Most of the world's great treasures are kept in vaults.
Some of them are on display in museums where the public is allowed to look only from behind bulletproof glass, carefully monitored by high-tech security systems that it would take Ocean's 11 to breach.
But for over half a century, my dad, Julius Schulman, brought a centuries-old artifact to work with him every day. To him it wasn't a museum piece but a working tool, as necessary for making his living as a wrench is to a plumber.
It's not that this instrument was precious only because of its antiquity. It's also that it's a miracle of craftsmanship, beautiful, carrying acoustic secrets that haven't been unlocked even by scientists and engineers, and in the right hands -- my father's hands -- able to produce sounds that speak the language of angels.
Now, look. My father was a phenomenal violinist who first performed at Carnegie Hall when he was eight. He could make a student violin sound good. And if you put my dad's precious super-violin into the hands of someone like me, who never learned how to play violin, it would sound like an alley cat fighting it out with a garbage truck.
But every Arthur needs his Excalibur, and every Excalibur can only be pulled from the stone by its Arthur. You take a man who's spent his life perfecting his skills and put into his hands an instrument made by master artisans whose talents matched his own, and what you get is nothing less than magic. The word "synergy" was invented to describe alchemy like this.
In September, 2000, my dad departed on the one trip he couldn't take with his violin. We, his family, placed this instrument for sale with Morel & Gradoux-Matt, the top violin shop in the United States.
I put together this website so you could learn about the violin, see and hear it in performance, and decide whether it was worth your while to make an appointment to see the violin.
One of you did. The violin has now been sold.
But as a tribute to the relationship between an Arthur and his Excalibur, I have decided to leave this website up for you to enjoy.
Thank you for coming!
J. Neil Schulman
November 16, 2005