master violin and viola case maker
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A way to recover YOUR stolen Strad!
As many of you might know, a precious 1696 Stradivari was recently stolen from a sandwich bar in London, constituting quite possibly the most costly snack stop of all time. At the time of this writing, it has not yet been recovered.
A few days later I was interviewed on the subject by The Strad magazine, as they know I have been researching the topic of security of precious instruments while in their cases, and they asked my opinion as to how a stolen violin can be most easily located and thus recovered. A GPS system built into the case perhaps, or maybe an EPIRB transmitter (Swiss watchmaker Breitling makes one built into one of their chronographs), or something else?
The GPS idea is fascinating with all that space-age technology, but GPS doesn't work inside a building because the receiver cannot pick up the satellite signals from the sky through bricks and mortar. An EPIRB transmitter, or emergency beacon, requires first that someone activate it to start signaling, something a castaway on a desert island will probably do as soon as he finishes the last bottle of rum, but a gesture a Strad thief is likely to put off indefinitely.
Accordingly, I hereby announce my
modest contribution to this discussion, which may be the cheapest,
simplest, most fool-proof solution so far suggested, and that any
six-year-old can operate. As of January 2011, in fact, my cases will
be offered with an optional hidden
compartment built into the structure where a small, inexpensive
cellphone (think Nokia Classic or similar) can be hidden away while
switched on stand-by in silent mode.
In my new case option, the hidden compartment is made to be hard to notice and all of my cases are likewise designed to look inconspicuous on the outside, so as to not draw attention to themselves (or the contents), thus increasing the chances that the violin will not be put in a different case.
The best solution of course remains to keep the Strad under your control at all times, but this isn't always possible and perhaps my suggestion can be useful.
As always, thank you for your attention, and feel free to comment!
Dimitri Musafia, December 26, 2010
“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins" - Benjamin Franklin
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