A miniature violin measuring 1 7/8 inches and made in 1944 by Robert Moodie of Gateshead is coming up for auction in the Scientific and Musical Instruments Sale at Tennants Auctioneers on 28th September, with an estimate of £80-120 (plus buyer’s premium).
Mr Moodie, a retired engineer originally from Darlington, took up violin making at the age of 50, and at the time of making the miniature version had made 18 full size instruments. Having seen a newspaper article about the ‘world’s smallest violin’, which was made by an Austrian maker and measured 2 inches in length, he was inspired to beat the record.
According to contemporary press cuttings, which accompany the violin, it took Mr Moodie seven months to make his miniature marvel, and he had to remake many of the parts repeatedly to get them perfect. The violin is complete with real gut strings, shaved down to almost invisible fineness, and an accompanying bow. Both are housed in their original display box and are sold with a life-size photograph and hand-drawn diagram of measurements.
The violin will be on public display during the auction viewing at on 27th September.