Stradivari Violin, the "Greffuhle"

Description (Brief)
This violin was handcrafted by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy around 1700. This instrument represents an artistic standard of perfection recognized by classical musicians in the United States and around the world. Of the 620 Stradivari instruments that survive, this is one of only eleven that are decorated. The inlay along the sides—an ornate motif of flowers, vines, and animals—is suggestive of eternal life and the promise of paradise. The brilliant tone of the Greffuhle (named for a French nobleman who once owned it) can still be heard today. The violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce with even medium fine grain broadening toward the sides, one-piece back of maple with narrow, nearly horizontal figure, ribs of similar maple, modern maple neck terminating in the original pegbox and scroll of similar maple, and a golden red-brown varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Stradivari, Antonio
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
overall: 23 7/8 in x 8 1/8 in x 4 in; 60.6425 cm x 20.6375 cm x 10.16 cm
Place Made
Italia: Lombardia, Cremona
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Music & Musical Instruments
National Treasures exhibit
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
National Treasures exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Evelyn and Herbert R. Axelrod
Related Publication
Shinichi Yokoyama. The Decorated Instruments of Antonio Stradivari
Schubert, Franz. Franz Schubert: Quintet in C Major D. 956, Rondo in A Major D. 438
Auguste Franchomme & Frédéric Chopin. Franchomme & Chopin: Grand Duo Concertant; Caprices Op. 7, Nos. 2, 4, & 7; Two Nocturnes; Grande Valse, Op. 34.
Felix Mendelssohn and Neils Gade. Mendelssohn & Gade: String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20; String Octet in F Major, Op. 17.
Georges Onslow. Georges Onslow: String Quintets Opp. 38, 39 & 40.
Luigi Boccherini. Boccherini: String Quintets, op.11, Nos. 4-6
Friedrich Dotzauer. Dotzauer: Quintet in D Minor, Op. 134; Six Pieces for 3 Violoncelli, Op. 104; Three Etudes for Violoncello Solo; Quartet for Violoncello Obbligato, 2 Violins, and Viola, Op. 64
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Complete String Quartets
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.