The piano - an instrument that is capable of producing melodies as soft as silk and as majestic as The Taj Mahal. It is not an inexpensive instrument, yet several pianos in the world now have price tags that would astonish the common folks. Though they may serve the same purpose, expensive pianos awe the public and showcase the grandiose lifestyle of the rich and famous.
Meet the 7’4” black Khun-Bösendorfer piano, standing beautifully like an elegant lady adorned with exquisite jewels. What dazzles more than 100,000 hand-cut, sparkling jewels assembled in diamond patterns? The artistic use of tasteful jewels to embellish a piano, while not comprising its sound quality in the slightest way, comes with a price tag of a hefty $1.2 million. The lady’s jewels might cost much more.
A specially-designed soundboard built using 40 layers of different woods, the Sound of Harmony piano, customised and built by Steinway & Sons, truly displays a stunning synchronisation of the arts and music. The partnership with renowned Chinese artist, Shi Qi, was meant to ensure a one-of-its-kind status for its owner, Chinese art collector Guo Qingxiang. This resulted in a piano that has a brilliant auditory quality and might be worthy of a place in The Lourve in future. The price? $1.63 million.
Behold the splendor of crystal-clear transparency and melody, the Crystal Piano by Crystal Music Company (Netherlands). This seductive work of art holds the title of the most expensive piano to date, at the cool price of $3.22 million. It was made completely of crystal and made its debut during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This stylish and unique piano was sold to an anonymous bidder in an auction after the invigorating performance by world famous pianist, Lang Lang, during the Games.
If you are a sentimental being, like Marilyn Monroe, you might be more impressed with these few expensive pianos with nostalgic histories.
A tired-looking yellow green piano that was the symbol in one of the greatest love movie of all times, Casablanca, fetched $602,500 at Sotheby’s. It was perhaps the timeless, classic love portrayed by two iconic Hollywood actors, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, that brought out the value of this particular piano by its legion of fans.
A mother’s love is nowhere comparable, and perhaps, a daughter’s love too. Marilyn Monroe’s mother had a white lacquered baby grand piano that she remembered dearly in her autobiography. It was later sold to Mariah Carey, the pop diva, for $662,500. The baby grand piano might have been an antique but the value of the story behind it was so much more to people who understand love.
The ordinary Steinway Model Z that used to belong to John Lennon had an extraordinary history. He used that piano to compose and film his classic, “Imagine” and left marks of cigarette burns on it that only enhanced the significance of this piano. British superstar, George Michael, felt that $2.37 million was definitely a reasonable price to pay for the piano used by a music legend.
There will always be other pianos that may be more expensive than those mentioned for one reason or another. To the people who appreciate music, or the rich history or hard labour behind each piano, no price will be too high to pay for that piano that wins their hearts.