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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David Bowie’s rejected debut album tracks sell for double estimate figure at Merseyside auction

24 May 2019

Tracks recorded by David Bowie for his 1967 debut album that were later rejected have been sold at auction for a hammer price of £16,000.

Suggs

Madness donates costumes and memorabilia to Victoria and Albert Museum for theatre gallery

23 May 2019

To celebrate 40 years since the release of Madness’ ‘One Step Beyond’ - the 1979 debut album by the British ska-pop group - the V&A has unveiled a collection of memorabilia.

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Beatles 'Butcher' album cover sold for a record in Liverpool Fab Four memorabilia sale

17 May 2019

John Lennon’s personal and signed ‘Butcher’ cover Yesterday and Today album prototype from 1966 sold for a record-breaking £180,000 ($234,400), including premium, in an auction held in Liverpool.

Louis Majorelle and Victor Prouvé piano

Art Nouveau ‘Dying Swan’ piano emerges in Paris auction

13 May 2019

The upcoming Decorative Arts sale to be held by Tajan in Paris includes a number of pieces by one of the master craftsmen of the Art Nouveau movement – Louis Majorelle.

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Raise a glass to a Mozart note

29 April 2019

Short message to a ‘true friend’ after opera debut appearance sells at Berlin auction house.

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.

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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.

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