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.


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Beatles 'Love Me Do' signed single offered at Boston saleroom

20 November 2017

A Beatles 'Love Me Do' signed single will be auctioned by RR Auction, Boston, in the online-only Marvels of Modern Music Sale running from December 7-14.

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Seen through a poet’s eyes: iconic spectacles worn by WB Yeats sell for 20 times estimate at Fonsie Mealy’s in Ireland

15 November 2017

Spectacles belonging to poet WB Yeats (1865-1939) sold in his native Ireland for €10,000 yesterday (November 14), 20 times their lower estimate, in the second and final auction of the artistic Yeats family’s effects.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix memorabilia strikes the right chord at auction

27 October 2017

50 years on and Hendrix still rocks – Hansons Auctioneers has sold a note, written on the back of a packet of guitar strings in 1967, for £5700.

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‘The most jukeboxy of them all’ is an after-sale hit

09 October 2017

One of the most sought-after models in the jukebox world is the Wurlitzer Peacock Type 850, designed by Paul Fueller in 1941. It is generally considered the biggest, the showiest and ‘most jukeboxy’ jukebox of them all.

Score

Omega Auctions withdraws Eleanor Rigby score after police contacted in ownership dispute

19 September 2017

Omega Auctions withdrew the sale of an original score for the 1966 Beatles' classic Eleanor Rigby ahead of its auction earlier this month due to a family dispute over ownership.

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Stones poster buyer gets satisfaction

18 September 2017

It’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but nevertheless rare concert posters are selling for large sums at auction.

Rolling Stones

Buyer does get satisfaction at Bushey Auctions after ‘The Rolling Stones’ concert poster sells for £13,000

12 September 2017

A rare concert poster from a 1965 tour by ‘The Rolling Stones’ has been snapped up by a collector after a bidding battle at Bushey Auctions in Hertfordshire.

Coutts survey

Coutts places musical instruments above classic cars in investment report

07 September 2017

The value of musical instruments outpaced the investment in classic cars and fine art last year, according to a survey by a private bank.

Eleanor Rigby

Calling all the lonely people: Eleanor Rigby lyrics, bible and grave deeds up for grabs at auction

26 August 2017

The original score for The Beatles' song Eleanor Rigby is being offered at an auction in Warrington with an estimate of £15,000-25,000. The document, handwritten in pencil, is signed by producer George Martin and Paul McCartney.

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Traditional concertinas are sound auction buys

24 July 2017

Helped by a revival of interest in traditional music, the market for the best antique concertinas has accelerated in recent years. Prices for some models have trebled across the decade.

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Auction previews from the US, France and Spain

26 June 2017

ATG's selection of upcoming sale highlights.

Banjolele

Banjolele once owned by music hall star George Formby comes to auction in Derbyshire

24 June 2017

An auction of a banjolele at Hansons Auctioneers will be music to the ears of George Formby fans later this month.

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'Britain’s Fabulous Disc Stars' - early Beatles poster ignites bidding battle

30 May 2017

A gig poster advertising as the headline act ‘Britain’s Fabulous Disc Stars!’ sold for £28,000 at the Roger Jones (20% buyer’s premium inc VAT) May 23 auction.

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Celebrating 50th anniversary of Summer of Love at Heritage Auctions

15 May 2017

Jimi Hendrix's Fender Stratocaster - 'the guitar that changed music' - is being offered at Heritage Auctions' sale in June

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Pick of the Week: The Regent’s piano returns home

18 April 2017

A grand piano commissioned by George IV in 1821 is to return to Brighton Pavilion after it sold for £62,000 at Piano Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) in London on April 6.

George IV piano

George IV grand piano goes home to Brighton Pavilion

13 April 2017

A grand piano commissioned by George IV for the Brighton Pavilion in 1821 is to make its way home after a local museum won the bidding at auction.

Violin made by Antonio Stradivari at auction

Stradivarius violin takes £1.6m at London auction

12 April 2017

A rare violin made in 1684 by Antonio Stradivari sold for £1.6m at a recent sale at London specialists Ingles & Hayday, the third highest price ever achieved at auction for an instrument by the great Italian luthier.

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Reader tips? Music to our ears

05 April 2017

MADAM – I was amused to read in the Previews section of ATG No 2285 that the “star” in Locke & England’s March 30 sale would be a large organ clock, estimated at £3000-5000 (lot 100). This is certainly not the case.

Adam Moore

Restoration firm Plowden & Smith wins project for Scotland’s oldest concert hall as it celebrates 50 years in business

06 December 2016

Conservation and restoration firm Plowden & Smith has won a new contract to help the University of Edinburgh renovate Scotland’s oldest concert hall.

Beethoven manuscript at centre of attribution debate fails to sell at Sotheby’s

29 November 2016

A musical manuscript at the centre of a row over whether it was handwritten by Ludwig van Beethoven or a copyist has failed to sell at an auction at Sotheby’s.

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