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An 18th-century violin by master craftsman Antonio Stradivari has been sold to an anonymous buyer for $961,000 (U.S.) by Christie's auction house.

Christie's said the violin was made near the end of Stradivari's life, when the master craftsman was over 80. He died in 1737.

Born in 1644, Stradivari made violins, harps, guitars, violas and cellos in his Cremona, Italy, workshop. About 650 of the instruments survive, according to the Smithsonian Institution.

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Christie's said the instrument sold by a private collector had remained mostly untouched and unplayed since 1800. AP

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