The two fiddles in the case are uniquely marked, and should be easy to identify should anyone encounter them. One is an unlabeled, amber-colored fiddle with the portrait of a man in an oval cameo frame overlaid on the upper portion of the back. It also has an enlarged lower f-hole, and the only label inside the fiddle simply says “Made in 1885.”
The other is a blond Arthur Conner fiddle, with a serpent head scroll. The case has a black cover with a zippered pocket, and burgundy lining inside. There are three bows in the case, one with an ivory frog.
Hurt’s name is not found either on or in the case, but there are some Karl Shiflett business cards in the pocket, and several envelopes addressed to his mother in Boones Mill, VA.
Billy says that no one has a specific memory of loading the fiddle case into the van, so the case could have been taken from outside the vehicle while they were loading, or from inside the passenger compartment.
Anyone with information about the location of these instruments is asked to contact Bluegrass Today. We can get it to Billy ASAP.
We should have more photos later this evening or tomorrow.
UPDATE 6:00 p.m. Great news from Billy Hurt.
The fiddles were not stolen, but the person who found them only figured out who they belonged to after seeing shared Facebook posts.
A very happy ending to every musician’s worst nightmare.