A Slipped Disc reader in Los Angeles, absorbed by the controversy over the violin supposedly retrieved from the Titanic, recalls a local incident when the Strad belonging to the concertmaster of the LA Philharmonic was swept out to sea. Here’s what happened:
“On Jan. 16, 1953, it rained in Los Angeles. Sascha Jacobsen, concertmaster of the Los
Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, was driving along the Pacific coast
when his car stalled in a swelling rush of flood water. Jacobsen
frantically grabbed his violin case and climbed from the car to seek
higher ground. The current claimed the case, containing a 1732 Strad
known as the Red Diamond for its unusual brilliant varnish. Washed to
the ocean and found partially buried in sand, it was soaked and
lifeless when it was taken to Hans.
For two weeks he slept at the shop and worked furiously to rescue the
Red Diamond. He built a tank for removing salt and grit from the wood,
surgically dissecting the instrument, bringing it back to life piece
by piece, developing techniques as needed along the way. In nine
months, the Strad sparkled again, its revered voice returned and Hans
Weisshaar became known as the man who saved the Red Diamond.”
Here’s a further account of the case from a violin trade website.