A Stradivarius fetched $2.4 million at auction yesterday  APR 03 2007

A Stradivarius fetched $2.4 million at auction yesterday but anyone with the proper chops got to take a climate-controlled test drive before the auction. The violin's minders at Christie's screened potential players, in part, by looking for "the telltale bruise under the jaw that comes from resting on the chin rest of the violin", which Lilly calls a "violin hickey". There are several theories as to why Antonio Stradivari's instruments sound so wonderful, but no one has cracked the mystery yet.

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