Early 19th century fortepiano, €60,000 (£53,095) at Galerie Moenius.

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On March 18, Galerie Moenius (26% buyer’s premium), which holds sales in Germany and Switzerland, dispersed his extensive collection of musical instruments in his residence, an 18th century patrician house in the centre of Wassenach.

There was no shortage of bidders, who often went way over the odds.

A case in point was an early 19th century fortepiano (Hammerflügel), built by Johann Georg Gröber in Innsbruck in c.1815.

Gröber trained as an organ builder in Vienna and was, according to legend, for some time responsible for tuning Beethoven’s pianos. From 1806 until his death in 1849, Gröber lived and worked in Innsbruck as a maker of pianofortes.

The elegant instrument in the auction, housed in walnut, was in playable condition and guided at €7000.

Musically minded bidders were prepared to go considerably higher. After prolonged exchanges, an anonymous bidder sealed the deal at €60,000 (£53,095).