A rare violin worth over £140,000 was stolen from a flat in New Cross on Wednesday night.
The 18th Century Nicola Gagliano violin was taken from a flat on Erlanger Road along with a number of other items.
The owner of the flat came home at 10:45pm to find that someone had forced open both the building’s communal door and his front door.
The violin was crafted in 1747 and was kept in a brown rectangular case with two straps. Highly sought-after, it is believed to be just one of three in the world.
Metropolitan Police say the apartment was searched and a number of items, including the violin, were reported to be missing.
It was not made clear if the occupier of the flat was the owner of the violin.
Sean Bishop, owner of Bishop Instruments and Bows in Marylebone, said that whoever stole the violin will find it impossible to sell it anywhere in the country.
Bishop, who has worked with The English Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, among others, said: “I believe the Gagliano that was stolen was a decorated one which makes it unique and thus practically impossible to sell.
“I have one at the shop. It is valued at £200,000. These violins have a lot of history behind them. The Gagliano family of Naples, Italy, were one of the finest violin makers of the 17th century. Around seven of them were involved in the business and Nicola was one of the best.”
He added that there are few shops in London selling expensive Italian-made musical instruments, and if the thief tried to sell the Gagliano anywhere “he would get caught”.
Anyone with information about the burglary should contact Detective Constable Kevin Seed at Lewisham CID on 020 8284 8380 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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