A violin played by an Irish musician in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy will go up for auction next month.
The Hardanger violin, which features prominently throughout the three films, is set to fetch between £3,000 and £6,000 ($3,543-$7,086) when it goes under the hammer at Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers in Corsham, Wiltshire, on December 9.
Former All-Ireland champion fiddle player Dermot Crehan, a native of Dublin, played the violin for composer Howard Shore in scores throughout the three films.
The violin can be distinctly heard in the opening 30 seconds of the famous “Concerning Hobbits” track, which appears early in “The Fellowship of the Ring”, while it can also be heard during the iconic Rohirrim charge in the third installment of the famous trilogy.
Shore asked Crehan to play the Hardanger violin, now known as the “Rohan fiddle”, because of its haunting and plaintive sound.
Crehan, who owns the instrument, told the Irish Independent that the violin has been under his bed since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’ve done a little bit of work with it but I’ve basically semi-retired and would love the fiddle to be passed on to someone who’ll use it,” Crehan told the Independent.
“The best thing for a violin is not to be under the bed, but under someone’s chin.”
Crehan said he was first approached by Shore to “record some music inspired by the word hobbit”.
“I sent him a demo recording of some traditional Irish music, which he loved. After all, there’s not much difference between leprechauns and hobbits.”
Crehan, 68, who was born in Dublin but lives in London, was named All-Ireland Champion fiddle player three years in a row and has worked on numerous iconic movies and shows, including two “Harry Potter” films, “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” and Downton Abbey.
He was also a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and was co-principal second violin with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for 12 years.