310-year-old violin left on train returned

A 310-year-old violin worth nearly $A500,000 has been returned after it was left on a London train.
A 310-year-old violin worth nearly $A500,000 has been returned after it was left on a London train.

A valuable 310-year-old violin forgotten on a London train by a British musician almost two weeks ago has been returned.

Professional musician Stephen Morris has been reunited with the precious instrument, one of a few made by master craftsman David Tecchler, after "secret negotiations," the BBC reports.

Morris left the violin behind when he got off a London to Orpington service in South London's Penge East with his bicycle October 22.

"It's devastating to lose it and quite apart from its value, it's my livelihood," he said as he called for help locating the instrument.

According to the BBC, the violin was handed back in a parking lot in Beckenham, in South London, in an exchange supervised by plain-clothes police officers.

The broadcaster reported the man who took the violin, worth an estimated 250,000 pounds ($A468,091), as saying he was sorry and apologising.

After British Transport Police shared a CCTV image of a man believed to have taken the instrument, Morris was contacted on Twitter and the exchange was arranged for Friday, the BBC reported.

"He was very apologetic, he said he wanted to hand it to me in person," Morris said of the man, adding that the violin and bows were intact and "in tune".

"It couldn't have ended in a happier way," the musician was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Australian Associated Press