When a sycamore tree had to come down in the childhood garden of writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, what better tribute than to make a violin from it in honour of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes. Holmes – the inspiration for modern forensic detective work – was said to play his violin to free up his subconscious mind when working on a difficult case. So it was an inspired decision to have a luthier – Steve Burnett – make a violin from the sycamore. Sycamore is related closely to maple – the more usual wood for a violin – and has similar resonant qualities.
The violin has been made to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Conan-Doyle’s birth. The author was born on 22 May 1859 and lived during the 1860s at Liberton Bank House, Dunedin, which was a school at that time.
Luthier Steve Burnett hopes to carve a quartet of two violins, a viola and a cello from the tree so that music may be commissioned to honour the writer and creator of the Sherlock Holmes character.
Thanks to BBC News Scotland for the story.
Come to think of it, I have a nice large pure white board of sycamore that has been curing in my own shed for the last three years…