Vuillaume, the great Parisian luthier and dealer, realizing that Tarisio had a large stock of valuable Italian violins, travelled to a small farm near Fontaneto, where Tarisio’s relatives lived. There he found and purchased over 140 instruments, including the six finest violins of the collection, and including the celebrated ‘Messiah‘ which had never been used. Even though it was already nearly 150 years old, it looked as new as if it had just come from Stradivari’s hands.
The Messiah is now
in the Ashmolean Museum
in Oxford, England
for preservation for future violin makers to learn from.
As a condition in the will of the former owner,
can never allow the violin to be played.
. . .
is probably the most famous Stradivarius,
celebrated for its almost impeccable condition.
Its varnish is as flawless
as when Stradivari applied the last drops in 1716.
SUCH PERFECTION, HOWEVER, COMES AT A PRICE
The Messiah has not been used.
If someone tuned it now it would not sound very good.
For reasons that are still not fully understood, violins have to be “played in” over several months or even years to develop their full tone.
The “Messiah” is priceless
but as a musical instrument it is almost useless.
(Why was it called the Messiah? In 1827 Tarisio had made his greatest coup, acquiring a number of violins from Count Cozio of Salabue, including a 1716 Stradivari in unused condition. This violin was Tarisio’s treasure. He spoke of it on every visit to Paris but never actually brought it with him, so it came to be known as the ‘Messiah’)
PRICELESS & USELESS
As a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God
I am priceless.
I was bought with a price – and what a price!
I was not redeemed with silver and gold,
But by the precious blood of Christ.
To enable me to live a victorious, Christ-centred and Christ-honouring life,
all the resources of heaven are placed at my disposal.
I have the Holy Spirit to guide me in all ways.
I have the full armour of protection.
Every promise of God is mine, fully guaranteed.
I have been given gifts and talents to use in His service.
If I leave the gifts of God tucked away, treasured but unused,
I am useless.
What a tragedy!
Let me burn out for Thee, dear Lord,
Burn and wear out for Thee.
Don’t let me rust, or my life be a failure,
Dear Lord, to Thee.
Take me and all I have, dear Lord,
And get me so close to Thee
That I feel the throb, of the deep heart of God,
Until I burn out for Thee.