A rare Stradivarius violin that was discovered in the cupboard of a wealthy New York heiress has gone up for auction, and is expected to sell for £6 million.

The instrument, known as “The Kreutzer” after its former owner, French violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, was found in the Manhattan apartment of Huguette Clark, a reclusive heiress and philanthropist, who was the youngest daughter of United States Senator and industrialist William A. Clark. When she died in 2011 at the age of 104, she had an estimated wealth of $300 million (£188 million).

Only around 600 violins made by Antonio Stradivari, who is considered that greatest violin-maker of all time, still remain, with this Clark’s instrument made in 1731.

A Stradivarius violin sold in 2011 to raise money for the Nippon Foundation’s Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund fetched $16 million (£9.5 million).

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