The inaugural sale held by new London-based musical instrument auctioneers Ingles & Hayday generated a £2.26m total from 150 lots.
As expected, the top lot came for the Nicolo Amati (1596-1684)
violin that was knocked down to a private buyer at £360,000.
Bearing its original label, it had been made in Cremona in 1658
and was a rare example of Amati's so-called 'Grand Pattern', which
is a larger instrument than usual, foreshadowing Stradivari's work
in the 1680s, and is the most sought-after type of Amati
Nicolo Amati was the grandson of Andrea Amati, who invented the
violin in Cremona in about 1550, and was traditionally thought to
be the teacher of Stradivari, though recent research suggests that
this was probably not the case.
The violin here was estimated at £200,000-300,000 and had
previously been in the collection of Gerald Segelman, the leading
British collector of the post-War period, who owned at least five
Amatis and various great violins by Stradivari and Guarneri del
Gesù as well.
The price fetched at the current sale exceeded the $540,000
(£332,000) made by another Nicolo Amati violin sold at Tarisio in
October 2009 which held the previous auction record for the violin
The event itself was held at Sotheby's rooms in New Bond
Ingles & Hayday was founded earlier this year by Tim Ingles
and Paul Hayday, previously directors of Sotheby's musical
instrument department, and they will continue to hold bi-annual
sales at Sotheby's, the next scheduled for October 29.
The buyer's premium was 20%.