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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.
Behold The Messiah. Seldom played, this violin lived in Stradivari's shop until he died in 1737 - which is probably why it's in mint condition. It takes its name from a remark made by violinist Jean-Delphin Alard, discussing the merits of the unknown instrument with his father-in-law: "Then your violin is like the Messiah: one always expects him but he never appears".
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