Sotheby's Musical Instrument department was founded in 1969 and has led the field ever since. Over the last 30 years we have handled the sale of more than 30,000 instruments, including some 70 Stradivaris. It was the sale of the Lady Blunt Stradivari in 1971 for a world record 84,000 which established our reputation as the premier international auctioneer of musical instruments and today we continue to dominate the auction market.

Tim Ingles took over as Director of Musical Instruments in January 1999, and since then we have set over 150 new auction record prices for fine instruments and bows.


Valuations and Selling

Our valuation service is free and without obligation. We are happy to discuss all aspects of buying and selling, as well as advising on condition and restoration.

In addition to our permanent presence in London and New York, our experts are available for consultation on a regular basis in the following locations:

Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Florence, Geneva, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Helsinki, Milan, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Turin, Vienna, Zurich.

North America
Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto.


Instrument Search

If you are looking for an instrument or bow by a particular maker or within a certain price range, we operate a free Instrument Search service, informing you of any instruments coming up for sale which match your criteria.

Please email us your requirements, detailing: type of instrument, maker's name or preferred nationality, and price range.

Private Sales

We are pleased to offer a private sale service at Sotheby’s which utilizes our unique knowledge of the market and extensive database of clients to match top quality instruments to potential buyers. If you are interested in either buying or selling through private treaty, please email tim.ingles@sothebys.com



London, New Bond Street

Tim  Ingles, Head of Department
Tel: 44 207 293 5034

Paul  Hayday, Specialist
Tel: (44) 207-293-5344

Amanda  Warburton, Administrator
Tel: 44 207 293 5342



New York

Kathryn Reilly Administrator
Tel: 212 606 7938
Fax: 212 894 1465










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