A violin crafted in 1736 by revered Italian luthier Giuseppe Guarneri could fetch as much as 10 million euros ($10.6 million) when it is auctioned next month.
The value of this masterpiece of Cremonese lutherie has been estimated by the auction house that will oversee the sale. "There are many violins, but this one is like selling a Rembrandt, a Goya, or even a Leonardo da Vinci painting," said Sophie Perrine of the Aguttes auction house near Paris.
It is currently owned by virtuoso Regis Pasquier and its sound has graced concert halls around the world. The violin is one of about 150 instruments made by Guarneri, whose reputation is comparable with that of his contemporary Cremonese luthiers, including Stradivari and Amati.
The violin will go up for auction on June 3 following a three-day viewing. Its base price estimate is 4 to 4.5 million euros, but Perrine said it could sell for up to 10 million.
"It's both something very old but yet very current and alive," she said. "And this little thing will continue allowing people to hear its exceptional sound for years to come".