Music was the order of the day in Tennants Auctioneers’ Scientific and Musical Instrument Sale on 22nd January, with good prices for both instruments and mechanical music.
The top lot of the sale was a fine Cello Bow, which sold for £10,500 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £1,200-1,500. A beautifully made bow was a product of the Parisian bow-maker E.A. Ouchard, a master craftsman who made bows with perfect symmetry, and balance of suppleness and resistance. Also exceeding pre-sale expectations was a 13 ¾ inch Violin, which sold for £2,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £600-800. The violin was much admired during the sale viewing, with bidders commenting on the superb feel of the instrument. Away from the stringed instruments, a concertina doubled its top estimate to sell for £3,000 (plus buyer’s premium). An unusually large size with 8 ¼ inch endplates, this rare instrument was made by renowned manufacturer C. Wheatstone & Co.
Mechanical music was well represented in the sale, with the top lot going to an extremely fine and rare key-wind hooked tooth Piano-Forte Overture Musical Box by Nicole Frères of Geneva. With nearly 240 teeth on the comb, the pre-Grand Format dimension cylinder provided exceptional quality of sound and sold for £9,000 (plus buyer’s premium).
Elsewhere in the sale, a small collection of amusement machines sold strongly, with The Airship Profit Sharer Wall Mounted Amusement Machine selling for £900 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £500-700, and an Iris Roulette Type Wall Mounted Amusement Machine selling for £800 (plus buyer’s premium). Magic lantern slides also proved popular, with the top lot going to a collection of nine astronomical examples and ten others, which included a ship arriving at New York, which sold for £700 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £100-150.
The sale resulted in a total Hammer Price of £84,130 for 213 lots, with an 90% sold rate.
We are currently accepting lots for the next sale of Scientific & Musical Instruments, Cameras & Tools on 13th May.
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