Object of Desire: A $2 Million Violin

After three-plus centuries, this handcrafted Nicolò Amati violin still sings.

expensive violin

Photograph by Toan Trinh

Some people collect shoes, others stamps or comic books. Then there are those who collect multimillion-dollar musical instruments. This maple-and-spruce beauty, handcrafted by Italian luthier Nicolò Amati in 1669, came from such a collector and now resides in the Back Bay with internationally known dealer Christopher Reuning, of Reuning & Son Violins. Incredibly, after three-plus centuries, the instrument needed minimal updates to make it sing again. “That’s the interesting thing about violins,” Reuning says. “They retain value as an investment and could be displayed in a museum, but ultimately they’re designed to be played.” Can you say that about your shoes?

Nicolò Amati “Ex-Colin” maple-and-spruce violin, $2 million, Reuning & Son Violins.