Just in: Stolen London violin is returned to owner

Message just in from Jane Gordon, whose violin was stolen on a train coming in to Waterloo:

Hi Norman, 

I thrilled to announced the violin was handed back safe & sound to me this evening – nothing missing. Thank you very much for posting and helping spread the word. Relieved beyond words can describe!
jane gordon maggini violin

But see also I never saw my stolen viola again.

UPDATE: It appears that Jane left her 300 year-old violin on a luggage rack. CCTV showed it being taken by another passenger. It was found dumped on a residential street in Battersea.’It was an incredibly emotional moment seeing the violin again, which does not have a scratch on it,’ she told getwestlondon.

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  • Left on a luggage rack…in other words, in some (warped) people’s minds, abandoned.

    Does British Rail not have attendants who go through the cars after disembarking passengers and check against things left behind? Another passenger must have been enterprising if he/she saw the thing left behind while there was still exit motion among the descending passengers and taken a chance on something with such a distinctive shape.

    I’m very glad this violinist had her instrument returned to her, unharmed, but how many such reconciliations have we read about this years so far? If I were an owner/lender of a violin “lost” in such circumstances, I would demand it back. The incidence of carelessness among musicians is disproportionately high.

  • Before Koussevitsky became a conductor, he was a formidable double bass virtuoso, but he lost three of his instruments on trains and always in the same way: forced to visit the toilet and leave the instrument alone for a while, when he returned it had disappeared. On every occasion he had pulled the emergency break and the entire train was searched by staff, but without result. During the Soviet Era it were mostly brass instruments that disappeared from trains, and suspicion went around that military bands used secret methods to enlarge their instrument collection in this way, due to increased pressures caused by Red Square parades.

    • You can — and should — carry a $300,000 violin with you to the washroom.

      I hear ENO is hard up. Maybe their agents are tailing known forgetful musicians and waiting for them to forget their instruments. That deficit could be cleared up in a season, judging by “Help — my violin has been stolen/lost/forgotten/left behind” posts.

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