Lost violin dealer to be sued for $400,000?

5 April 2013, 10:49 | Updated: 30 September 2014, 14:27

Instrument dealer Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt could be sued for $400,000 after a violin in his care was loaned and never returned.

When violin student Kyung-Ah Yang entrusted her 1837 J.F. Pressenda violin to New York instrument dealer Emmanuel Gradoux-Matt in 1998, she was expecting him to sell it for around $285,000.

The lawsuit, filed late last month, states that Yang contacted Gradoux-Matt by email to try and retrieve the violin. However, the dealer was unable to fulfil Yang's request to return the instrument to her - emails from the dealer initially said that he would inform Yang if "anything positive" happened with the violin, which he said was being exhibited on the west coast of America.

The New York Post reports that eventually, in January 2013, the dealer told Yang he had loaned the violin to someone for trialling purposes, but that the individual never returned it.

The violin's value has shot up over the years between Yang initially entrusting the violin to Gradoux-Matt, and is now estimated to be worth around $400,000. Yang is seeking the full value in compensation, as well as punitive damages.