The violin has been part of a collection at the New Westminster Museum and Archives since the 1980s. Curator and manager Colin Stevens recently discovered that the instrument had the Latin inscription Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis Faciebat Anno 1727 inside, leading him to think it may be a genuine article, according to CBC.
But that turned out not to be the case. Richmond, British Columbia-based violin-maker and Stradivari expert Michael Altshuler confirmed that the violin was one of thousands of fakes made after Antonio Stradivari died in 1737.
After the death of the legendary Cremona violin maker, it became common for manufacturers to replicate Stradivari's label and paste it into their own instruments. There are "tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of instruments bearing this label," Altshuler told CBC, "so the chances of finding — in this ocean of fake instruments — to find the real ones are close to zero."