The ‘Kreutzer’ Stradivarius, due to be auctioned by Christie’s in a sealed bidding process on 18 June, has failed to find a buyer. The c1731 instrument – named for Rodolphe Kreutzer, the great French violinist for whom Beethoven composed his Violin Sonata no.9 – formed part of the collection of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark, who died in 2011 at the age of 104 after spending her last 20 years in hospital. Valued at $7.5m (£4.46m), the instrument was discovered in a cupboard in one of her vacant homes. Christie’s and her Estate ‘are now exploring next steps together.’
The Clark Family collection of over 400 items was established by Huguette’s father, William Andrews Clark, one of America’s wealthiest men at the turn of the 20th century. Wednesday’s auction in New York made a total of $8.5m, with its top lot – ‘Girl Fishing’ by painter John Singer Sargent – selling for $4.3m. An earlier auction in May brought in $70.2m, including a 1907 Monet painting of a pond studded with water lilies, which fetched $27m.
Watch a video about the 'Kreutzer' Stradivarius below: