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The 10 Most Expensive Pianos in the World

Pianos are one of the most popular instruments in the music industry. They add to any type of music and many musicians are talented pianists. Some of the most memorable musicians from decades past, have shown their piano-playing skills on stage, and most of them have their very own piano that goes on tour with them everywhere they go. Elton John is a big artist known for tickling the ivories on stage, along with John Lennon and many more, and most have paid enormous amounts of money to get their very own personal pianos they get used to and have mastered its keyboard. Pianos of all brands and reasons have sold for multiple thousands of dollars, even in the millions. If you have ever wondered what the most expensive ones are, keep reading to learn about the ten most expensive pianos in the world.

10. La Mort du Cygne, Erard

This piano was constructed out of Mahogany wood, which is one of the most lavish, fanciest types of wood. Most people don't even use the word wood when referring to Mahogany, they simply say, "Mahogany" and everyone knows it means expensive. The La Mort du Cygne, Erad, also referred to as The Dying Swan, is one of the most expensive pianos ever. It is worth $409,000 and was customized built in the year 1906 by some of the most renowned French artists of that time. The whole outer layer of the wood is a fruitwood veneer inlay that adds beauty and character to the piece. It was designed using striking golden-brown and tans for the color palette and is one of the most elegant pianos ever made.

9. The Casablanca Piano, Richardson’s Inc.

One of the biggest and most memorable movies, Casablanca, has left behind a lot of memorable pieces from the movie that are notorious for selling for big prices. One of the most notable pieces featured in the film is the piano that was featured in one of the most iconic scenes, "As Time Goes By," right alongside Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Back in the day, the piano was considered one of the grandest, with its yellow-green finish that is now faded. It's no longer a beautiful eye-catcher, but it is still worth a ton of money, $602,500, to be exact, and is one of the most expensive pianos in the world.

8. Marilyn Monroe’s Baby Grand Piano

Everything having to do with Marilyn Monroe is sentimental, and typically an expensive piece of memorabilia. This Baby Grand piano has seen its better day when it comes to the finish, but because of who owned this Baby Grand, that is what makes this piano so expensive and rare. The piano was originally owned by Marilyn's mother, Gladys, but wound up in someone else's hands when it was sold after her passing. Marilyn tracked it down and it was a treasured piece to Marilyn for years, until she too, passed on at a very early age. The piano ended up in he hands of another famous name that now treasures this iconic piece of history, Mariah Carey, who purchased it for $662,500.

7. Alma-Tadema Steinway

What can you say about this piano, except, what a piece of art. The piano has been around since it's construction in 1887, by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, a name that is not familiar to most people. One hundred years later, the famous piano company, Steinway and Sons made an exact replica of the original piano that exhibits arched brass lyre, intricately hand-carved case, legs and lid, along with mother of pearl inlaid pieces. When it came time to sell the original piano, it did pretty well with bringing in $54,538, but later as inflation took hold and caused an increase in just about everything, the replica went on the market and made out much better with the profit it brought in, which happens to be $1.2 million. This is one of the most expensive pianos ever sold.

6. The Kuhn Bosendorfer Grand Piano

This is a piano masterpiece that was created by two people, really. The infamous glass sculptor John Kuhn, and piano maker, L. Bosendorfer Klaviefabrik, collaborated to created this remarkable, diamond and jewel piano that exhibits about 100,000 jewels that were individually polished by hand-cut glasses. The 7'4" black piano is actually so shiny that it looks like a gem itself. The two wanted to make sure the piano really appealed to women, so they included diamond patterns of gold leaves surrounding a crystal on the top of  the piano. This piano ties in price for the most expensive, at $1.2 million, but it is an original and not a replicate, so it moves up a spot as the number six most expensive piano in the world.

5. Galaxy Piano

To look at it, it almost looks like a made-up instrument straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, but this is actually a real piano and is known as Galaxy piano. It is the fifth most expensive piano and sold for $1.36 million dollars. The very futuristic piano was designed for those who have a strong eye for detail, such as a 24-carat gold plated body of fiberglass. It was also designed with an automatic lid and curved keys. This is a one of a kind piano that only had a total of five ever created so if you were interested in purchasing one, you will have to hunt down the owners yourself and make an offer.

4. Sound of Harmony Concert Grand, Steinway & Sons

Another artsy piece is this Sound of Harmony Concert Grand, by Steinway & Sons. It was customized designed and built for a Chinese art collector named Guo Qingxiang. It is a very vibrantly decorated piano with visions of peacocks and exhibits some of the most extraordinary piano pieces on the inside. It is said to have had 40 layers of wood used to construct it, which gives it an incredible acoustic-type quality. The piano was not put together quickly, but rather, it took a whole 3 years to design and construct it, and in the end, Steinway signed his name using crystallized gold as opposed to ink like his other pianos. This piano is worth $1.63 million dollars, number four on our list.

3. Red Pops for (RED)” Parlor Grand Piano, Steinway & Sons

One of the most eye-catching, eye-popping colors ever, is red. As rich as red is, red and white are two colors that together, reek of wealth and lavishness. Bono, lead singer of the band U2, is who inspired this piano. He wanted a two-toned masterpiece that would take center-stage at the Red Auction to be held in New York. This was a charity that was to help fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. His idea was right and this piano did take center stage and was the most expensive item that was sold at the auction, bringing in a cool, $1.925 million dollars that was given to the charity.

2. John Lennon’s Steinway Model Z

This piano is not much to look at, plain, simple and very brown. There are no lavish designs, crystals, or gold anything, but it has been priced at a very high figure. This is a Steinway & Sons creation and it isn't even who made the piano that makes it so pricey, but it is because of who owned this piano that brings its value up to an insane, $2.37 million dollars. The musician who's hands graced the ivory keys on this piece is John Lennon, which makes it very expensive, but more than that even, his creation of his famous song, "Imagine" written using this piano, drove the value up even more. It is the second most expensive piano. So who owns it now? Another well-known music artist dished out the hefty fee for Lennon's piano and it now sits in British Pop star George Michael's home where he composes his own music on it.

1. Crystal Piano, Heintzman

This piano didn't just given the beautiful name, Crystal for no reason. This piano earned its name since every inch of it is made from real crystal. The piano was designed and constructed by the piano company Heintzman and it has been seen and played in front of a billion spectators at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The piano was then retired, after its one and only performance, but it has been said that it was a performance of a lifetime and then was sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for an unfathomable price of $3.22 million dollars, which makes this the most expensive piano, ever.


Maria McCutchen

Written by Maria McCutchen

Maria McCutchen is an author and freelance writer living in Chattanooga, TN. She is the published author of her memoir, “It’s all in Your Head,” and a children’s book. She has been writing for over 15 years; writing articles, whitepapers, product write-ups and more for multiple online media sites, blogs, company websites and individuals. She is also an advocate for brain malformations, including Chiari Malformation, and works closely with the non-profit organization, The Chiari Project, writing for their quarterly newsletters.

Read more posts by Maria McCutchen

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