Stradivarius Violin Found by Good Samaritan, Returned $16 Million Instrument to Owner

A absentminded musician was in luck after a good Samaritan handed in a violin that could be worth nearly $16 million.

Expand | Collapse

Perhaps the friendly traveler who came across the instrument didn't quite know its value, or perhaps he was just that friendly. Either way, what he handed over was not just any violin but rather a Stradivarius, one of the most rare violins still in circulation- it could be worth millions.

The violin was found on Switzerland's Bern train and had been accidentally left by the musician two days prior. To make matters worse, the instrument did not belong to the musician but had been lended to him by a friend. Although transit authority had launched a desperate search to recover the item, it did not turn up until Sunday, when the traveler decided to hand it over.

The instrument was made by Italian craftsman Antonio Stradivari, who crafted them during the late 1600s to and early 1700s. Only 600 of the instruments remain in existence today. During a 2011 sale, one sold for the jaw dropping price of $15.9 million.

Antonio Stradivari himself is still considered one of the greatest artisans in his field. Before passing in his early nineties, had managed to make an estimated 1,000 string instruments. While there have been no official tests conducted on Stradivari instruments to mark their superiority, their reputation precedes them.

A number of users commented on the many good characters in the story, namely the good Samaritan and the very, very good friend- though perhaps not the smartest.

"Absentmindedly....never lend that friend anything ever again!" Riley Pacheco commented on the Huffington Post.

"Must have been one hell of a friend to lend the strad out to begin with," Alec Ribar added.