. Yo-Yo Ma left his Montagnana in the trunk of a New York City taxi. Gidon Kremer left his Strad on an Amtrak train. He got off in Baltimore. It went on to DC. There are many more stories.

I always feel for the people who are involved in the retrieval. I can tell you from experience, the stress is unbelievable.
 
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