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What makes Stradivarius violins so special? Made by Antonio Stradivari and his family, these instruments are among the most valuable violins in the world, highly regarded by performers and audiences. Take a look at pictures from the Stradivarius exhibition at Oxford's Ashmolean museum, uncovering the beauty of these musical works of art.
In the early 1690s, Stradivari tweaked his violin-making style once more, making the instruments slightly longer, and switched to using a darker, richer varnish, like the varnish used here on this Boissier-Sarasate violin. Named after its owner, this violin is one of two Stradivarius instruments which previously belonged to Spanish musician Pablo de Sarasate. Now it's housed in the Real Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Madrid.
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