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Musical Instruments



As the market leader of fine Musical Instruments at auction, Christie’s holds the world auction record for any musical instrument for the sale of The Hammer (May 2006) violin by Antonio Stradivari, which achieved $3,544,000 in May 2006.  While stringed instruments of the violin family generally dominate Christie’s sales, fretted and wind instruments, as well as early keyboard instruments, also appear in our sales in London and New York.


  Kerry Keane, New York



Kerry Keane, International Specialist and Department Head, is a talented guitarist and banjo player, as well as an expert builder and restorer of musical instruments with over 30 years in the musical instrument trade. At Christie’s since 1999, Mr. Keane has achieved numerous world auction records which include $292,000 for an important violin by Nicolo Amati (2001); $459,833 for a fine violin by Giuseppe Guarneri filius Andreae (2002); $180,000 for a classical guitar by Herman Hauser, Sr. (2006); and $486,400 for a viola by Tomaso Balestrieri (2006).


A member of the Violin Society of America, Mr. Keane has lectured widely and lent his expertise to numerous institutions, including the Violin Society of America and The American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers. Since 1995, he has been the primary guest appraiser of musical instruments on the highly popular television program Antiques Roadshow.




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Kreutzer Stradivari


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Taft, Ex Emil Heermann



To get a free estimate of your instrument or bow, we invite you to make an appointment to come into Christie's, or simply send in photographs with any information regarding provenance or certificates.

For further information regarding all aspects of buying and selling at auction please contact:

Christie’s Department of Musical Instruments

Kerry Kean
e, International Department Head
Katie Banser
Tel: + 1 212 707 5974
Fax: +1 212 636 4929