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Sherlock’s New Violin - an Exclusive closer look * 29 April 2013

Front and rear views of the violin that will appear onscreen in Sherlock Series Three.

Earlier today, Sherlock production designer Arwel Wyn Jones posted an image on his Twitter account that revealed the violin that Sherlock Holmes will be playing during Series Three, and Sherlockology is excited to provide a closer look at this crucial new prop.

All the images you see in this story are of the actual instrument selected for use on screen.

Before anyone panics, the need for a new violin in Series Three is not a plot point. Sherlockology has a promise to both our readers and the crew that produces the show that we will never impart plot spoilers ahead of a new episode's broadcast. Instead, the presence of this new instrument is needed purely from a production point of view, and a different violin has been used on each series of Sherlock.

Front, profile, and rear close ups of the Neck, Peg Box and Scroll of the Series Three violin.

In Series Three, Sherlock Holmes will be seen using a Con Fuoco violin, which like its predecessors has been supplied by Cardiff Violins for the production. Surprisingly, despite appearances the instrument is brand new rather than vintage. It is styled after a Mittenwald violin as originally made in Germany, but its name means "with fire" in Italian due to the beautiful reddy-brown, flame like body colours and its fiery, warm tone of sound.

The Con Fuoco violin is available exclusively from Cardiff Violins for a set price of £1,200, but this specific example was carefully chosen for use for the production due to its uniquely beautiful appearance and distinctive sound. The staff at Cardiff Violins also reasoned that Sherlock would not be too snobbish about buying a German violin, thinking that he would probably have quite enjoyed annoying the 'buy British' league!

As a side note, it's not yet been confirmed at present whether Eos Chater is returning to coach Benedict Cumberbatch on the instrument for any onscreen performances in the new episodes, as she did for his use of the violin in Series Two.

Sherlock's violins from Series One (left) and Series Two (right).

The Con Fuoco is actually made in China, as was the Czardas violin that appeared in Series One, but unlike the violin that appeared in Series Two. That instrument really was a vintage violin, made in Germany by an unknown manufacturer around 1880. You can read more about both the Series One violin and Series Two violin in the Props section of our website.

Our huge thanks to the staff of Cardiff Violins for supplying us the information and photography for this piece.

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