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Most Expensive Music Memorabilia

Most Expensive Music Memorabilia

For the most avid music fans and serious collectors, money is no object when it comes to owning rare items that once belonged to music legends. The following pieces of music memorabilia are some of the most expensive ones ever sold in the market:

1. The final manuscript of the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven’s ingenuity went far beyond his time, making him one of the most timelessly admired musicians in the world. One proof of Beethoven’s fame was the price at which the final manuscript of his Ninth Symphony was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in London in 2003. The manuscript made by a copyist and containing revisions and handwritten notes by Beethoven himself fetched a price of $3.47 million.

2. John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics of ‘A Day in the Life’

When the life of famous Beatles member John Lennon was suddenly cut short by a gun bullet in 1980, the world mourned the passing of a prolific composer and one of the biggest rock music icons the world has ever seen. Every item Lennon had ever owned or used became a gold mine for memorabilia collectors. Take, for instance, the piece of paper bearing Lennon’s handwritten lyrics to the song ‘A Day in the Life’. It sold for $1.2 million when it was auctioned off at Sotheby’s New York in 2010.

3. A Michael Jackson with Bubbles sculpture by Jeff Koon

In his heyday, Michael Jackson and his favourite pet monkey, Bubbles, were immortalized in three life-sized sculptures created by artist Jeff Koons. When the last of these three porcelain-and-gold-leaf sculptures were sold in 2001, it had a price tag of $5.6 million.

With the untimely demise of Michael Jackson, anything related to the King of Pop has become worth a fortune, and this sculpture is no exception. Art dealers estimate its current value to be at about $25 million today, owing to the King of Pop’s incomparable legacy.

4. John Lennon’s Steinway Piano

John Lennon’s piano, an upright Steinway Model Z type, was bought by George Michael in 2000 for a whopping ₤1.45 million (around $2.2 million) at an online auction. It was the same piano that Lennon used to compose the anthemic song ‘Imagine’. After its purchase, it was generously donated by Michael to the Beatles Museum in the Fab Four’s hometown in Liverpool.

5. Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ Fender Stratocaster

Eric Clapton’s soulful guitar playing has always been admired by legions of music fans. His Fender Stratocaster nicknamed ‘Blackie’ was highly coveted for its custom features, which were designed by no less than Clapton himself. Using parts from other vintage Stratocasters, Clapton built the guitar for less than $300. This guitar was his choice of instrument from 1973 to 1985. In 2004, ‘Blackie’ was bought at a Christie’s auction for $959,500.

6. Jerry Garcia’s guitars

Rock-and-roll fans are all quite familiar with the Grateful Dead, particularly their front man, Jerry Garcia. Garcia’s custom-made guitars are sought-after items in the memorabilia block. Two of his most popular guitars were sold at Guernsey’s auction house in 2002: One was the ‘Tiger’ guitar, which was bought for $957,500. The other was the ‘Wolf’ guitar, bought for $789.500.

7. John Lennon’s hand-painted Rolls Royce Phantom V car

Perhaps the most expensive John Lennon item that was ever sold is his hand-painted Rolls Royce Phantom V. Handsomely decorated with psychedelic paintwork, it sold for $2.3 million way back in 1985.