“The 1714 ‘da Vinci, ex-Seidel’ Strad, anticipated to fetch ‘up to $20 million’ at auction by Tarisio, finally sold last week for 12.29 million euros, about $15.34 million, the second highest amount ever fetched for a Stradivari violin at auction,” reports Anthony Brown in Thursday’s (6/16) Musical America (subscription required). “The first was the Lady Blunt Stradivari, also offered via Tarisio, which went for $15.9 million in 2011. The ‘da Vinci, ex-Seidel’ was crafted during Antonio Stradivari’s Golden Period, only the second one to come up for auction in 15 years. It is reportedly in perfect, ‘concert-ready’ condition. The instrument takes its name from Russian-American violinist Toscha Seidel, its owner for nearly 40 years, a protégé of Leopold Auer. In 1924, Seidel paid $25,000 for it, performing and recording with major international orchestras, not to mention on the soundtracks for The Wizard of Oz, Intermezzo, and Melody for Three, among others. He died in 1962 at which time it was purchased by Canadian violinist Muriel Rubin, who in turn auctioned it off to a Japanese collector.”