Created in a partnership between electric bowed instrument-maker Bridge and stylish jewellery designer Theo Fennell, two 24-carat gold-plated violins, encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires, are being played by an electric violin group.
The gold-plated violins, worth over £2m each, are being played by FUSE, an electric violin group, which features Linzi Stoppard (the daughter-in-law of playwright Tom Stoppard) and bandmate Ben Lee.
‘The art and science involved to make each violin has blown us away,’ says Lee. ‘Entirely new and original components had to be designed for the instruments, plus new electronics have had to be engineered to counteract the conductive 24-carat gold. They are exceptional pieces we will treasure.’
To make the violins light enough for playing a special blend of carbon and Kevlar was used to balance the weight of the gold plating.
‘The thrill of playing with these new gold violins is something I can’t describe,’ says Stoppard.
The duo has a history of expensive tastes in musical instruments. FUSE previously worked with Swarovski Crystal to create the world’s first crystal violins, worth $1.5m each.