A Stradivarius violin that was stolen from a cafe in Euston station is to be auctioned in December and is expected to fetch in the region of £2m.
The instrument was taken from the violinist Min-Jin Kym when she was in a café in November 2010.
In 2011 John Maughan was jailed for its theft for four and a half years. He had tried to sell the instrument for £100 in an internet café near Euston station.
The violin was found in a house in the West Midlands earlier this year. At the time, Kym said: ‘It’s been a very difficult journey; I still can’t quite believe what has happened. The loss of the instrument, and the acute responsibility I felt, was at the back of my mind every moment of the day. I’d played the instrument since I was a teenager, so it’d been a huge part of my identity for many years. I’m still feeling the butterflies in my stomach and am on cloud nine.’
Kym now plays a different Stradivarius instrument, but said she wished its next owner ‘the best of luck and success’.
Bidding for the 1696 violin, which bears its original label and has been authenticated by Charles Beare, will start at £1m.
Jason Price, director of the Tarisio auction house, where the instrument will be sold, said to The Guardian: ‘The beauty of this violin is the wood used for the back. It is sensational maple. It is really glamorous, gorgeous stuff. The bridge was removed but that’s of no consequence… This is an instrument very much designed to be a player’s instrument. It deserves to be played on. It will probably go to someone like Min-Jin, an emerging soloist or professional orchestra player or a chamber musician.’
The violin will be auctioned on 18 December.