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.


£110,000 of antique violin bows go missing

22 October 2010

A COLLECTION of 11 antique violin bows valued at £110,000 is now feared stolen after they were left on a train.

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Soul single sets new record price

20 May 2009

FRANK Wilson's Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) is generally ranked by enthusiasts of Soul music as a very good rather than a great single, but in the collecting community it has acquired legendary status. Only two copies of the original pressing appear to have survived.

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Online bidding takes a bow

10 November 2008

THIS cello by William Forster, London c.1780 became the highest value lot sold through ATG's online bidding service the-saleroom.com when it brought £38,000 (plus 20 per cent buyer's premium) at musical instrument specialists Brompton's on November 3.

Beatles tape found in attic makes £10,000

18 August 2008

A previously unheard tape of a Beatles recording session, in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney break into giggles and crack jokes, has fetched £10,000 at Cameo auctioneers in Midgham, Berkshire.

Nat Temple horns for sale in Surrey

21 July 2008

Woking, Surrey auctioneers Barbers are to sell musical instruments belonging to the late Nat Temple (1913-2008) on August 4.

Private treaty sale beats auction record for violin

03 March 2008

Sotheby’s have announced the private treaty sale of a Guarneri del Gesu violin to the Russian businessman and collector, Maxim Viktorov.

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£19,000 bird in the hand

28 August 2007

Kent’s Canterbury Auction Galleries were one of the few salerooms to hold a good quality art and antiques sale in August.

Lennon for sale

27 November 2006

A set of 38 individual original metal printing plates used for the illustrations for John Lennon’s first book, are to go under the hammer on December 2 at Dickins of Middle Claydon, Bucks.

A provincial Stradivari for £1m?

30 October 2006

A Stradivari violin, which has been played in concert halls all over the world, is being offered for sale by Corsham-based auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate in London on November 6.

Spink now have a musical string to their bow

12 October 2006

Spink have added musical instruments to their portfolio by taking an equity stake in Brompton’s Auctioneers. They will operate from Spink’s newly expanded premises at 29 Southampton Row in London WC1, starting with a sale on November 6.

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Accessible Sneltzer pipes a £19,000 tune

27 February 2006

As reported in ATG No 1724, January 28, Kent Auction Galleries (15% buyer’s premium) of Folkestone were selling this mid-18th century organ by John Sneltzer on February 11 on behalf of The Caldecott Foundation, a charitable organisation.

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Style and substance: how multiple attractions helped piano hit high note

04 January 2005

STROHMENGER’s stylish Art Deco pianos are self-evidently pieces with huge crossover appeal. Being chic furnishings as well as useful musical instruments, they tend to give strong performances in the saleroom when they appear.

Stolen instruments appeal

08 September 2004

THE owners of a mid-18th century cello by Tomasso and Lorenzo Carcassi of Florence have appealed for its safe return following a theft in North Finchley.

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A case in point

18 August 2004

ART case pianos, as their name implies, are instruments with very decorative cases painted or elaborately inlaid, and usually one-off commissions.

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PREVIEW

13 July 2004

LEOMINSTER auctioneer Brightwells will offer the lifetime collection of recorded sound enthusiast Don Watson, in a single vendor sale on July 29.

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PREVIEW

13 July 2004

LEOMINSTER auctioneer Brightwells will offer the lifetime collection of recorded sound enthusiast Don Watson, in a single vendor sale on July 29.

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Monzani flute plays £2200

22 June 2004

HIGHLIGHT of the Collectors’ Sale conducted by Keys (10% buyer’s premium) in Aylsham was this silver-mounted ivory flute by Monzani.

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At £4000, the genuine Beatles for sale

15 June 2004

THE large sums of money rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia collectors are prepared to part with for a complete set of Beatles autographs inevitably means the market is peppered with fakes. The watertight provenance of an early Beatles extended play record, Twist and Shout, Parlophone, 1963, signed to the sleeve by the Fab Four, was key to its success at Biddle & Webb’s (15% buyer’s premium) 511-lot sale of toys and juvenilia in Birmingham on May 21.

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Specialties of the house pull in the offbeat enthusiasts

09 June 2004

THE way Bonhams’ (17.5% buyer's premium) empire has adapted to the received wisdom that specialisation is a key to today’s macro auction environment is to have niche markets catered for at different outposts. Among the areas catered for at the Midlands branch at Knowle are such widely known ones as mechanical music and railwayana and, in ascending degree of arcane nature, wireless sets, optical instruments, firemarks, truncheons and tipstaffs.

Formby ukelele turns out nice for collector at £1750

11 May 2004

IN the centennial year of his birth in 1904, a provenance to George Formby came with the sale of a ukelele which sold for £1750 (estimate £100-150) at Gorringes Lewes sale on April 27. The C.F. Martin & Co. 3K lte ukelele was bought by Bernard Dyke, a past president of the George Formby Society. The uke came to sale via the vendor’s father, an Arthur Rank chairman in the late 30s/early 40s to whom George presented it at a film preview at a Rank cinema in Essex.

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