I’ve lost my £250k vi­o­lin

Mu­si­cian’s des­per­ate plea to find 1709 in­stru­ment he left on a train

Scottish Daily Mail - - Life - By Han­nah Daw­son

A DES­PER­ATE vi­o­lin­ist is ap­peal­ing to the pub­lic to help find his 310-year- old in­stru­ment af­ter he left it on a train. Stephen Mor­ris woke up on Wed­nes­day morn­ing last week to re­alise he had for­got­ten to pick up the 1709 vi­o­lin – worth £250,000 – when he got off at his sta­tion the night be­fore. The in­stru­ment was one of only a few made by mas­ter crafts­man David Tec­ch­ler of the renowned Ro­man school of vi­o­lin mak­ing.

Mr Mor­ris, 51, re­ported the loss to British Trans­port Po­lice, which told him they were look­ing through CCTV im­ages, but he has yet to hear back.

He said: ‘It’s dev­as­tat­ing to lose it and quite apart from its value, it’s my liveli­hood. I was re­ally only its cus­to­dian – one of many peo­ple who have played it.’

Mr Mor­ris, who as a ses­sion mu­si­cian has played with the likes of David Bowie and Ste­vie Won­der, added: ‘ I searched for the right vi­o­lin for quite a few years. I found this one in Christie’s rare string auc­tion and had it won­der­fully re­stored.’

The vi­o­lin­ist had been due to lead the Royal Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra in two con­certs fea­tur­ing clas­si­cal mu­sic su­per­star An­drea Bo­celli at the week­end.

For­tu­nately he was able to bor­row a vi­o­lin from his wife Sarah Sex­ton, who is also a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian. But he says per­form­ing with­out his Tec­ch­ler,

‘Like hav­ing my arm cut off’

which has had since 2003, was like play­ing with­out a limb.

‘Ac­cord­ing to my col­leagues play­ing this other vi­o­lin hasn’t af­fected my per­for­mance but it is was like hav­ing my arm cut off,’ he added. ‘It be­comes a part of your body. If you change in­stru­ments, you don’t know where any­thing is any more.’

Mr Mor­ris, from Sy­den­ham, south-east Lon­don, had been on the 10.58pm ser­vice from Vic­to­ria on Tues­day. When he got off at Penge East he re­mem­bered his bike but for­got the vi­o­lin, which was in a white case and is marked with the maker’s name.

Tec­ch­ler, who was born in Ger­many in 1666 and moved to Italy in his twen­ties, is con­sid­ered the fore­most maker of the Ro­man school, with his vi­o­lins and cel­los fetch­ing top prices at auc­tion.

Mas­ter­piece: The Tec­ch­ler vi­o­lin I’m dev­as­tated: Stephen Mor­ris with his vi­o­lin

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