Musical Instruments & Memorabilia

The craftsmanship involved in the most prized musical instruments affects the quality of sound they produce as well as their appearance. For example, string instruments made by the Italian Stradivari family – and particularly Antonio Stradivari – in the 17th and 18th centuries are said to produce a sound that has never been replicated even in similar designs.

Those instruments created by Antonio during his ‘golden period’ (1700-1720) command particularly strong prices. More recent instruments, such as electric guitars played by pop music giants of the 20th century also pull in large prices – such as Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock Stratocaster, which was bought for a Seattle museum for $2m.


Poul Henningsen’s grand piano

“I designed something entirely new” – early 1930s glass grand piano draws attention in Paris sale

22 April 2019

A Modernist grand piano from 1931 by the Danish designer Poul Henningsen was the toast of a dedicated Scandinavian design sale held by Artcurial in Paris.

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18th century harpsichord is the key lot at Bath auction

15 April 2019

With a documented provenance and inscribed by the maker Sébastien Garnier, Paris, 1747, a two-manual harpsichord was the top performer at the latest musical instruments sale held by Corsham, Bath, specialist Gardiner Houlgate (20% buyer’s premium).

Elgar

Elgar masterpiece found in autograph book snapped up at Midlands auction

01 April 2019

A rediscovered melody by Sir Edward Elgar has been bought by a private buyer at auction in Lichfield after it was found in an autograph book.

McCartney book

McCartney’s English school book sells for £39,000 at auction in Merseyside

27 March 2019

The English Literature school book of The Beatles’ Sir Paul McCartney has been bought at auction for £39,000.

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Joy Division sale makes “unprecedented” results as Peter Hook sells huge archives

16 March 2019

In 1977, three years before his untimely death, Joy Division’s singer songwriter Ian Curtis wrote the lyrics to ‘Failures’: “Wise words and sympathy/Tell the story of our history.”

Elgar

Lost Elgar masterpiece found in autograph book is heard for the first time in 100 years as it heads to auction

14 March 2019

A rediscovered melody by Sir Edward Elgar will be offered at auction in Lichfield after it was found in an autograph book.

David Bowie Starman demo tape

David Bowie demo tape for Starman sells for £41,000 at Merseyside auction

13 March 2019

A tape thought to contain “possibly the first ever demo version” of David Bowie’s 1972 hit ‘Starman’ drew strong competition at Omega Auctions’ latest sale.

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Time recorders and machines of their time

25 February 2019

Two single-owner collections built up over lifetimes were well received at Canterbury Auction Galleries (20% buyer’s premium) on February 5-6.

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Petition launches for antique bows to be exempt from Ivory Act registration requirement

09 February 2019

A London auctioneer of stringed instruments has launched an online petition to exempt bows from the Ivory Act registration requirement.

Record

Rediscovered Bowie songs come to auction in Merseyside

24 January 2019

A copy of a previously unheard studio recording made by a young David Bowie comes up for sale at auction next week.

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Export of harpsichord by Joseph Mahoon put on hold by minister

21 January 2019

The owner of an 18th century double-manual harpsichord, the only one of its type known to exist, has been temporarily prevented from exporting it in the hope a UK buyer can be found.

Harpsichord

Government issues export bar for 18th century harpsichord in hope of finding UK buyer

15 January 2019

The owner of an 18th century double-manual harpsichord, the only one of its type known to exist, has been temporarily prevented from exporting the instrument by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Gardiner Houlgate auctioneer Luke Hobbs

Shout, shout, clear it all out! Tears for Fears sell tour gear to make room

29 November 2018

Specialist musical instrument auction house Gardiner Houlgate is to sell a cache of touring equipment from '80s band Tears for Fears.

Schumann manuscript

Rediscovered Schumann piano masterpiece comes to auction at Bonhams

31 October 2018

Bonhams is to offer an extensive handwritten draft of Robert Schumann’s 1837 piano masterpiece Fantasiestücke Opus 12 – written in the composer’s own hand.

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Five musical options in tune at auctions in the UK and US

15 October 2018

Five auctions coming up featuring lots on a musical theme.

Maurice Gibb

Bidders queue up for a slice of Bowie, the Bee Gees, The Beatles and Rod Stewart at auction this week

13 September 2018

Rod Stewart’s leopard print armchair, David Bowie’s first studio recording and Bee Gee and Beatles guitars have all been snapped up by fans of the rockers this week.

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Gardiner Houlgate auction offers guitars galore including the acoustic that set the Bee Gees on route to stardom

03 September 2018

Gardiner Houlgate in Wiltshire is dubbing its upcoming sale “the UK’s largest-ever auction of guitars”.

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Rare Beatles poster among highlights at Dallas movie sale

23 July 2018

A rare set of four door panel promotional posters for 'Help!', the Beatles’ second film, will form part of a movie poster sale to be held by Heritage Auctions on July 28-29.

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Making mechanical music play and pay off at auction

25 June 2018

A sophisticated disc-playing music box brought one of the highest recent prices for mechanical music at Thimbleby & Shorland (12% buyer’s premium) in Reading.

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Keyboard instrument collectors tune up and turn up

25 June 2018

Putting a third major collection of highly specialist and highly priced material onto the market within little over three years might seem to be asking too much of a limited number of wealthy enthusiasts.

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