Stradivarius stolen in London sells for £1.38m
- 18 December 2013
- From the section London
A Stradivarius violin stolen from a central London sandwich shop has sold for £1.38m at auction.
The 300-year-old violin was taken from renowned violinist Min-Jin Kym in a branch of Pret A Manger near Euston station in November 2010.
Thieves tried to sell it for £100 before it was recovered from a property in the Midlands in July. It had only sustained minor damage, police said.
A man and two teenagers were convicted over the theft in April 2011.
The violin was sold by an unnamed seller to "a British music festival led by an English violinist", online auction house Tarisio said.
Jason Price, director of Tarisio, explained the appeal of Stradivarius violins.
He said: "It sounds great. It's what everyone has wanted for the past 300 years and frankly it's a supply and demand issue.
"There are fewer and fewer of them every day. They are not making more of them."
Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644 and made more than 1,000 violins, violas and violoncellos, commissioned by royalty throughout Europe.
Kym, 35, an internationally-acclaimed violinist, previously said it was "devastating" to lose the violin, which she had played since her teens.
She said: "It was a huge part of my identity for many years.
"Every moment of the day - even when I was sleeping - the loss of the instrument, the feeling of responsibility, was there."
The violin, along with a £62,000 Peccatte bow and a bow made by the School of Bazin, valued at over £5,000, was not recovered until July.
It was then returned to Lark Insurance Broking Group which paid out after the theft.
The world record at public auction was set in 2011 with the sale of the Stradivarius that was owned by Lord Byron's granddaughter for 30 years.
It fetched £9.8m.