Greg Stammers, 43, owner of Happy Paws Doggy Daycare in Manchester, was overjoyed when he received a remarkable gift from a loyal customer – an original 18th-century violin, estimated to be worth somewhere around £150,000.
The antique instrument was gifted by an elderly patron, Elizabeth Armstrong, who chose not to auction it for financial gain, despite its considerable value. Instead, she decided to give this priceless piece to Stammers who shared her fondness for classical music.
Armstrong recounted that the violin had been in her family for generations and it held a special place in her heart. It had always been cherished and preserved, and it was her wish to see the instrument continue to be treasured. She hoped Stammers, who’ve she’s known for a decade, would do just that and much rejoiced at the thought.
As a man with an enduring passion for music, Stammers was floored by the generosity and trust demonstrated by Armstrong. Having dabbled in violin as a hobbyist, he expressed his readiness to take the mantle of preserving and playing this priceless article handed down through generations.
“This is an unexpected treasure and a delight to say the least,” said the daycare owner, with a twinkle in his eye and excitement palpable in his voice. “I am incredibly touched by Elizabeth’s gift and her trust in me. It’s a responsibility I’ll happily accept.”
While Happy Paws will continue to entertain dogs, Stammers pledges to dedicate his spare time to nurture his newfound hobby – cradling Armstrong’s cherished family heirloom, exploring its melodious personality, and honoring its historical value. The wild, joyful cacophony of dogs mixed with the poised, solemn notes of an 18th-century violin will indeed be a unique medley.
It’s an endearing tale that bears testimony to the bonds that can form in the unlikeliest of places. Moreover, it demonstrates that art, friendships and trust can intersect in life’s most delightful and unexpected happenstances.