Violin Signed by Worcestershire’s Sir Edward Elgar Up for Auction

by Madonna

A violin previously owned by Birmingham legend Stan Smith and signed by the renowned Worcester composer Sir Edward Elgar is scheduled for auction on Wednesday, June 26.

The auction will be conducted by Anderson and Garland, auctioneers based in Newcastle Upon Tyne.


Crafted in the early 19th century by Dublin-based luthiers Thomas Perry and William Wilkinson, the violin eventually became the property of Smith, a long-time figure in the music industry. Smith’s career began with the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra (YSO) before he transitioned to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO).


Smith was part of the YSO at Leeds Town Hall from 1950 until the orchestra’s dissolution in 1955. He then joined the RAF and furthered his education at Trinity College London.


For the next forty years, Smith was a key member of the CBSO, serving as the principal first violin. Under the direction of George Weldon and later Simon Rattle, Smith contributed to the CBSO’s development into one of Europe’s leading ensembles. Notably, he participated in the premiere of Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem” in May 1962, a work celebrated as a contemporary masterpiece.

The violin features a one-piece back and ribs, a fine-grained top with light amber varnish, and comes with the original receipt from its purchase in 1945.

Anderson and Garland estimate that the violin will sell for between £3,000 and £4,000.

The auction will also include a range of Smith’s personal items, such as an early 20th-century French bow, a mid-18th-century German violin, and two modern cases with various chin rests.

Overall, the full collection of Smith’s personal belongings is expected to fetch between £5,500 and £8,500.


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