Dammit!! My bid was $700,000!!

Stradivari Violin Auctioned in New York
NEW YORK – The bids for a nearly 300-year-old Stradivarius violin opened at $700,000 and quickly soared to $1 million. Gasps, whispers and titters occasionally punctuated the room as the price tag climbed even higher. Soon it was at $2 million, then $3 million.
The violin sold Tuesday for more than $3.5 million in what was a record for the most paid for a musical instrument at auction, Christie’s said. The violin is one of the world’s most prized musical instruments.
The instrument, made in 1707 by Italian violinmaker Antonio Stradivari, sold for $3,544,000. The winning bid, which included the house’s commission, broke a record of $2,032,000 paid for another Stradivarius at Christie’s in April 2005, the auction house said.
The new owner bought the violin anonymously via telephone.
Kerry K. Keane, who heads Christie’s department of musical instruments and was the bidder’s proxy, described him as “a gentleman who is international” and a “benefactor and patron of the arts” who loves classical music.
The violin, which had been expected to sell for $1.5 million to $2.5 million, will probably be heard soon on stages worldwide, Keane said, declining to elaborate.
The violin’s former owner, who also wanted to remain anonymous, bought it privately in 1992 from an estate, Keane said, and loaned it to violinists including Kyoko Takezawa, an orchestral soloist, recitalist and recording artist who has performed with many of the world’s top orchestras.
The violin, made in Cremona, Italy, is considered a product of Stradivari’s golden period. Musicians and collectors covet the violins he made from 1700 to 1720 because of their beauty and superior sound, Christie’s said.
A violinist and teacher brought the violin to the United States in 1911. Since then it has had various owners.
It is named The Hammer for Christian Hammer, a 19th-century Swedish collector.
Bidding on Tuesday for the full-size violin, which has a 14-inch-long back and was propped in front of the auctioneer’s podium, started at $700,000, quickly rose to $1 million before ending its final tally in bidding of less than five minutes.
“It’s always been fashionable to own a Stradivari,” Keane said.