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.


Early Edison tinfoil phonograph

31 January 2000

UK: THE Early Edison tinfoil phonograph which topped Christie's South Kensington's December 16 mechanical music and technical sale at £28,000.

Quartet’s £2.3m concert

30 March 1999

Musical Instruments UK: NO fewer than four sales of musical instruments took place in London between March 15 and 17: at Phillips, Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Christie’s South Kensington (all 15/10 per cent buyer’s premium). Over 1000 lots went under the hammer in all with over £2.3m netted between the four rooms.

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