A violin made from one Winston Churchill’s cigar boxes is being auctioned in London. The fiddle was crafted by self-taught maker William Robinson in 1956, and is expected to reach GBP500-GBP1,000 (€550-€1,100).
As well its famous origins the fiddle has been in the hands of celebrated players: Yehudi Menuhin used it in a radio broadcast to America in April 1958. It is branded ‘Made in Havana – Cuba’ and reads ‘Selección Privada, Fabrica Tabacos Don Joaquin, Habana’ on the back.
Robinson was a celebrated violin maker who taught himself the craft as a child by converting empty boxes into violins. He was given the cigar box by Winston Churchill’s niece Clarissa Eden, who was a fan of his instruments.
The auction is held by instrument specialists Ingles & Hayday and will take place on 25 October. A viola made by Robinson is also for sale, with an estimate of GBP3,000-GBP5,000.