Today, like art, musical instruments sell at ridiculous prices. A rising set of investors are viewing extraordinary and classy musical instruments—as a wise place to put cash. Not only can a musical instrument offer substantial financial returns; it is more functional and more fun than a painting on a wall or a sculpted artwork. Like wine or art, fine instruments need to be stored in a carefully monitored, semi-humid climate to maintain their worth. Old rare violins have escalated in price so as to be unreasonable for musicians. Stradivari violins are several, renowned, and pricey. Out of 1100 violins that Stradivari has made only 650 are known to be around. “Lady Tennant”a Strad violin was sold last year by Christie’s for more than $2.03 million, the highest amount ever paid for a musical instrument at a public auction. Although Keane, the musical-instrument department head at Christie’s feels that it can fetch up to $3 million today in prime condition.
According to the Stradivari Society, the value of Stradivari and Guarneri violins has tripled since 1990. Violins still top the list of the most expensive instruments; but their counterparts are quickly catching up, especially those attached to celebrity names.
The Steinway Model Z upright piano, the 31-year-old instrument fetched $2 million, at an auction. Lennon originally wrote the song “Imagine” on this masterpiece.
A guitar owned by legendary British musician Eric Clapton was sold at a Christie’s auction for $959,500; making it the most expensive guitar in the world. One of Clapton’s guitars – the 1964 Gibson ES-335 – too was sold for $847,500.