The Remarkable Reappearance of a Stolen Stradivarius that was lost for 35 Years

A rare Stradivarius violin was stolen in Massachusetts in 1980 after a concert. The violin was made by a renowned Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari in 1734. Later the instrument was known as Ames Stradivarius which was purchased and owned by a famous Polish violinist Roman Totenberg in 1943.

After 35 years of disappearance, the instrument finally resurfaced when the former wife of the thief received the violin as a gift from her former husband. Eager to find out the value of the gift, she went to Philip Injeian, a violin maker and an appraiser who immediately recognized the violin.

According to Injeian, it was like knowing a member in the family when he had the first glance on the instrument. It was easy to recognize he said and immediately it was a “Eureka!” moment for him.

The sad part is that Roman Totenberg already died three years before the instrument came out. He was not able to see, hear and play the instrument again.

There were about 500 instruments created by Antonio Stradivari. All of them are stringed instruments such as violins, cellos, and violas that were in existence up to today. For the record, one Stradivari was sold for $15.9 million last 2011 in an auction.