Stringed Instruments Hit a High Note in Tennants’ Scientific and Musical Sale

When it comes to musical instruments, the old adage ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ rings true. Each instrument has a particular quality of tone, colour and lustre of wood – a unique personality that appeals to one buyer over another.

However, the violins and double basses in Tennants’ sale of Scientific & Musical Instruments on 1st September proved particularly appealing, and competitive bidding from multiple buyers on the telephones, online and in the saleroom resulted in strong prices. The top lot of the day was a good Flat Back Double Base, which sold for £14,000.

Violins were well represented, with two examples by Paul Bailly and H Derazey each selling for £3,200 and a violin bow stamped Gustave Bernardel proved particularly in demand, finally selling for £3,500.

Elsewhere in the sale an interesting and unusual private collection of Pharmaceutical Items drew the attention of collectors, resulting in good prices for the highly collectable and decorative glass chemist’s jars. A lot of Sixty Clear Glass Chemist’s Rounds sold for £700 against an estimate of £200-300, and a 19th century Declomania Pharmacy Jar sold for £600 against an estimate of £400-500.

In a sale full of intriguing objects, one lot in particular stands out: an easily playable novelty flute made out of a wooden police truncheon. This intriguing object proved its appeal, selling for £220 against an estimate of £50-80.

The sale resulted in a total Hammer Price of £64,100, with 93% of the 204 lots sold.

We are currently accepting lots for the next sale of Scientific & Musical Instruments, Cameras & Tools in early 2018, please contact us on 01969 623780 or enquiry@tennants-ltd.co.uk for details.


A Flat Back Double Base – Sold for £14,000 hammer price.
(top left) A Flute Made from a Wooden Police Truncheon – Sold for £220 hammer price,