A violinist says he is “devastated” after leaving his 310-year-old instrument worth £250,000 on a train.
Stephen Morris had been on the London to Orpington service on Tuesday night, and got out at Penge East with his bike, but forgot his antique violin.
It was one of only a few made by master craftsman David Tecchler in 1709.
Mr Morris had been due to play the violin while leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in two Andrea Boccelli concerts at the weekend.
The musician, who has also played on film scores including Lord of the Rings and James Bond and recorded with David Bowie and Stevie Wonder, reported it to lost luggage and British Transport Police.
Mr Morris urged anyone who found the violin, which he bought in 2003 and described as “a piece of history”, to “please return it”.
‘Only its custodian’
“It’s devastating to lose it and quite apart from its value, it’s my livelihood,” he said.
“I was really only its custodian – one of many people who have played it – and I had hoped to pass it on to another violinist eventually.”
Mr Morris, from Sydenham, London, had to borrow another violin from his wife Sarah Sexton, also a professional musician, for performances in Manchester and Leeds at the weekend.
“According to my colleagues playing this other violin hasn’t affected my performance, but it is was like having my arm cut off,” he said.
“The way my instrument responds is like having a limb – your hand and brain know exactly where to go when playing.”
Tecchler was part of the renowned Roman School of Violin Making in the 17th Century and was considered to be the institution’s leading violin and cello maker.
The instrument had recently been restored and was in a white case when it was left on the train. It was also marked with Tecchler’s name.
Mr Morris had been on the 22:58 London Victoria to Orpington service on Tuesday when he lost the instrument.
He said he had been told by BTP they would be looking through CCTV to see if anyone left the train with the violin.