Music: The Impostor Strads

When Antonio Stradivari died in Cremona, Italy in 1737, he left behind him an estimated 1,100 masterfully constructed stringed instruments, of which perhaps 600 that have any claim to his name exist today. Every violin virtuoso, concertmaster and well-heeled amateur in the world has wanted to own an instrument by the famed Cremona fiddlemaker. The supply, while never plentiful, has surprisingly never been exhausted, and last week the proceedings of a Swiss court pointed to the reason why: buyers of supposed Strads and other instruments with great Cremona labels have been the victims...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!