Most Expensive Trumpet*
Dizzie Gillespie's Martin Committee trumpet
This trumpet earned its unusual name by being designed by a committee of brass-instrument makers for the Martin Band Instrument Company. The model went on to dominate the jazz trumpet market from the late 1940s until the mid-1960s. Bebop virtuoso Dizzy Gillespie played Committees throughout his career, as did jazz trumpet greats Miles Davis and Chet Baker. This one was sold by Christie's New York in 1995.
Most Expensive Flute*
Platinum Powell flute
This platinum flute was made in 1939 by the Verne Q. Powell Company for William Kincaid and used by him until his death in 1967. Kincaid was a world-renowned flutist and teacher who played with the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1921 until 1960. His flute was exhibited in the 1939 World Fair in New York and mentioned on page 768 of the The Andy Warhol Diaries. When Christie's sold it in 1986, it went for about five times the then-record price for a flute.
Most Expensive Drums
A portion of Keith Moon's drum kit
This part of the custom-made 1968 kit for The Who's drummer, "Moon the Loon"—who was notorious for his wild antics on and off the stage—escaped his penchant for destruction and realized £139,650 in a 2004 auction by Christie's London.
Most Expensive Harpsichord
The rise of harpsichord construction in Antwerp, Belgium, had everything to do with the city's economic prosperity in the 16th century. The Ruckers-Couchet family dominated the Antwerp production of keyboard instruments from the end of the 16th century until the middle of the 17th century. This harpsichord, built by Joseph Joannes Couchet in 1679, sold for £267,500 by Sothesby's in 2001.
Most Expensive Guitar
"Blackie," Stratocaster guitar
Eric Clapton's prized Stratocaster became the most expensive guitar ever to sell at auction when it went on the block at the Christie's Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Auction in June 2004. The entire collection went for a total of $7.44 million. Proceeds of the sale benefited the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, an addiction treatment center Clapton established in 1998.
Most Expensive Cello
"Bonjour," Stradivarius cello
The “Bonjour” was built in 1696 and named after Abel Bonjour, a 19th-century French cellist. The present owner acquired it in the fall of 1999 from Christie's; it is currently on loan to The Canada Council for the Arts Instrument Bank. Other famous Strad cellos include the "Davidov," currently owned and played by Yo-Yo Ma, and the "Duport," owned by acclaimed Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich.
Most Expensive Piano
John Lennon's Steinway Model "Z" piano
One-time Beatle John Lennon is said to have composed the song "Imagine" on this Steinway, which sold for £1.45 million in October 2000 to pop star George Michael. The upright walnut piano still bears Lennon's old cigarette burns.
No. 3 Violin
"The Mendelssohn," Stradivarius violin
This 1720 crimson-hued fiddle is said to have been the influence for the film "The Red Violin." Owned by wealthy bankers in Berlin who were descendants of composer Felix Mendelssohn, it sold for £902,000 by Christie's London in November 1990.
No. 2 Violin
"The Kreutzer," Stradivarius violin
This instrument belonged to musician Rodolphe Kreutzer, to whom Beethoven dedicated one of his best-known violin sonatas (The Kreutzer Sonata). Crafted in 1727, it was sold for £947,500 by Christie's London in 1998.
"The Lady Tennant," Stradivarius violin
Crafted in 1699, the violin was first owned by Charles Philippe Lafont, a contemporary of Nicolo Paganini. It gets its name from Scottish industrialist Sir Charles Tennant, who bought the instrument in 1900 for his wife, Marguerite Miles, an amateur violinist.
It was sold by Christie's New York in April 2005.