Violin which thief tried to sell for £100 sold for £1.4m

 

When John Maughan stole a violin from a sandwich shop outside London's Euston station in 2010, he apparently didn't realise quite how valuable it was.

He went on to offer it for £100 to a bus driver, who refused, saying: “My daughter already has a recorder.”

The violin in question was a genuine Stradivarius, made in Italy in 1696. One of only 450 in the world made by the legendary violin maker Antonio Stradivari, it sold at auction this week for £1.4 million.

Mr Maughan, 32, was later jailed for the theft, from acclaimed musician Min-Jin Kym, as she sat in the Pret A Manger with her cellist boyfriend.

The instrument went missing after the theft, and was only recovered in July this year, after an almost three-year search. It was found with minor damage at a property in the Midlands.

When it was found, Korean-born Ms Kym, 35, spoke of her elation. She said: “The loss of the instrument and the acute responsibility I felt, was at the back of my mind at every moment of the day.

“I’ve now gone from devastation to the other end of the scale."

Along with the violin a £62,000 Peccatte bow and a bow made by the School of Bazin, valued at £5,000, were recovered.

The violin was sold by Ms Kym's insurers, who had already paid out upon its loss. Kym has since had to move on to a new model.

Jason Price, director of the auction house Tarisio, which sold the violin, said: “We congratulate the new owner and wish them the best of luck and success with the violin. We are delighted that it will be played and enjoyed for many more years to come and that it will actively contribute to the musical vibrancy of this country through the festival.”

According to the Evening Standard, buyer is thought to be a British music festival led by an English violinist.

The auction house said a portion of the proceeds and sales commission will benefit the authorities who helped with its recovery.

News
i100
Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Sport
Neil Warnock
football'New' manager for Crystal Palace
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis