The hunt is on for an instrument so rare there are only four of its kind in the world.

Professional musician Dom Kelly, of Thornton Heath, is desperate to find his hand-crafted oboe after he left it in a taxi on the way home from recording for a new West End musical.

Mr Kelly, a former Croydon Schools’ Wind Orchestra, Croydon Youth Philharmonic and Croydon Schools’ Piano Centre member, is now fighting to find the custom-made instrument before he plays at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the Britten Sinfonia Orchestra, relayed live on Radio 3 on October 7.

He said: “There are only three other oboes like it in the world. It may sound strange but my instrument is customised to the way I play, so while I will play, I’ll have to borrow one and have only a week to adjust to it.”

The oboe, constructed by specialist craftsman Yanko Petrov, who runs Sound Alchemy in Thornton Heath, has a distinctive specially-designed bell.

It was in a light brown wooden box with a silver reed box engraved with the name “Dom” inside.

Mr Kelly, 37, said: “The bell is very distinctive. The inside is dimpled like a golf ball to make it more aerodynamic and improve the air flow.”

Mr Petrov said: “The sound projection, tone, tuning and overall balance of the instrument was totally designed to suit Mr Kelly’s playing style and reeds design.

“The wood is Grenadilla, 15-year seasoned grade, and is about the best aged hardwood one can source.

“I really hope that your paper’s readers can assist in the recovery of this instrument.”

Since leaving it in a black cab travelling home from East Croydon station in the early hours of September 21, the musician has leafleted across the area, questioned taxi-drivers and alerted instrument dealers to be on the look-out.

He said: “What I would emphasis to anyone who may have found it is there is no real chance to sell it on because it is so distinctive. I have spoken to pawnbrokers and instrument dealers and I am on Ebay every hour checking.”

He added he would reward anyone who returned it.

If you have seen the oboe, call Mr Kelly’s music agent on 01306 500022, or email