1727 violin (1st violin), 1680 violin (2nd violin), 1731 viola, 1736 cello
This internationally renowned quartet is one of Stradivari's six sets of quartet known to exist today. It was once owned and played by the Italian virtuoso violinist and composer, Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840), hence the name "Paganini Quartet". It is a known fact that Paganini was especially impressed with the sound quality of the viola that he commissioned a French composer Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) to write a piece for viola and orchestra. As a result, the symphony Harold in Italy was composed for this viola. Nippon Music Foundation acquired this set of quartet from the Corcoran Gallery of Arts in Washington D. C. in 1994. The Foundation only loans these four instruments as a set of quartet and they are currently on loan to the Tokyo String Quartet.