Saturday, August 17, 2013

Huguette Clark, a few hundred million dollars, a Cezanne painting and several Stradivaris. Eccentric?

By Andy Fein, violin maker at Fein Violins

Huguette Clark passed away in 2011 at the age of 104. She spent the last twenty years of her life living in a hospital room at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City. Not that she needed the hospital room. Or the hospital. Or much attention from doctors and nurses. But she had the money to pay for the twenty year visit and that's where she felt most comfortable. Eccentric? Maybe. Wasteful? Maybe. (She could have spent those years quite comfortably in her 42 room Fifth Ave. apartment, or her estates in California or Connecticut).

The Paganini Quartet of Stradivarius instruments
But it was her money, so who cares? Her distant family. They received a big, fat portion of Bubkis in her will.

Why would I care about this heiress or the legal fight over her estate? Violins, of course. Stradivaris. Several of them. And it's a great story.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The String Instrument FAQ

Written by Andy Fein, luthier at Fein Violins
 and Ben Schuneman

We get tons of questions every day, from friends and customers, about violins. Some are humorous to those of us who are around these instruments every day and know the terminology, but all are asked in complete and earnest sincerity. This will be a running blog that will get refreshed every so often. Enjoy!

"I have a Stradivarius that I found in my attic! It must be one of those lost treasures you hear about all the time! Is it worth millions?"