A Stradivarius or Strad is one of the violins, cellos, and other stringed instruments built by members of the Stradivari (Stradivarius) family, particularlyAntonio Stradivari, during the 17th and 18th centuries. Of the 700 Stradivari instruments that survive, a Stradivari violin known as ‘Lady Blunt’ was auctioned for charity last year and fetched £9.8m. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford will hold the first major UK exhibition on the life and work of violin maker Antonio Stradivari, the exhibition will showcase 20 from Stradivarius’s ‘Golden Period’ (1700–1720), some of which have never been displayed in public, there include ‘The Messiah’ violin (see above), the Viotti violin of 1709 and the ‘Batta-Piatigorsky’ cello of 1714. One gallery will be dedicated to a recreation of Stradivarius’s workshop with his original tools, wooden models and patterns on loan from the Museo Stradivariano in Cremona. Violinist James Ehnes will launch the exhbition with a gala concert on a number of Stradivarius instruments. ‘Performing on a Stradivarius is a dream come true for a string player,’ someone said.