Funny what turns up in the closet of reclusive, deceased heiress: In this case, one of the world's most expensive musical instruments. Christie's has begun accepting sealed bids for a 1731 Stradivarius violin that had been in a closet of Huguette Clark for about 25 years, reports NBC News. The auction house estimates its worth to be $7.5 million to $10 million, which would be below the Stradivarius record of $16 million but still not too shabby for a longtime dust-collector, notes Reuters.
This particular Stradivarius is so pricey in part because it was first owned by renowned concert violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, both stories explain. Clark's parents bought it in 1920, with her mom sending the teenaged Huguette a telegram from Paris to say she had just bought her "the most fabulous violin in the world," says a Christie's musical expert. Analysis of the wood's ring growths confirms that the violin is legit. (Click to read about how Stradivari may not match up to modern violins.)