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The Top 5 Most Expensive Musical Instruments Ever Sold

  Instrument Price Auction House Date
1 Violin:
The Christian Hammer Stradivarius
$3.54 million
(£1,941,960)
Christie's New York May 16, 2006
2 Piano:
Steinway upright model Z
(owned by John Lennon)
£1,450,000
($2.64 million)
Cooper Owen October 19, 2000
3 Violin:
The Lady Tennant, Stradivarius
$2.03 million
(£1,113,684)
Christie's New York April 22, 2005
4 Violin:
The Kreutzer Stradivarius
£947,500
($1.58 million)
Christie's London April 1, 1998
5 Violin:
The Mendelssohn Stradivarius
£902,000
($1.78 million)
Christie's London November 22, 1990
Tags Music , The Arts , Top 5 Most Expensive

Sources: Top 5 of Anything Research.

List Notes: Data is most recent available in U.S. dollars and British Pounds.
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  1. Although the 'The Christian Hammer' made in 1707, sold for a record US $3.54 million, it is thought that private sales of Stradivari instruments have doubled this price.
  2. John Lennon is said to have composed the song "Imagine" on the Steinway model Z which was bought by pop star George Michael (who later donated it to The Beatles Story Experience museum in Liverpool England.
  3. "The Mendelssohn," is said to have been the influence for the film "The Red Violin."
  4. The upright walnut Steinway model Z piano still bears Lennon's old cigarette burns.
  5. A Stradivari instrument is often identified by the name of someone (often a famous musician) who formerly owned it, or regularly performed on it. It is believed that there are less than 700 genuine Stradivari instruments left in existence.

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