Labeled Antonius Stradivarius/Cremonensis/Faciebat Anno 1729, length of back 14 1/16 in (357 mm) with case (10)

August Riechers
Miss Price
Robert Bower
J & A Beare
Murray Lambert Winterbotham
Sotheby's, London June 29, 1972, lot 89
Seymour Solomon

The first recorded owner of this 1729 Stradivari was the Berlin dealer and expert, August Riechers, who sold it to 'Miss Price', a student of the violin who was studying in Berlin at the time. From Miss Price the violin passed to the ownership of the venerable English collector Robert Bower. No stranger to fine Cremonese violins, Bower was one of the preeminent connoisseurs of his day and owned no fewer then twenty-four works by Stradivari including La Pucelle of 1709 and The Lady Blunt of 1721. By 1922 the violin had continued its journey, this time through the London dealers of John and Arthur Beare. The buyer was Ernest E. Winterbotham who paid the price of #1600 to acquire it for his wife Dorothy Mary Murray Lambert.

Miss Murray Lambert was among the few British women of the 1920's and 30's who pursued a career as a concert violinist. A student of both Carl Flesch and Leopold Auer, she was a champion of British contemporary composers and a prolific performer of the works of Sir Hamilton Harty. It is said that her performances of Frederick Delius's Violin Sonata No.1 inspired the artist Hugh Riviere R.A. to create his final full length portrait entitled Delius Sonata. By the late 1930's she withdrew from the concert stage to concentrate on teaching which she pursued through the 1950's.
Following her death the violin was offered at auction in 1972 where it was presented as The Property of Miss Murray Lambert and sold for #17,500.

Unique about this sale was the buyer and subsequent owner of Miss Lambert's violin: Seymour Solomon. He was not a member of the trade, but a private collector and talented amateur violinist with a discerning eye and equally good ear. He was also a lover of classical music and one of the major forces to advance its audience in the last half of the 20th century. Born in New York in 1922 Seymour Solomon attended the Julliard School majoring in Musicology and the violin. Like many of his generation his studies were interrupted by World War II. Upon his return in 1946 he continued his studies at New York University, concentrating on the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Frustrated at the lack of recorded works of Bach and other baroque composers he set about changing that situation irrevocably. In 1950, helped by the new technologies of magnetic recording tape and the 12 inch 33 1/3 RPM record, he and his brother Maynard formed the Bach Society. In an improvised recording studio in the basement of Vienna's Konzerthaus, he completed the first of what would become five recordings of the Bach cantatas, using members of the Vienna Philharmonic along with soloists and the chorus of the Vienna State Opera. After the successful release of this first LP the Solomon brothers quickly realized the need to expand their horizons and include other classical works both chamber music as well as symphonic music. This was the birth of the Vanguard Recording Society and would be known to all audiophiles as Vanguard Records. With a catalogue of recorded artists such as Alexander Schneider, Antonio Janigro, Misha Elman and Joseph Szigeti the Vanguard label established itself as one of the premier independent record companies in classical recordings.
H.K. Goodkind, Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari, New York, 1972, p.737.
Post lot text

Lot Essay

Sold with the accompanying documents and certificates:

William E. Hill and Sons, London, February 16, 1922
John and Arthur Beare, London, February 20, 1922, with an accompanying letter and receipt dated February 21, 1922
William E. Hill and Sons, London, January 27, 1943, signed by A. Phillips Hill
William E. Hill and Sons, London, June 10, 1943, with photographs attached
Robert A Bower, Minehead, Somerset, June 15, 1943
William E. Hill and Sons, London, July 13, 1972 signed by Desmond Hill Dendrochronology, John C. Topham, Redhill, January 22, 2003, with an accompanying letter of the same date

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