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London violin dealers Bridgewood & Neitzert this week shed light on the main reasons why fine violins are bought and work as investments in the current economic climate.

Publicity and popular knowledge of valuable violins focuses on the ‘Old Italian’ violins such as Stradivari and Guarneri (del Gesù). An extreme example is Stradivari's 1721 Lady Blunt violin selling for nearly $16M in 2011.

The ‘New’ and ‘Modern’ Italian violins of the late 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries plus great instruments from other makers, countries and periods are however also proving to work well as realistic investments for those with more compact budgets. Experienced violin dealers Bridgewood & Neitzert explain a little about how this market works.

Fine violins for investment purposes generally tend to demonstrate stable returns which although lower than standard investments such as bonds and stocks, are not subject to fads and fashions, and they can weather economic fluctuations and downturns. Investing in a violin is like investing in art because there are also other non-monetary dividends to be gained too” says Gary Bridgewood of Bridgewood & Neitzert.

Explaining how the upper end of the Violin investment world works Gary says “where the fine violin is typically out of the price range of the violinist the owner of the instrument who could be one owner, an organisation or a foundation for example will loan the instrument to a talented musician to play with the musician paying only the insurance and maintenance costs”.

“In violins bought as investments the condition of the instrument is important. Different instruments of course have different sounds and strengths and even if a violin is made by a renowned maker, it may not have been made during that maker’s best period. A good provenance can also help with the value of an instrument” says Gary.

Gary also talked about the possible reasons for the rising values of the ‘New’ Italian violins.

“Late 18th and 19th century violins are also performing very well as investments. Now that we’re in the 21st century they have become sought after examples of the skilled violin makers from the classical and romantic periods” says Gary.

Gary pointed out that fine stringed instruments don’t have to come from Italy and there are some very fine examples from makers around the world that are sought after by musicians and investors alike.

Gary also has some advice for anybody thinking about investing in a fine violin, fine stringed instrument of any other kind or fine violin, viola or cello bow.

“The stable returns, diversification of portfolios and the other unique opportunities that buying fine violins as investments offers are very attractive in today’s economically unstable environment but getting expert advice on the instrument you want to buy is essential. Whatever your personal level of knowledge and experience of fine instruments is, going to a reputable and skilled dealer can help you to make sure you make the right investment decision. We are very experienced fine stringed instrument dealers, repairers and restorers. We are also classically trained musicians so we are well placed to advise you and supply you with the right instrument to invest in” says Gary Bridgewood.

For more information about buying fine stringed instruments as investments please call Gary Bridgewood on 020 7249 9398, contact Bridgewood & Neitzert online, or visit the website at

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