Lord of the Strings: The violin used in the Tolkien trilogy is up for auction

The violin that called on the Hobbits of Tolkien to join their search and uttered the sound of defending Rohan against the Orc army will be auctioned off next month.

Played and played by former all-Ireland violinist Dermot Crehan, the Hardanger violin features prominently in the music of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Used throughout the soundtracks of all three films, it can be clearly heard in the 30 seconds of the Hobbit involved, the second soundtrack of the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring.


Jamie South Auction House with Lord of the Rings Hardanger Violin (Gardiner Houlgate/PA)

The guitar is expected to fetch between £3,000 and £6,000 when it is sold at auction by the Gardiner Houlgate auction house in Corsham, Wiltshire on December 9.

The Lord of the Rings composer Howard Shore asked Mr Crehan to play a Norwegian Hardanger violin, now nicknamed Rohan Fiddle, for the piece because of its haunting and mournful sound.

Mr Crehan, 68, said: “The violin was basically under my bed before Covid.

“I’ve done a bit of work on it but I’m basically half-retired and would love to have the guitar pass on to someone who will use it.

“The best thing for a violin is not under the bed, but under someone’s chin.”


Billy Boyd, Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan star in The Lord of the Rings (William Conran/PA)

Speaking of starring in The Lord of the Rings, Mr Crehan said: “Working on The Lord of the Rings was one of the pinnacle of my career. It was a five-year and very innovative collaboration.

“When the project first started, Howard Shore asked me to record some hobbit-inspired music.

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“I sent him demo recordings of some of his favorite traditional Irish music. After all, there’s not much of a difference between an elf and a hobbit.

“Howard didn’t want to use an Irish instrument so asked me to buy a Hardanger violin from Norway to give the music a different feel.”

Jamie South, the auction house that will be selling the violin, said: “This is an instrument with a unique story. The Lord of the Rings movies and books are of great interest to collectors and fans alike, so we expect interest from around the world.”


Jamie South Auction House with Lord of the Rings Hardanger Violin (Gardiner Houlgate/PA)

The Lord of the Rings soundtrack was recorded at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in London and the Colosseum in Watford. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King both won Oscars for best original soundtrack.

Originally from Dublin, Mr Crehan now lives in London. He was named the All-Ireland Championship Fiddle Player for three consecutive years and the London Fiddle Player.

He was a member of the Royal Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the second co-chief violinist of the London Symphony Orchestra in 12 years.

He has also worked on numerous film and television spots including two Harry Potter films, Legends of the Fall, Patriot Games, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Cold Feet, Downton Abbey and Shetland. He has recorded with Elton John, Sting, Robbie Williams and Westlife among others.

The Hardanger violin is a traditional Norwegian musical instrument with a head that often ends with a carved animal figure or a carved woman’s head. The body is heavily decorated.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/lord-of-the-strings-violin-used-in-tolkien-movie-trilogy-to-be-auctioned-42158496.html Lord of the Strings: The violin used in the Tolkien trilogy is up for auction

Fry Electronics Team

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