The Strad Calendar 2020: The Chimei Collection
The Chimei Museum in Taiwan contains possibly the largest collection of bowed stringed instruments in the world. Instrument and bow makers from across the globe have travelled to the Museum to examine its treasures: more than 1000 violin makers are represented, along with over 300 bow makers.
The Calendar includes the 1707 'Dushkin' Stradivari, which represents the starting point of the whole collection: it was the $1m purchase of this violin in 1990, by the billionaire Wen-Long Shi, that kick-started the enterprise. Thirty years later, the collection comprises some 1370 violins, with 220 of them out on loan at any one time.
The list below contains nine violins, three cellos and one viola. The four Stradivaris include two from his so-called 'golden period' (1707 and 1709). We also have four members of the illustrious Amati family, including Andrea Amati, 'the father of the violin'; and Nicolò Amati, thought to be the tutor of Stradivari. Also one Carlo Bergonzi, who trained under Stradivari and eventually inherited his workshop. Instruments (in date order):
- Amati, Andrea 1566 cello 'ex Carlo IX' (the world's oldest playable cello)
- Amati, Girolamo 1595 viola 'King Henry IV'
- Amati, Nicolò 1656 violin
- Stradivari, Antonio 1667 violin 'Dubois'
- Girolamo Amati II, c.1685 violin
- Guarneri, Giuseppe 'filius Andreae' 1706 violin 'ex Paganini'
- Stradivari, Antonio 1707 violin 'Dushkin'
- Stradivari, Antonio 1709 violin 'Viotti, Marie Hall'
- Stradivari, Antonio 1730 cello 'Pawle'
- Guarneri, Giuseppe 'del Gesù' 1733 violin 'Lafont, Siskovsky'
- Bergonzi, Carlo 1735-45 cello
- Guarneri, Giuseppe 'del Gesù' 1744 violin 'Ole Bull'
H: 44cm / B: 30 cm