Violin From 1710 Stolen, Possibly as Side Effect of Theft of Art Dealer’s Tesla

Like nesting dolls, only for stealing things

Detail from 1710 violin
A detail from the stolen violin.

Earlier this month, art dealer Rowland Weinstein parked his Tesla in front of his Los Feliz home. Inside was something Weinstein was transporting to a secure location, as he was concerned about its safety: a 1710 Amati violin, valued at over $700,000. Instead, someone stole the car and the violin inside of it.

The Los Angeles Times covered the art dealer’s plight, and noted that the FBI is currently seeking the missing violin. It also begs a question — which may not be answered until the violin is recovered, if it ever is. Was the thief targeting the violin, with the Tesla serving as a kind of illicit bonus? Or is this a case of a car thief who may have wound up stealing something else worth over half a million dollars?

FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller addressed that possibility. “It’s possible that the person who stole it may not have known the value and discovered it [later] and may try to pawn it or sell it overseas,” Eimiller said. “So it’s critical to get the information to the public so that hopefully somebody who received it, or is offered it, can identify it and return it to its rightful owner.”

Weinstein is offering a reward of $25,000 for information leading to the violin’s safe return. You might not be able to buy a musical instrument from the 18th century with that kind of money, but you could probably get something pretty fancy nonetheless.

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