I’ve lost my £250k violin
Musician’s desperate plea to find 1709 instrument he left on a train
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