Americans now say they approve of free trade by 64%-27%, a margin of better than two to one. That's up from 57%-37% early in Trump's presidency, and 51%-41% near the end of...Politicsread more
Trump said Cook made a "good case" that it would be difficult for Apple to pay tariffs, when Samsung does not face the same hurdle because much of its manufacturing is in...Technologyread more
Kudlow pointed to strong retail sales and low unemployment as signs that the U.S. economy remained strong.Marketsread more
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note briefly fell below the 2-year rate on Wednesday, a phenomenon in the bond market known as yield curve inversion, which is...Marketsread more
"I don't want to do business at all because it is a national security threat," Trump told reporters.Technologyread more
Despite aggressive strides, Waymo needs one thing before their self-driving cars become a seriously useful transportation system: people. We talked to the ones closest to it.Technologyread more
The MacBook Pro recall and its subsequent ban from flights underscores the increasing brand risk from problems with lithium-ion batteries.Technologyread more
Experts say the timing of Amazon executives' contributions to Rep. David Cicilline likely reflect the company's heightened urgency over growing regulatory scrutiny.Technologyread more
CNBC combed through Wall Street research to see which stocks are still a buy after their earnings reports.Marketsread more
Coinbase security chief Philip Martin explains, "Possession of a key is possession of your currency. What that means is that you can't revoke a cryptocurrency key, if that key...Technologyread more
Fraud investigator Harry Markopolos' accusations extended beyond GE's management to actuaries, auditors and analysts who he claims overlooked billions in liabilities.Marketsread more
How much is that viola in the display case?
Not $45 million—that was the asking price by Sotheby's, but it didn't sell, the auction house said Thursday.
"Sadly not," said Dan Abernethy, a Sotheby's spokesman. "There was interest, but there were no bids at or near 45."
Violas, which are larger and have a lower pitch than violins, have been the butt of musician jokes for generations. Among them:
What do a viola and a lawsuit have in common?
Everyone is happy when the case is closed.
Did you hear about the violist who played in tune?
Neither did I.
But this one is no joke. Not only is it a Stradivarius, it's extremely rare.
The $45 million price for "The Macdonald" Strad would have been a record for any musical instrument sold privately or at auction, according to Sotheby's. The top price was $15.9 million for a musical instrument—the 2011 sale of the 1721 "Lady Blunt" Stradivarius violin. The "Lady Blunt" was sold by the Nippon Music Foundation, which used the proceeds to aid victims of Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
"The Macdonald" was crafted by Antonio Stradivari in 1719, during the master's "golden period," and is one of only two Strad violas still in private hands. It was named for the 3rd Baron Macdonald, Godfrey Bosville, who acquired it in the 1820s.
It was being sold by the estate of Peter Schidlof, co-founder of the Amadeus Quartet who acquired it in 1964 and died in 1987.
"The finest of all the violas is generally agreed to be 'The Macdonald' of 1719," Tim Ingles, director of the London-based fine instruments auction house Ingles & Hayday, said in a video on Sotheby's website.
About 600 instruments made by the Cremonese master survive, but only 10 are violas, said Ingles, whose company conducted the sale with Sotheby's.
"To any passionate musician there is something mystical about it, as if it were the holy grail of string instruments," said violist David Aaron Carpenter, whose video demonstration of the instrument is on Sotheby's website. "Modern violas have tried to imitate it but never equaled it. If I had to compare it to another field of creation, I'd say it's like asking an art lover to choose between the 'Mona Lisa' and a perfect reproduction of the 'Mona Lisa.' Unimaginable!" he wrote on the website.
It's the second time in less than a month that a high-priced Strad failed to sell. Christie's had offered a Strad violin owned by the late reclusive heiress Huguette Clark. The presale estimate was up to $10 million, but the auction house failed to find a buyer.
Abernethy wouldn't say whether the viola would be offered at a reduced price.
Now that "The Macdonald" didn't sell, maybe the failure will give birth to a new viola joke. Did someone just say: "Not So Big Mac?"
—By CNBC's Marty Steinberg