The Most Expensive Pianos

Detail of C. Bechstein Art Poster by Bruno Bielefeld, c. 1920
C. Bechstein Art Poster by Bruno Bielefeld, c. 1920. 1

From handmade masterpieces to the indulgently adorned. Antique or newly minted. In fine tune or short a few keys. The staggering amounts paid are their common bond.

Photo of John Lennon's Steinway Model Z taken at the Goss-Michael Foundation in May, 2019.

Purchased by John Lennon in December 1970 for £1,000 from Steinway & Sons in London, the Hamburg-built chestnut Model Z upright served as both a personal and studio instrument while recording the musician’s first solo albums.

Parlor Grand Model A Steinway Piano incorporating design components hand-selected by Jony Ive and Marc Newson.

Unlike other public sales included in the category of most expensive pianos, Sotheby’s (RED) Auction was organized solely for charity and involved an interdisciplinary, collaborative spirit based on the concept of ‘ethical consumerism.’

The breathtaking glasswork of Kuhn merged with the history of Bösendorfer.

The legend and artistry of Austrian born Ignaz Bösendorfer (1794 – 1859), apprentice to the premier piano maker Joseph Brodmann (1771 – 1848), and the contemporary artist Jon Kuhn (b. 1949) collaborate in the creation of the Kuhn Bösendorfer grand piano.

The white baby grand piano owned by Marilyn Monroe.

The backstory of this white lacquered piano produced in the early part of the 20th century (original manufacturer unknown) is recounted in Marilyn Monroe’s posthumously published autobiography.

The green piano ('Tiny Piano') used for the movie "Casablanca".

The first of two, affectionately known as The 'Tiny Piano,' as it has only 58 keys (a standard piano has 88), the green Casablanca piano was seen in the romantic flashback scene at the Parisian café, La Belle Aurore.

#39;La Mart du Cygne#39; or Dying Swan mahogany piano.

Built c. 1903 under the direction of the French piano company Érard, this majestic carved mahogany grand piano with wood veneer inlays was conceived by...

Overhead view of the Dutch Rondone Quartet playing on four Fazioli Grand Pianos.

Founded by Italian Paolo Fazioli (b. 1944) in the late 1970’s as the Fazioli Piano Factory. Fazioli studied mechanical engineering as well as piano, receiving degrees...

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Page Sources

Bielefeld, Bruno and uploaded by Lindadesign.  Advertisement Poster for C. Bechstein.  1920.  C. Bechstein Factory, Berlin, Germany.  Commons Wikiedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 29 April 2010.  Web.  18 Feb. 2016.  Public Domain.