As anyone who has ever learned to play a musical instrument will know, they aren’t exactly cheap. A great deal of effort and know-how goes into crafting each one, and they can easily set you back hundreds or even 1000s of dollars. There are some though that are highly sought after because of the rich sounds that they can reduce their rarity and historical significance, and as a result, can command far higher prices from famous guitars to one-of-a-kind creations that are hundreds of years old. These are the top 10 most expensive musical instruments in the world of all time.
A closer look at the top 10 Most Expensive Musical Instruments of all time.
The top 10 most expensive musical instruments result can command far higher prices from famous guitars to one-of-a-kind creations that are hundreds of years old. These are the top 10 most expensive musical instruments of all time.
10. Eric Clapton’s favorite Stratocaster Blackie $959,000
With a career that spanned almost 60 years and having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame record-breaking three times. Eric Clapton is without a doubt one of the most influential Guitarists of All Time. He has played with countless different bands as well as being a soloist and is definitely someone to listen to when he says which types of guitar sound the best.
Originally, he only played Gibson guitars and made the switch to Fender Stratocasters in 1970, after seeing what Jimi Hendrix had been able to achieve with one, then his first which had a brown finish became known as a brownie, but it was the next one which was called Blackie. If you are unfamiliar with the different variants of guitars then you can read the complete guitar user manuals here.
It was the main guitar he used for performances and in the studio between 1974 in 1985 and was the one he used to record hits like I shot the sheriff, cocaine lay down, Sally, and some of the later versions of Layla. In many ways, the guitar is as important to rock history as the man himself and despite meaning so much to him.
Clapton showed his philanthropic credentials when he donated Blackie to an auction in 2004. To help support the Crossroads Center, a rehab center that he founded, he would eventually sell for $959,500.
9.The lady of Tennant Stradivarius violin $2 million.
Antonio Stradivari who was born in Italy in 1644, is known as being probably the best violin maker to have ever lived. During his career. He’s believed to have made 11 116 instruments 960 of which were violins, and it’s thought that as many as 650 of them have survived to this day.
It’s a combination of their beauty and their warm sound that they produce that puts Stradivarius instruments in a class of their own, particularly ones that were made during his golden period, and any that can be proved to have been made by him are extremely high demand and as a result are incredibly expensive. The lady of Tennant violin was made by him in 1699, which was actually one year before the start of his golden age, but nonetheless is a very impressive instrument.
It’s been owned by several prominent violinists, including Charles Felipe Lafond in the 19th century. Following his death was sold by a London dealer to serve Charles cotenant, who gifted it to his wife, who is now named after the lady of Tennant was one of the more recent Stradivarius violins to be offered up at auction in April of 2005, at which time it sold for an astonishing $2,032,000.
It’s now owned by a wealthy patron of the arts and is often loaned to high-profile violinists who perform in America.
8. Steinway z piano John Lennon $2.08 million.
As a member of The Beatles, John Lennon became one of the world’s first pop stars and remains to this day a legend within the industry. During his tours around the world, he was fortunate enough to play some of the most spectacular pianos in existence. But it was his humble Steinway z upright piano complete with cigarette burns from where he stubbed them out. That was his favorite.
It was this piano that he composed and performed most of his Beatles and solo recordings on and it’s the one that features in the music video for imagination. He’d originally bought it from Steinway and Sons in London for 1000 pounds, which was the equivalent to around 16 $100 at the time and had it shipped to a sound studio in Sunningdale. When people think of imagine it’s the white grand piano that normally comes to mind.
But this is the true special instrument that was close to his heart. And that’s why there was a great deal of interest in it from within the music industry when I was offered for auction in the year 2000. Selling to an anonymous phone bidder for a price of $2.08 million, which at the time was a record for a piano the new one or later transpired to be none other than George Michael.
7. Asia Fender Stratocaster $2.8 million.
The music industry has long been associated with philanthropic purists to help bring people together to raise awareness and much-needed funds to help those in need. So in the wake of the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean, a number of high-profile artists helped out with an auction, held in ain have reached out to Asia, a charity dedicated to providing relief to the people in the region.
A white Fender Stratocaster was entered as one of the lots, but this was no ordinary guitar. It has been signed by an unbelievable number of rock and roll legends, including Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger staying Brian May Jimmy Page, all the members of Def Leppard, and many many more. With a pure white body with silver accents along the neck and on the top end, the signature is all done in black pen standout in an incredible way and made for a one-of-a-kind collector’s piece.
It’s amazing that all of these artists lent their support and their response to the public when the guitar was sold off in Doha, Qatar was extraordinary. In the end, it was purchased by Her Highness Sheikha Moussa Otani for an incredible price of $2.8 million, eclipsing the previous record for the most expensive guitar to have ever been sold.
6. Hammer Stradivarius violin $3.5 million
Having been dated to be made in 1707 thanks to an inscription on the back the hammer Stradivarius violin is one that is known to have been made during the famed creators golden period. Measuring 36 centimeters or 14 inches long is widely regarded as one of the best examples of his work and is an absolutely stunning instrument.
It’s a little surprise then that whenever it’s been offered for sale collectors around the world have tried their best to secure it for themselves. The first owner was Swedish collector Christian hammer, who acquired it during the 19th century and who it’s named after. around the year 1911. It made its way to the US in the possession of a violin performer and teacher called Bernard since Imar and after changing several times over the following decades, it was purchased by a Japanese oil company from an estate sale in 1992.
The new owners lent the instrument to Japanese violinist, Kyoko Takizawa, who performed with it for the next 12 years. But the hammer was eventually put up for auction in May of 2006. With an expected guide price of around one and a half million dollars, everyone was stunned when it finally sold to an anonymous bidder for more than double that with a final sale price of $3.54 million.
5. The Paganini Stradivarius cello 6 million plus dollars.
Well, Stratovarius is of course best known for the violins that he made. They only account for around half of all the instruments he produced. One of the others at cello broke records when it was sold in 2012. And our stories are correct. It was once very nearly thrown away. Known as the Paganini. cello after a former owner.
The instrument was discovered in 1822 as it was being transported through the streets of Milan on the way to a municipal dump. Made in 1707 during Stradivarius his golden period. It’s one of only 60 cellos believed to have survived since then, and only 24 must be versions. Despite having been dissected and copied numerous times as well as undergoing significant repairs in the 90s.
Gemma was said to have an incredible sound, which was slightly coarse to the ear of the player develops a velvety smoothness as it travels out into the openness of a music hall to the ears of listeners. An instrument like this very rarely makes its way to market. But the Paganini is believed to have been bought by an anonymous arts patron for more than $6 million. One of the highest figures ever paid for a cello.
4. Lady blunt Stradivarius violin $15.9 million.
The lady blunt Stradivarius violin is the second most expensive violin ever known to have been sold and was created by the legendary master at the peak of his golden period in 1721. Incredibly, it’s said to have survived in near perfect condition is it’s mostly been owned by collectors and not by anyone who would dare try to play such a valuable object. Still with its original neck.
The first known owner was Jean Baptiste becomes, who apparently founded in Spain in the 1860s. He then sold the violin to Lady and blunt was the daughter of Ada Lovelace and the granddaughter of Lord Byron and to the instrument is now named after. In the following years after her death, it changed hands several times and by 2008, it was sold in the bond music foundation in a private transaction for $10 million.
Following the 2011 earthquake that devastated large parts of Japan, the violin was donated to an auction to help raise funds for those in need. And on this occasion, it was sold to an anonymous buyer for an incredible $15.9 million, which was at the time the most expensive violin had ever been sold.
3. VO Thompson violin $16 million.
The surprising thing about the world of expensive instruments is that just when you think you know which ones are going to be the most valuable, there’s one that breaks the trend. With so many of the highest prices going to Stradivari instruments, you’d expect the violin price record to be held by one but it isn’t.
Instead, the violin that currently holds the world record price is called the vote temps violin, and it was created by Giuseppe Guan era. He was another famous instrument maker who created this particular violin in 1741. The vote temps are widely regarded as his best work by historians and violinists alike and it takes his name from unrevoked taps, who was a world-renowned Belgian violinist that once owned in the 19th century.
It has been impeccably looked after and maintained and is never required even minimal patching. It’s therefore virtually identical to how it was when it left the workshop all those years ago, and this was one of the reasons it’s seen as being so valuable. While this Milan has never been put up for auction, it was reportedly bought in a private transaction in 2012. While the full amount has never been disclosed, it’s been revealed that it was more than $16 million.
Fortunately, despite being owned by a private collector, it’s still possible to hear the beauty of the instrument because American violinist and Akiko Meyers were granted lifetime use of it.
2. The Newports Stradivarius cello $20 million
Made by Antonio Stradivari during his golden period in 1711. The Newport cello is widely seen as being the best example of this type of instrument in the world. It’s a B-form cello style. Stradivari was designed in 1709 following requests from clients that he produced something slightly smaller and more versatile than other designs, and also took advantage of the recent advances in the way strings were attached to instruments.
It’s thought this particular cello was made as a special order for a friend swashy gun you’re the personal physician of King Louie the 14th. Following his death in 1752, it was sent to Paris to be sold by a private dealer. Amazingly, the full provenance of the cello is known, including the fact that it was once held by Napoleon after a concert, and that a dent is still visible on the side of the instrument that was a result of his rough handling of it.
The owner at that time genre we deport is who the cello was named after and it would go on to change hands a number of times over the following century, in 1974, was bought by Mr. Slav Rostropovich was a renowned Russian cellist and conductor, and it soon became his outright favorite. Quite what has happened to the cello in recent years isn’t entirely clear that the most recent reports suggest that it was purchased by the Nippon music foundation in Japan for $20 million. roster privileges heirs, however, claimed that it still belongs to them.
1. The McDonald Stradivarius Viola $45 million.
For those who are unfamiliar with orchestral instruments, a viola is virtually the same as a violin but is slightly different in terms of the shape and the sound that it produces. For more information regarding guitars, you can read the guitar user manuals here.
Antonio Stradivari was also an exceptionally accomplished creator of violins as well as violins because he made far fewer of them they’re much rarer and therefore far more valuable than McDonald Viola was crafted by Stradivari in 1719 during his golden period, and is said to be in a class of its own compared to any other instrument. So perfect is the balance of the sound and ease of playing, that it’s truly one of a kind.
In fact, only 10 Stradivarius violas are still thought to exist, of which the McDonald is by far the best. The only problem for collectors is that it’s only been made available to buy once in the past 50 years. It was previously owned by Peter shed loft, who was the co-founder of the Amadeus quartet and after he died in 1987, it was put into storage by his family.
It only reappeared in 2014 when they decided to put it up for auction with an astonishing reserve price of $45 million. Despite significant interest, it is yet to be sold. Even if it does eventually go for a fraction of what the family thinks it’s worth. It could still easily be the most expensive musical instrument to have ever been sold.
Most Expensive Musical Instruments in the world?
The most expensive musical instrument in the world is the McDonald Stradivarius Viola auctioned for $45 million in 2014.
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