A treasure from the collection of the Barons Albert and Nathaniel Rothschild..

 

This extraordinary instrument belonged to the collection of the barons Nathaniel and Albert von Rothschild. The collection was put into safekeeping by the Austrian government in 1938 and was eventually restituted to the family and sold at auction in 1999. This was one of the few objects withdrawn from sale, but it surfaced on the market almost adecade later. Daniel Achatius Stadlmann (b.1680, d.1744) was one of the leading instrument makers in Vienna, and an important early maker in the development of instruments with sympathetic strings. In addition to belonging to the first generation to make viola d’amore, he was also an important maker of the baryton and the instrument belonging to Haydn was made by him. It is unlikely that this mute instrument was anything more than a showpiece, without serious intention as a musical or practice instrument, but it is significant in the golden period of the viola d’amore. The instrument was bought with our guidance by a major international institution.