The Case of the Ownership of the Violin Essay

This is a case on the ownership of a rare Guadagnini Violin made in the year 1768 that is being contested between a mother and her daughter. The daughter, Ann Rylands, studied in the reputed Juiliard School of Music and during her second year she borrowed it from the then owner who lived in Philadelphia and used the violin for a period of a month before returning it. She beseeched her father to purchase it for her which he aptly did by borrowing from his pension fund after which she made the commute to pick it up.


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For the greater part of her professional career which spanned a period of twenty years, she enjoyed full possession of the violin. However, she succumbed to a stint of alcoholism and while undergoing rehabilitation she left it with her mother foreseeing the need for its safe keeping. About the same time her father died and upon her release and requiring the return of the violin, her mother refused.

The violin had been in use for the past two decades by Ann in her professional career and had been exclusively purchased at her request for the sole purpose of aiding her in her musical career. At no point did her father express interest in the ownership of the violin and property in the violin had passed appropriately to Ann.

It was also not his intention to purchase it for her with limitations on the usage let alone its ownership. The rare Guagnini Violin was purchased for her by her father with no encumbrances whatsoever either from the previous owner or from her father. There had been no complications with the purchase and for the exchange of its value in monetary form the owner appropriately sold the violin to Ann.

It would seem that the only issue about the case that creates a twist to this case is the fact that Ann’s father borrowed from his pension fund to purchase the violin. This raises the question of whether the violin is still under the property of the estate of her father or belongs to her.

Then in that case if it falls under her father’s estate as compared to the property in the violin not falling under her does this exclude her from rightfully enjoying the use of the violin or what are the procedures of her acquiring it. Finally, the judge of this matter is to decide whether the mother has a right to the violin and consequently the ability to deny Ann the access to it.

It would seem that Ann’s father intended for the violin to be for her own usage and not to acquire the violin for his enjoyment or otherwise. The mere fact that he used his money, which, be it as it may was borrowed from his pension fund, does not mean that he acquired it for himself.


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The violin was picked up from its previous owner by Ann, the father did not check on the quality of the violin neither was he involved in valuation of the property or negotiations if there were any, he just paid the money for his daughter to purchase it. With these arguments the sole ownership of the violin is by Ann and no one can lay claim to it be it the estate of her father or her mother and in which case her mother is wrongfully holding her property from her.

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