Play It Grand: Top 10 Most Expensive Musical Instruments

‘What exercise is to body, music is to soul’. This saying is true to the core. Music is that beautiful creation which soothes everyone. But what generates music? from where does it come? Any piece of music, be it soft and serene or loud and happening comes from musical instruments. When the notes of musical instruments combine, some awesome music is born. Musical instruments generate something amazing and no wonder, amazing music is a result of big bucks spent on musical instruments. Here is a list of ten most expensive musical instruments.

10. Robert Bouchet’s Classical Guitars

Priced at $122,500 this guitar is not only expensive but also rare. Only a few of its frets have been replaced recently. Otherwise, it is in its original condition. Robert Bouchet excelled at making handmade guitars. The tone of this guitar is beautiful yet powerful and impactful. The two striking features of this instrument are quick response and incredible sustain. It is believed that the construction of this guitar started in 1956 and completed in early 1957. Robert Bouchet made just hundred and fifty guitars in his entire lifetime. Today, very few of them are in playable condition. One of his guitars includes his name, address, and the date he completed the work, inside the body of the guitar. When it was auctioned in the year 2009, it made a world record. Great musicians of the fifties like Julian Bream, Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya owned this guitar. Get ready to spend a lot if you are planning to own one.

9. Antonio de Torres’ Classical Guitars

The cost of these guitars is $157,000. The modern classical guitar that we see today bears a lot of resemblance to the classical guitar of Antonio de Torres. Thus, he is rightly called the grandad of modern classical guitar. This ace guitar maker achieved some local fame but never saw good days when it comes to money. Antonio always knew that his work would lead to something big. Thus, he started signing his guitars after 1871. However, it is only ironic that the guitars which he made before 1871 are most sought after. Torees’ guitars were so superior that they changed the way in which guitars were made throughout the world. The sound is not very loud but is very balanced and clear. Christie’s auctioned off an 1864 De Torres classical guitar for $157,000 in 2007.

8. Violins by Battista Ceruti

Giovanni Battista Ceruti was an Italian violin maker. However, he honed this skill of his only after the age of forty when he discovered his love for music. Ceruti had to compromise with his guitar making as he had to use cheap quality wood that was available in his country but he compensated it by his spectacular handwork. From top it is two-piece, quarter-cut spruce with medium grain, widening then narrowing at the flanks. At the back it is one-piece, semi-slab-cut maple, mostly plain, with faint, narrow curl at centre bout; knots at upper-bass and centre bouts; filled wormholes under original varnish and purfling; ebony dowels through back into top and bottom blocks. These violins give ample evidence of his able craftsmanship. They are priced at $158,500. In 2009, a 1794 Ceruti violin was auctioned off at a remarkable price.

7. Pieter Rombouts’ Viola de Gamba
The price of Pieter Rombouts’ Viola de Gamba is $212,500. It is one of the rarest musical instruments in the world. The use of this musical instrument dates back to the Renaissance period in Spain and Morocco. The sound produced by this musical instrument is so marvellous that it was used by pop music artists till late 1997. Its sound is so amazing that its sound hasn’t been replicated till date. It was made in 1708 in Amsterdam.

6. Carlo Giuseppe Testore’s Violins
Costing $218,500 Carlo Giuseppe Violin is one of its kind.Its maker Carlo Giuseppe Testore used to make multiple musical instruments like cellos, violas, violins etc. He is particularly noted for his double bases. The length of its back is 354mm of a golden amber brown colour. This is a master-made violin with supreme workmanship. Accomplished classical musicians prefer up to now Testore-made instruments. He produced most of his pieces from the late 1600s to the early 1700s

5. Violoncello by Gennaro Gagliano
Made by Gennaro Gagliano,this instrument is only one of its kind. Thus, its legitemacy was under question for quite some time. A panel of experts then judged this instrument on the basis of its style, design, pattern and materials to ensure its authenticity. Finally it was proved that its creator was Gagliango. Thereby, the instrument was auctioned off for $362,500 in 2009.

4. Bertolotti da Salo’s Violas
Sold for $542,000 during an auction, this viola by Bertolotti da Salo became the fourth most expensive instrument in the world. The reason for this high price is that even though it was created in the 16th century it is still in its perfect condition. Also, it is all the more treasured because Bertolotti made just 60 such violas in his lifetime and his creations were amazing. It seems like he objectified perfection. This viola was his primary creation during his career.

3. OM-45 Deluxe Guitar by C.F. Martin and Company
Considered as oned of the rarest and most coveted guitars among collectors, OM-45 Deluxe by C.F Martin and Company. The highlights of this series of guitars are Adirondack spruce soundboard with matching braces, an abalone inlaid tortoise colour “teardrop” pick guard, hand-engraved banjo tuners with genuine Mother-Of-Pearl buttons. The tone of this instrument is superb – wonderfully balanced, strong in the fundamental but also with richly detailed harmonics. The original 14 Martin OM-45 Deluxe models are among the rarest guitars in the world, and their value is reflective of that rarity. It was originally expected to sell for around $250,000, but the OM-45 Deluxe exceeded all estimates and actually sold for more than twice that amount.

2. Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Stratocaster Guitar by FenderAffectionately called Blackie by famous guitarist Eric Clapton, his favourite Fender Stratocaster was sold at an unbelievable price of $959,900. This guitar was first played live on !3th of January 1973 at the Rainbow Concert. One of the last known occasions when Blackie was seen by the public was for a 1990 television commercial for the Japanese automobile firm Honda when, at the specific request of the company, Clapton used Blackie to record a new guitar solo on “Bad Love” in New York and was filmed for the commercial doing so. Blackie was also brought out on stage for one number during the Royal Albert Hall shows in 1991.

1. The Hammer Violin by Antonio Stradivari

This violin named as Hammer Stardivarius is an antique violin ,made by luthier Antonio Stradivari. He created this violin when his career was at its zenith. It got its name from Christian Hammer, who is known to be its first recorded owner. The violin reached the united States of America through a violinist Bernard Sinsheimer in 1911. In 1992, it was acquired by a Japanese oil company in an estate sale.On 16 May 2006, The Hammer made news when it was sold at Christie’s auction to an anonymous bidder for US$3.54 million making it the most expensive instrument in the world. Surprisingly, its initial auction value was estimated to be less than $2 million.