There is no musical instrument quite as noble as the violin. This popular and prestigious instrument has a long history in European music, which has translated into its continued importance for close to five centuries. The violin’s history is storied, and the legendary makers who made them are names that live on in pop culture. Particularly fine examples are held by great museums the world over, as well as being played by famed players.


The violin was invented in Northern Italy in the midst of the Renaissance, in the 16th century. Developed from a range of bowed instruments, the violin quickly became the instrument of choice for many musical artists and composers. While the production of violins was made in multiple places, Northern Italy remained the center of violin production. Many famous luthiers (violin makers) lived and worked in this region, especially in the cities of Brescia and Cremona.

The Francesca Violin by Antonio Stradivari
Antonio Stradivari, The Francesca Violin. Italian, 1694. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

Any history of the violin is incomplete without mention of Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 1737). Stradivari lived and worked in Cremona, where he produced violins and other stringed instruments that he marked “Stradivarius”. Stradivarius violins are easily the most sought after instruments on Earth. Stradivari’s technical know-how and superior craftsmanship, as well as sheer luck, made his instruments sound better than those of his contemporaries. In fact, his violins are still sought by virtuoso players, who wish to play only the finest violins. The sound of a “Strad” is unmistakable, with a warmth and power that makes them something unrepeatable. Understandably, Stradivarius violins sell for millions.

Violins at Nest Egg Auctions

Nest Egg Auctions has been selling musical instruments for over two decades, and those who work here have decades of experience with stringed instruments especially. We have sold violins from many time periods, from the 18th to the 20th century. We have sold a number of high value violins produced by noted luthiers.

By far, the most intriguing violin Nest Egg has sold was a Joseph Gagliano violin. This violin was made by Giuseppe (Joseph) Gagliano in Naples in the late 18th century. The richness of the wood grain makes clear immediately that this is no ordinary instrument. This is the work of a master. Playing this violin transports the player back to royal courts and the age of Antonio Vivaldi and Johan Sebastian Bach. It is a real, tangible connection to this long gone era. This beautiful violin sold for nearly $4,000.

18th century violin by Joseph Gagliano
Giuseppe (Joseph) Gagliano. Violin. Italian, late 18th century.
19th century violin by Claude Chevrier
Claude Chevrier. Violin. French, Mid 19th century.

Another violin sold by Nest Egg for an impressive price was an instrument by Claude Chevrier of Mirecourt, France, in the mid 19th century. This instrument had a darker finish paired with  classical lines and beauty. Like the Gagliano violin, this was a playable piece of history. This wonderful violin sold for nearly $1,500.

Selling Violins at Nest Egg Auctions

With our extensive experience with fine violins and other stringed instruments of note, Nest Egg Auctions is the perfect place to sell your antique or vintage violin. If you are unsure of what you have, please reach out to us; we would be happy to help you identify it. If you know what you have, reach out to us if you would like to consign it in one of our upcoming auctions.