Instrument

  • ID: 212
  • Type: violin
  • Maker: Antonio Stradivari
  • Year built: 1709
  • City: Cremona
  • Name: La Pucelle, Virgin, Maiden
 
Back: Two-piece

Photos

Click on a thumbnail to view the full-size image.

  • front & back
  • side
  • head
  • f-hole
  • front, back & f-hole
  • scroll & side
  • inside

Iconography Index

"2007 Calendar", The Strad, October, 2006, 2006: Color photos (front & back).

"How Many Strads? - Supplemental Remarks", Ernest N. Doring, Violins & Violinists, April, 1946, 1946: Black-and-white photos (front, back, side, scroll & f-hole).

"Personal Treasures", Joanna Pieters, The Strad, November, 2002, 2002: Color photos (back & f-holes).

Catalogue of the Special Exhibition at South Kensington, England, Carl Engel, London, 1872: Black-and-white photos (front, side & back).

The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Black-and-white photos (front, back, side, scroll & f-hole - initialed by Emil Herrmann).

The 'Secrets' of Stradivari, Simone F. Sacconi, Eric Blot Edizioni, Cremona, 2000: Black-and-white photo (inside of table showing the wear caused by the sound post).

Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, New York, 1972: Black-and-white photos (front, back, side, scroll & f-hole).


Notes

"The striped wood, especially on the back, glows like a polished tiger's-eye gemstone. The intricately carved pegs were added by the famous 19th-century French violin maker Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, who was said to have exclaimed, "It's a virgin!" when he first saw the beautifully preserved instrument. The tailpiece is carved with an image of "La Pucelle" (Joan of Arc, commonly called the Maid of Orleans).

The instrument is practically weightless. How could anything so delicate survive so perfectly for more than three centuries?

"La Pucelle has no cracks, no retouching, no worn-down corners or edges," marvels Fulton.

"It has new fittings, but otherwise it's just like it left Antonio Stradivari's hands. The sound is very pure. That should be preserved.""
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/artsentertainment/134492354_fulton14.html
"This is one of my finest," Fulton says afterward. "It's the finest Strad not in a museum, the finest one in the U.S." Don't ask him where he got it (it had been hidden away "in private hands" for the past 50 years, and Fulton actually is bound by contract not to reveal the identity of the seller for a decade).
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/artsentertainment/134492354_fulton14.html
Instrument #90 at the South Kensington Special Exhibition of 1872.
Catalogue of the Special Exhibition at South Kensington, England, Carl Engel, London, 1872.
"This violin has never previously been heard on a recording."
Homage, James Ehnes, Onyx Classics, 2008.
"Beare remembers telling Fulton, "I have in hand the very best Strad that will ever be available to you, almost certainly the finest Stradivari that's not in a museum and certainly the best-preserved. This is the last chance you'll ever have to get a fiddle this great. Are you interested?"

Fulton agreed, sight unseen.

There was a hitch. Beare said the confidentiality agreement proposed by Bock was so onerous that it would forbid the purchaser from revealing that he owned the violin, much less who he bought it from, or even the seller's gender. He could not play it in the presence of anyone, ever. Fulton responded that the violin either was for sale, or it wasn't. A less restrictive arrangement was negotiated: The buyer agreed to a 10-year-ban on revealing the previous owner. Fulton agreed to this, and won't discuss the seller until the agreement expires in 2011, when he plans to describe it in his biography.
"
http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/business/Who_is_watching_Huguette_s_millions_-101146729.html
"A Stradivarius, signed and dated 1709, was sold at the Hotel Drouot on Thursday. It was put up at 10,000 f. and was adjudicated to the large sum of 22,100 f. A droll incident occurred during the sale, as when the instrument had been bid up to 18,000 f.there was a great press of the curious to get a sight of it, and a table was suddenly upset and three or four persons standing on it were overturned amidst the general confusion of the crowd. "Do not be alarmed, "exclaimed the auctioneer, "the violin is safe.""
"News", Pall Mall Gazette, February 16, 1878.

Provenance

Owner Owned From Owned In Owned Till Price paid
David L. Fulton   2001      For members only 
Huguette M. Clark  1956    2001   
Anna E. Clark (New York)      1956   
J. Frank Otwell (Wilmington, Delaware)  1946      For members only 
Robert A. Bower (Somerset)  1942    1946  For members only 
W.E. Hill & Sons      1942   
Richard C. Baker (Salisbury)  1904      For members only 
W.E. Hill & Sons  1903    1904   
Caressa & Francais (Paris)  1903    1903   
Unknown  1878      For members only 
Glandaz    1870  1878  For members only 
...         
Leroy de Chabral  1851      For members only 
Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (Paris)      1851   
...         
Charles Hermann (Paris)         
...         

Current owner Current owner
Indicates that the owner is or was also a musician Indicates that the owner is or was also a musician

Auctions

Auction Date Note Estimate Hammer Price
Hôtel Drouot, Paris  Feb-14-1878      For members only 

Including buyer's premium
Current record for maker and instrument type
Record at time of sale for maker and instrument type

Certificates

Dendrochronological analysis: John C. Topham, Surrey. Youngest ring is 1693.

Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London

References

Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1902.

Caressa & Francais Notebook (c1900 - 1936), part of the Jacques Francais Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C..

Catalogue of the Special Exhibition at South Kensington, England, Carl Engel, London, 1872.

Homage, James Ehnes, Onyx Classics, 2008.

How Many Strads?, Ernest N. Doring, William Lewis & Son, Chicago, 1945.

Stradivarius-Guarnerius del Gesù: Catalogue descriptif de leurs instruments (Facsimile of Gand's notes from 1870-91), Charles-Eugène Gand, Les Amis de la Musique, Spa, 1994.

The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C..

The 'Secrets' of Stradivari, Simone F. Sacconi, Eric Blot Edizioni, Cremona, 2000.

Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, New York, 1972.

W. E. Hill Business Records (1850 - 1990).

"2007 Calendar", The Strad, October, 2006, 2006.

"A Series of Labels Belonging to the Classical Period of Violin Making", The Violin Times, August, 1898, 1898.

"How Many Strads? - Supplemental Remarks", Ernest N. Doring, Violins & Violinists, April, 1946, 1946.

"How Many Strads?", Ernest N. Doring, Violins & Violinists, April, 1939, 1939.

"News", Pall Mall Gazette, February 16, 1878.

"Personal Treasures", Joanna Pieters, The Strad, November, 2002, 2002.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/artsentertainment/134492354_fulton14.html

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/business/Who_is_watching_Huguette_s_millions_-101146729.html

http://www.stradivariinvest.com/