The Baltic violin, made by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù in 1731, was sold for $9.44 million at Tarisio New York in March. Photo courtesy of Tarisio.

“An exceptionally rare Guarneri violin—so fabled that it has its own name, the Baltic—sold for $9.44 million (premium included) at auction on March 16, just shy of its $10 million estimate,” writes Lee Carter in last Monday’s (3/20) Artnet News.  “The final sale price smashed the $3.6 million auction record for a Guarneri instrument (set in June 2022) to become the third-highest price paid for any musical instrument. The Baltic was the star lot of the online auction of more than 100 rare and important stringed instruments and bows at auction house Tarisio in New York. A leader in rare violin sales, Tarisio pulled in a total of over $11.1 million in the sale, while 18 new auction records were set for assorted music-making treasures…. The Baltic was handcrafted around 1731 by master luthier Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù—known as del Gesù—in the small town of Cremona, Italy…. Before the sale, the Baltic spent 50 years in the collection of the late Sau-Wing Lam … Before Sau-Wing Lam, the Baltic belonged to the classical musician Dorotha Powers … Previously it was owned by a Baltic family, who were the first to refer to it as the Baltic.”