‘Sherlock’ violin finds new home in Edinburgh – BBC News
September 7, 2010
A violin made from a tree at author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s childhood home has been handed over to a top musical instrument collection.
The violin was carved from the sycamore tree by Edinburgh-based luthier Steve Burnett.
It was made as a tribute to Conan Doyle’s creation, Sherlock Holmes, who played the violin while solving cases.
It was handed over to the University of Edinburgh’s instrument collection in a ceremony on Tuesday.
The fiddler Pete Clark marked the violin’s entry into the collection by playing it at the event.
Mr Burnett said “Sherlock” would be used for special charity concerts around the country.
Conan Doyle lived in Liberton Bank House, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, while attending school in the 1860s.
Mr Burnett was asked last year if he could use the tree, which had been felled because of rotten roots, to make an instrument.
The violin, which has been named “Sherlock”, is inscribed with the words: “Sherlock, 150th anniversary, birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, wood from sycamore at Dunedin School, former childhood home, Edinburgh, 22/05/2009.”
The luthier is planning to carve a separate string quartet of two violins, a cello and a viola from the tree next year.
Composers would then be invited to write music for the quartet to perform.
Mr Burnett said: “There is a lot of support for this project, including from the Lord Provost of Edinburgh.
“The quartet will form the centrepiece of a fitting tribute to one of Edinburgh’s most famous sons.”