The violin, made by Antonio Stradivari in 1699, was auctioned by Christie's in New York City.
The bid, by an American collector who wished to remain anonymous, surpassed the $1,776,940 paid for another Stradivarius in 1990. The seller also wished to remain anonymous.
At one time, the instrument was owned by Philippe Lafont, a violin virtuoso of the early 19th century and a rival of Nicolo Paganini. It was purchased after his death in 1839 by W. E. Hill and Sons, a London violin dealer. In 1900, Hill sold it to Charles Tennant, a Scottish businessman, who gave it to his wife, an amateur violinist. It has since been called "The Lady Tennant."