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20th January 2022

Brompton’s helps secure fair restitution for heirs of Nazi-stolen violin

When the 300-year-old Guarneri violin was traced back to the Hildesheimer family, a lengthy and public dispute ensued centred around Germany’s commitment to returning ‘Nazi looted property’. The foundation in possession of the violin had offered inadequate financial restitution. So, we at Brompton’s worked with David’s family to facilitate a fair and accurate valuation, eventually helping to secure just compensation for the “Hildesheimer Guarneri”.

David Sand said: “My family owned a music store in pre-war Nazi Germany. The store was confiscated, and the family was scattered. A Guarneri violin that was looted by the Nazis was traced to my family in 2011, and we were involved in a decade-long process of trying to get restitution and accurate appraisals.”

“The violin (which became known as the Hildesheimer Guarneri) was the subject of many news articles and developed into a story of international importance in the field of art restitution. Through a mutual acquaintance I was put in touch with Brompton’s and CEO Peter Horner. Over a period of several years Peter provided his services as an advisor and was instrumental in making sure that we got accurate information on the value of the violin.”

“When we needed to get the violin out of Germany to have it appraised in England during Covid travel restrictions, Peter used the full capacity of Brompton’s, unrecompensed, to assist us in shepherding the instrument through the complex customs process, and even providing a personal courier to fly it in and out of Germany.”

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of the people at Brompton’s we were able to find out the true value of the violin and receive a just and fair resolution in this difficult case. I will always be grateful for Brompton’s dedication and generosity in standing up for integrity and justice in the arena of musical instrument sales, appraisal and provenance.”