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The Top 5 Most Expensive Musical Instruments Ever Sold

5. Violoncello by Gennaro Gagliano – $362,500

Gennaro Gagliano came from a family that had always been involved in making string instruments. There were some initial debates if Gagliano did create a violoncello in 1765. To prove that the item was genuine, experts went through the process of analyzing the style, design, pattern and materials and ensure that it was consistent with other cellos made in the era. After concluding that the violoncello is indeed a Gagliano creation, the instrument was auctioned off for $362,500 in 2009.

4. Viola by Gasparo Bertolotti da Salo – $542,000

Anything from the 16th century that is still in fine and mint condition would command a high price. So just imagine how much it would cost for something from the era built by a renowned instrument maker who created only 60 such items during his lifetime. That is basically the background story of the viola by famed Italian instrument maker Gasparo Bertolotti da Salo. Anything that he created can actually be sold for a high price because of the quality of his work. One of his violas sold for $542,000 during an auction.

3. OM-45 Deluxe Guitar by C.F. Martin and Company – $554,500

Any musician worth his salt certainly knows of the renowned guitar maker C.F. Martin and Company. The company has been creating guitars in the United States since the 19th century. The company’s guitars are especially popular with country musicians, as it is best known for its acoustic guitars with steel strings. In 1930, the company manufactured the OM-45 Deluxe. Only 15 such pieces were made that year. Roy Rogers, the singing cowboy who gained fame through the Sons of Pioneers, owned one of the 15. The guitar used to be a part of the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum located in the state of Missouri. In 2009, they decided to sell the guitar. 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 Fender – $959,500

The Fender Stratocaster is one of the most favorite instruments by esteemed rock guitar players and musicians. Some of the legendary artists who have used the instrument are Buddy Holly, Stevie Ray Vaughn and the legendary Jimi Hendrix. It was also the guitar of choice by the man who the rock world calls Slowhands. Eric Clapton used the “Blackie,” which is actually a composite made from three different Fender Stratocasters built during the 1950’s. What’s more amazing about the story is that the three guitars Clapton bought were purchased at rock bottom prices in Nashville because they were out of fashion at the time. Clapton ended up using the guitar for 15 years. It later sold for a world record price during an auction.

1. The Hammer Violin by Antonio Stradivari – $3,544,000

Antonio Stradivari was known to make the best violins in the world. One of his creations was owned by a 19thcentury Swedish collector named Christian Hammer. The violin changed hands a few times, with Japanese violinist Kyoko Takezawa managing to use it for 12 years. It was sold at an auction in 2006.