The correct answer is D) Macdonald Stradivarius Viola. This instrument carries a staggering price tag of $45 million, making it the most expensive musical instrument ever valued.
In 1701, a viola emerged from the hands of Antonio Stradivari, a master luthier whose name has become synonymous with unparalleled craftsmanship in musical instruments.
This particular viola, later known as the Macdonald Stradivarius, was commissioned by a nobleman and would centuries later stir the internet into a frenzy.
Stradivari, who lived from 1644 to 1737, crafted approximately 1,100 instruments, including violins, violas, cellos, and even guitars, with only about 650 known to exist today.
Among these, his violas are exceedingly rare, with only eleven true examples surviving, the Macdonald Stradivarius being one of them.
This rarity, combined with the instrument’s historical significance and the prestige of Stradivari’s work, contributed to its astonishing valuation.
The Macdonald’s fame is further magnified by its remarkable preservation and its association with Peter Schidlof of the Amadeus Quartet, who used it extensively until his death in 1987.
After Schidlof’s passing, the viola was placed in a vault by his heirs, ensuring its preservation but also sparking debate over its role as either a piece of history or a musical instrument meant to be played.